What would happen if you tried to load Mac software onto a PC? If you’re lucky, nothing. If you’re not so lucky, you could ruin the software and crash your computer. The same principle holds true for the paper you choose to run in your digital output devices. Sure, you may be able to reproduce the image on plain paper, but it isn’t likely to meet your expectations.
Digital papers are specifically engineered to deliver optimal performance from the latest digital printers and presses. If you have invested in a high-end device such as a Xerox iGen, Kodak Nexpress, or HP Indigo, you already know to seek out papers that have been tested and vetted to perform well with those machines. But even with equipment that is not part of the rarified atmosphere found in that upper strata of digital capabilities, you still want to get the very best image possible from the equipment on your shop floor.
Most paper manufacturers have guides available to help you determine which products are compatible with which machines. Paper merchants and equipment vendors are also good resources for this information. To get you started, here is a listing of some of the products that are available. As always, we recommend that you thoroughly research any product before making a purchase.
Mohawk Everyday Digital is an affordable collection of uncoated and coated papers engineered specifically for digital color production printing presses and certified for use in HP Indigo production presses. Uncoated papers are 98-bright white, available in 60-pound text to 120-pound cover, and in 12-point smooth and 14-point vellum. Coated papers are 95-bright white, available in 80-pound text to 130-pound coated silk. These digital house sheets are FSC-certified, manufactured with windpower, and are electronic printing guaranteed.
TECHNI-PRINT 4.0 Heat Transfer Paper
Neenah Paper’s TECHNI-PRINT 4.0 Heat Transfer Paper is now certified on the Indigo 7000and the 5500 series. This paper peels easily and reduces toner scatter for whiter whites. It feeds through most laser color printers and laser color copiers as well as the Indigo presses. It offers great wash and vivid color reproduction, and can be applied to cotton, poly, or blends. It works well on t-shirts, sweatshirts, heavier fabrics, wood veneer, leather, and other surfaces. It is recommended for commercial shops and professional shirt producers.
GPA Ultra Digital Fine Art Specialty Papers
GPA has introduced Ultra Digital Fine Art Specialty Papers, created to lend a premium feel to high-end, fine art, and specialty print applications. Ultra Digital150-pound Cotton Cover - Stonehenge is a premium sheet with a vellum finish and a rich tactile feel. It is made from 100 percent cotton fibers reclaimed from discarded linters of the garment industry. Ultra Digital 150-pound Bamboo Cover has a watercolor-like texture and is made from 90 percent bamboo fibers and 10 percent cotton fibers. Both sheets are biodegradable, recyclable, elemental chlorine free, acid free, and archival. They are engineered to perform on HP Indigo presses, and are suited for a variety of finishing processes including foil stamping, letterpress, embossing, debossing, scoring, die cutting, and laminating.
Casa Opaque Digital
Finch Paper's Casa Opaque Digital is a recycled digital paper, boasting 30 percent post-consumer fiber and FSC certification. It is designed to perform consistently performer for color and black-and-white digital printing on systems including Canon imagePress, Kodak Nexpress, and Xerox copiers. This is a smooth, uncoated paper available in 60-, 70-, and 80-pound text and 80-pound cover that comes with Finch Paper's Digital Performance Guarantee.
Nekoosa Premium Digital Coated Paper
Nekoosa Digital Coated Paper is made in the USA, FSC-certified, and contains 10 percent post consumer fiber. It is designed to run equally well on offset presses, color copiers, and color and monochrome laser printers. This paper offers exceptional coating for smooth, consistent surfaces and quick drying for improved turnaround times. It is available in weights ranging from 70-pound text to 100-pound cover, dull and glossy finish, in a range of digital sizes from 8.5x11 inches through 14.33x20.5 inches. Custom sizes are also available. This media can be recycled as common paper waste.
xpedx Endurance Digital is an FSC chain-of-custody certified, coated printing paper guaranteed for production-rated digital printing equipment. The sheet was designed to perform consistently for digital printing. The advanced surface offers uniform color application and superior toner adhesion. It is guaranteed for Xerox iGen, Kodak Nexpress, HP Indigo, Canon, Konica-Minolta, Océ, and other toner/laser-based printers and DI presses. The paper is a 91-bright sheet available in text and cover, gloss and silk, and a variety of sizes and weights. It is certified by the RIT Printing Applications Laboratory.
Hammermill Color Copy Digital
Hammermill Color Copy Digital from International Paper Company offers an extra smooth surface and 100 brightness, Photo White shade. It is qualified on HP Indigo and Kodak NexPress, and recommended on Xerox iGen presses. The sheets are available in 28/70 and 32/80 text weights in sizes 12x18 inches, 18x12 inches, and 19x13 inches. They are acid-free for added archival quality that extends the life of the document. The company guarantees the paper to run on small and large offset presses, copiers, laser printers, inkjet printers, and plain paper fax machines.
Curious Cosmic from Appleton Coated is a tactile, metallic sheet available in six HP Indigo Certified digital-size items, and three new colors in Curious Metallics. The swatchbook offers a quick reference stock guide, printing hints, environmental highlights, and a cascade of swatches. Curious Cosmic represents an innovation by which one side is a colored, soft matte, metal effect and the other is a white, premium uncoated fine paper. Its eight shades range from classic monochromes to contemporary jewel-tones.
The Curious Collection also now offers the five most-popular sheets from Curious Metallics and Extra White cover from the Skin Curious Collection as HP Certified materials. Small sheet-count packages allow for shorter runs on Skin and Metallics.