GetPaper Blog

  • What Happens When You Choose the Wrong Type of Plotter Paper for the Job

    Plotter paper is a marvelous tool for architects, graphic designers, and engineers. Needless to say, a lot of important work is being drafted on these sheets of paper.

    Without it serving as the perfect canvas for blueprints, we wouldn’t have the structurally sound apartments and corporate offices that we do. When selecting your plotting paper options, it’s important to choose the right kind of stock for the job.

    If not, it can compromise the entire project.

    The wrong size paper can affect your work

    This is one mistake you don’t want to make.

    The wrong size paper can cause production delays, and you’ll risk it not being able to go through your plotting machine. Double check the specs every time just to be sure. Plotter paper roll widths come in sized expressed in 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches. It’s clear that you have many options for your specific job.

    When you select the wrong size, you also risk your paper not being able to be fed through your plotting machine.

    Choosing the wrong resolution can compromise the quality of your work

    Keep in mind that the printing process comes with its own set of specific steps. However, if you select the wrong resolution for the job, you’re guaranteed to run into some major issues.

    The first thing you want to do is make sure your images are set at a high resolution. Low resolution can result in poor quality—sacrificing the overall look of your images and creating an unprofessional look.

    Choosing the wrong paper can result in a difficult transferring process

    Plotter paper can be translucent or opaque. Translucent plotter paper is best used for printing blueprints.

    Thicker opaque paper is most beneficial for printing a large volume of high-quality designs.


    Not all plotter paper is created the same way. What might work for one project or firm may not meet your own specific needs. To avoid any flaws in the designing process, make sure to check these things off of your plotting paper checklist

      • Is the plotter paper the correct size?
      • Is it the correct resolution
      • Am I using the right kind of paper?

    Of course, there are many other things to consider, but these are just a few. Plotter paper has been making the lives of engineers and architects so much easier. Human error is not impossible but can be easily avoided when these few things are taken into consideration.

  • 3 Ways to Choose the Right Paper for Your Printer

    Although copy paper is perhaps the form of paper that most people are familiar with today, there are plenty of times that simple copy paper just won't do for the goal you'd like to achieve. Engineering paper, plotter paper, 36 inch paper, and recycled paper are just a few other alternatives that often provide a better (and bigger!) option for businesses and other commercial purposes.

    However, there are some things to consider outside of simply the obvious cost and size when you're seeking the right paper for your printer and situation. Here are some factors to think about:

    Recycled Paper Considerations

    Recycled paper is a great substitute for traditional paper on any job and a great way to make a big difference in the environmental impact simply by using some different options. Actually, Americans recycle more paper products every year than they send to landfills. In response to this, the paper industry set a goal to recover 60% of scrap paper by 2012, but ended up achieving that goal three years early. Think of the difference all of that recycled paper makes in three years! Ultimately, over one-third of new paper today is made with recycled fiber. 36 inch paper, plotter paper rolls, and lots of others are available as recycled paper.

    Paper Brightness

    Brightness is a big factor whether you're creating blueprint drawings in an engineering office that could be used on projects for years to come or you're cultivating the best possible media campaign. Paper brightness is measured on a scale of zero to one hundred and the higher the number, the brighter the paper itself. This number measures the amount of reflectance of a specific wavelength of blue light. The brightness of your paper may not seem imperative but it could seriously impact the clarity of your end results on anything from vinyl to 36 inch paper.

    Paper Finish

    Paper finish can add that extra something to any print media campaign and help you to deliver the clearest possible image or message to your intended audience. Though glossy paper is eye-catching, there are other times where it may be too reflective to send your message. There can also be a difference in paper finish depending on the material of the paper itself. Are you using heavy card stock? Vinyl? Light weight bamboo? All of these materials have their own merits, but it's important to consider the finish they provide as well.

    In the end, it may seem like choosing paper for your next project is an easy task but considering all of your options can make a big difference.

  • How Blueprint Paper Built the World Around Us: The Evolution and It's Purpose

    The first few skyscrapers popped up in our major cities around the 18th century. They were only about ten stories tall. It was impressive at the time, but flash forward to today, and you be shocked to learn that the tallest building in the world is a whopping 163 floors tall. To put things into perspective, that's nearly 2,700 feet tall!

    However, none of this would have been possible without paper. Paper for blueprints to be exact.

    Paper for blueprints has helped plot out the big ideas and turn them to even bigger concrete structures.

    Where would we be without our high rise office buildings and apartments? Even our smaller and more humble buildings require some level of planning.

    Architects and engineers have many tools, but paper for blueprints serves as the canvas.

    And without it, we would not have the fast-paced and modern world we’re living in today.

    Blueprints paper and methods: The evolution

    Blueprinting has been around for ages, since 1842. Though the process has evolved. It was first developed by John Herschel, a chemist who founded the cyanotype process by using transparent paper and a series of photosensitive chemicals to create the copies.

    This process rose in popularity with artists, photographers, and eventually—architects and engineers.

