The quality of the layout and design are key to a professional-looking printed document. Even the simplest Word document can look great if it's printed on high-quality paper.
First, consider the thickness of your paper. This is often expressed in g/m2. It can increase in thickness from 80 to 160 g/m2 to 200 g/m2. The paper thickness is a measure of how heavy the paper is. Most printer/copier manuals can provide guidance on what paper type to use photo printer paper.
80 g/m2 is standard for everyday copying and printing in offices, including faxes, drafts and emails.
For some documents, however, it is better to use a higher quality paper, such as 100+, particularly if they are being sent out to customers or clients. This applies especially to proposals, presentations, and double-sided printing, to avoid type from one side showing through.
For professional presentations, signs and flyers and documents with heavy-coverage such as professional presentations, you should use higher grades of paper (160 g/m2)
You can use any of these thicknesses in your regular office printer/copier.
Perception and psychology are two main factors in determining the impression of quality. The impression of quality is partly about perception and psychology. A paper that is heavier or stiffer feels more impressive. There are many other factors to consider.
The quality of an image can also be affected by the paper's brightness. The sharper, clearer and more vividly rendered letters, images, and colours are, the whiter and brighter they are.
The final document's appearance can be affected by a third factor, which is the paper quality. This is the laminated (also known as coated) paper. However, this does not always mean a glossy surface. You can choose between a matt or silk laminate.
A laminated surface prevents ink from spreading on the paper before it dries. This ensures sharper prints and is especially useful if images are detailed or in colour.
A heavier paper, with a slightly stiffer texture, feels more impressive. When choosing paper to print, the last thing to think about is whether the paper will be used to archive documents for a significant length of time. This is often a requirement for professionals such as those in accounting, legal, and health care.
Since the beginning of recycled paper's production, it has seen steady improvements in quality and production. Initially, recycled paper was more greyish than today and was more susceptible to jamming in printers. It is now possible to make whiter, higher quality recycled paper thanks to the increased efficiency of its production and the use bleaches.
Another option for companies concerned about the environment is to look out for the FSC logo. It is the Forest Stewardship Council's non-profit organization that promotes responsible forest management. FSC has very high standards to ensure that forestry is done in a responsible, sustainable, and socially-beneficial manner.
When choosing paper to print, the last thing to consider is whether it will be used to archive documents for a significant length of time. This is often a requirement for professionals such as those in accounting, legal, and health care. It is best to choose acid-free paper, as this prevents documents from yellowing.