How Paper Brightness Affects Image Quality

Posted by Jessica G. | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Monday, May 24, 2010

When you’ve been shopping around for photo quality inkjet paper, you may have noticed that every package has a brightness level listed along with the weight and thickness. To the untrained eye brightness may seem like a trivial thing to include on the packaging, isn’t most paper white anyway? The answer is yes and no. Yes, all white paper is white, but different paper has different levels of whiteness. Individually all papers seem the same shade of white. But when you put them side by side, you see the subtle nuances in their colors: sometimes one’s a bit warmer and ivory-toned while the other is a strikingly cool, bright white.

The whiteness/brightness can really have an affect the vividness of an image’s print out. Specifically, the whiter and brighter a paper is the lighter and more vivid an image is going to be. The brightness level is typically expressed on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100, of course, being the brightness. Multipurpose copy paper generally tends to have brightness in the 80s while photo quality inkjet paper tends to be in the 90s. Sometimes paper manufacturers tends to use terms like Bright White and UltraBright to indicate brightness, which is actually a little misleading because the numerical indications are more precise.

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