    Now, the diazotype method is a convenient and inexpensive way to create blueprints. This method utilizes a reactant, acid, water, light, and diazonium salt to expose certain portions of the paper while leaving other areas unaffected, making the blueprint easier to read.

    How blueprint paper helps the architect

    Blueprinting is cheaper than producing mass copies. So not only does it save money upfront, but the process also helps the architect plan the layout of the building.

    It also allows the architect to properly see all the details. From the elevation of the building to the number of elevators, rooms, and stairways.The blueprinting process also gives the architect complete freedom to design, while also giving the engineer, contractors, and construction workers a clear map of the building.

    How blueprint paper helps the engineer and construction workers

    The cover sheet, index, legend, or key gives all the information necessary before beginning construction on a new project.

    A blueprint also help to make sure everyone at every stage of the construction project is on the same page.

    What it’s used for

    Blueprints help construct:

      • houses
      • apartment complexes
      • stadiums
      • shopping malls
      • restaurants
      • office buildings
      • places of worship
      • high schools and college campuses
      • commercial gyms
      • public libraries

    Everyone has spent a significant amount of time at one or more of the places listed here. Plotter paper or blueprint paper helped design these buildings, providing you with a safe and structurally sound place to work, enjoy your lunch, learn, and workout.


    Paper for blueprints has helped shape our world, from the major cities to the small rural towns and everything in between.

    The process for producing copies by using photoreactive chemicals has been around since the 1800s, and some scale of that is still used today to cut costs.

    Architects, engineers, and construction workers all utilize blue printing paper. Without it, they would not be able to develop and build upon their larger than life ideas.

  • Top Tips for Printer Maintenance

    Industrial printers are a bit more expensive than your normal home printer. Rather than spending a hundred bucks on a small printer, your printer was likely an investment of a couple thousand dollars. Because industrial printers are such a big investment, it is important to know how to properly maintain them. This is true for engineering rolls, tyvek banner printing, or inkjet plotter paper rolls.


    Many people who make use of engineering rolls in large industrial printers are architects, of which there are more than 109,000 in the United States. Whether you are an architect using engineering rolls or an engineer using plotter vinyl rolls, there are some universal printer maintenance tips that you should know. And because you are the engineer or architect type, chances are you want to do the maintenance and repairs yourself rather than hiring someone else. It's fun isn't it?


    Clean the Print Head Frequently: Cleaning the print head should happen at least once every month. After removing the printer cartridge, clean the head with warm water. Avoid using wet tissues or alcohol based cleaners for the print head as this can cause further problems with small debris being left behind. After cleaning, allow the print head to dry completely before putting it back in place.


    Clean Out the Inner Parts: The inside of the printer must also be cleaned out regularly. If you wait too long, dust and grime will form layers inside the printer which will stop it from operating efficiently and could cause a breakdown. Using lint free cloths, get them slightly moist and wipe dust away. It is important to remember that while cleaning a printer, never apply too much force. If you encounter areas where grime is more stubborn, use soft bristles and gently rub back and forth to remove the grime. Compressed air also works great to remove dust that has settled in hard to reach spots (avoid using a vacuum here).

    Keep the Right Refill: From engineering rolls to other rolls of paper and types of ink, it is sometimes tempting to go with cheap, knock-off brands. This can cause big problems not just for the quality of your prints, but also the health of your printer. Opt for branded engineering rolls and ink cartridges that are built specifically for your model of printer. This will pay huge dividends in the long run in producing quality prints and maintaining your printers longevity.


    Replace Cartridges Carefully: Be cautious while replacing cartridges. Doing cartridge replacement will likely be one of the most regular parts of your printer maintenance. Be careful to avoid touching the bottom of the cartridge while replacing it, as it can ruin the print quality. Additionally, don't wait until your cartridges dry out completely before replacing them. Your printer software should provide notifications when cartridge levels are low. This is reported for a reason. Dry cartridges lead to extra wear and tear on the printer head.


    Turn It Off (while not in use): If your printer won't be used for an extended period of time (maybe Christmas break or another holiday), turn it off completely. If the printer is left on while not in use, this will generate a lot of heat which can dry up the cartridge. Dry cartridges can, in turn, clog the header. Additionally, turn off your printer at the end of the workday to help save on energy costs and keep an extended life of your printer.


    Pay Attention to Driver Downloads: Many people ignore these important updates. Installing the latest drivers is a super simple way to keep your printer working in great condition. Many hardware malfunctions are traced back to not having the most up to date drivers installed for your printer.


    Protect Your Printer Bible: The printer manual is the printer bible. Manuals for printers have all sorts of useful information about what to do when certain maintenance lights pop up. If you have misplaced or thrown out your manual already, check online for a pdf version. Many printer manufacturers make the printer manual available online. These will usually have exhaustive lists of common issues with probable solutions for your printer.


    Keeping your printer in good health is important. Follow these steps to help keep your printer in good working condition.


  • 3 Common Uses for a Wide Format Printer

    Most businesses have some type of printer equipment or printing services. From forms that need to be filled out to important order information to customer contact forms, there are endless uses for printing. But one type of printing many businesses fail to utilize is wide format printing. Wide format printers open up a whole new world of printing projects, so let's take a look at a few things you can do with this type of printing.

