Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sticky Surface

How sticky and absorbent is paper?  If you are producing a print project that the end-user will need to write on, then you need to make sure you select a paper that soaks up ink.  This scenario and consideration is a common occurrence in printing.  One thing I do to help people remember how to choose their paper is to site the frying pan/skillet example.

Non-stick pans have a coating on the surface that helps prevent sticking when cooking.  These pans are especially useful when working with foods such as eggs and fish that tend to stick.  In addition, when working with a regular uncoated pan, it is usually recommended that you add fat, oil or cooking spray (a coating) to the pan to prevent sticking.  What can we conclude from this?  A coated surface prevents sticking.  How does this apply to paper?  Ink will not stick as easily to a coated surface.

If you are conceptualizing a print project and you want people to write on the paper, an uncoated option is the way to go.  Uncoated sheets are more porous and the less coating on a sheet, the easier ink will absorb into the paper.  This is why ink smears when you try to write on a glossy sheet of paper.  If you absolutely must use a coated sheet but you still want the end-user to write on the paper then go with a coated sheet with less coating (ex - matte, dull).  Matte and dull sheets are coated but they have less coating than a glossy sheet with a high sheen.  You'll still get a little smear when you write on a matte or dull but it won't be nearly as bad.
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