    Business signage: Instead of buying generic business signs and promotional materials, why not create your own? Custom business signs can help make a business really stand out -- with a great design and a high-quality print job, you can quickly have your own business signs. From marketing materials, like flyers or posters, to signs for the display window in the front of the store, you're sure to attract more attention with these types of advertisements. With the right printer, bond paper, and ink, your signs will be great.

    Displays and banners: If you have an event that you need to make a display or banner for, wide format printing is perfect for the job. Choosing Tyvek banner printing can help you create an amazing banner for things like tradeshows, business events, and even social events. If you need a big display created, don't waste your time trying to glue graphics onto poster board -- print your own high-quality display that is sure to attract attention.

    Vehicle graphics: Vinyl paper rolls can be used to create attention-grabbing graphics for vehicles. Whether you're trying to promote a business, are creating an advertisement for a bus or van, or just want something cool to put on your personal vehicle, you can create your own vehicle graphics with a wide format printer. Printing a design on adhesive backed paper can help make the process quick and convenient. And by using a reputable printer, you can produce vehicle graphics that fit your personal needs.

    It's no secret that businesses do a lot of printing -- architectural and engineering office produce an average of 3,500 square feet of printing output every month. But with wide format printing, the printing possibilities are endless. So whether you need bond paper, ink, or other media for a wide format print job, choose Get Paper for your printing needs.

  • How to Be More Eco-Friendly When Printing

    In today's society, more and more businesses are choosing to do their part to help the environment and "go green". And one aspect of business that can easily become a little more eco-friendly is printing. Already, people are trying to reduce paper waste, with the U.S. paper industry achieving its goal of 60% scrap paper recovery before 2012. But how can individual businesses be more eco-friendly with their printing? Let's explore a few easy ways this can be done.


    Print smaller sizes: Choosing the right size for a print project can significantly reduce paper waste. When you're starting to design a project, consider what size is truly needed for the end result. While it may not seem like it will do a lot to shrink down the size of a project by only a slight amount, it can actually add up to make a big difference. Printing on smaller sized bond paper or Inkjet plotter paper rolls can overall limit paper waste.


    Use an efficient printer: If you have an old, outdated printer, there's a good chance it uses quite a bit of energy to print projects. This is why it can be beneficial to update your printer to a more energy-efficient model. You should not only look for energy efficiency, but also consider which printer will allow you to use less ink and toner. Additionally, limiting the number of printers you use on a daily basis can help limit energy use, too. Choosing the right printer makes a big difference when trying to go eco-friendly.


    Reuse and recycle when possible: Fortunately, there are plenty of materials related to printing that can be reused or recycled. If you can't reuse the other side of the bond paper, make sure you recycle it. And when it comes to ink cartridges, make sure they are properly recycled. This way, they can be reused in the future. Scrap paper can easily be recycled, which saves plenty of energy and paper treatment materials.


    You don't have to make big sacrifices to be more eco-friendly with all of your printing projects. So consider these simple tips and go a little greener at the office.

  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Printing

    Printing a poster, business marketing material, or even just a letter seems simple enough, right? But printing is actually more complex than you may think. From the original idea to creating the design to printing, every step of the process has an impact on the finished result. So if you're looking for the best possible print job, here are a few mistakes you should try to avoid.

    Choosing the wrong paper: First off, it's important to be using the right paper for the project you're working on. Paper comes in a variety of weights and finishes -- you even have to think about paper brightness, which is measured on a scale from zero up to 100. Whether you're interested in engineering bond paper rolls, plotter paper options, or just plain copy paper, you need to make sure the paper is right for the job. Consider the size, finish, and quality of the paper before making a final decision.

    Not allowing enough bleed: Not allowing enough bleed in a design is a common mistake among all printing projects. Bleed is when the graphic or design goes past the edge of the paper to ensure it completely covers the paper when it's printed. If you fail to give enough bleed, you could end up with a border of plain paper around the image. Unless that's what you're looking for, make sure your design is slightly bigger than the paper you're printing on.

    Using poor resolution: When you're printing a project that consists of graphics, images, and other designs, it's essential you're printing them in a high-quality manner. If you use low resolution when creating your design, it's going to print blurry and poorly. This is especially problematic for important projects and business material. So before you even get to the printing stage, make sure all of your images are high resolution. And when it comes time to print, make sure the printer settings for your bond paper rolls are set properly to see the best printing results possible.

    Once you are more familiar with the entire process printing will be a breeze. So keep these mistakes in mind to help the printing process go smoothly.

  • 3 Questions to Ask Potential Paper Suppliers

    Paper and printers are products that numerous businesses invest in. And the market is greatly increasing, with the global market for wide format printers being expected to reach $7.2 billion by 2022. But with the increasing quality and quantity of paper products also comes an increased responsibility to make sure your company is buying the best products available. With that in mind, here are a few important questions to ask when looking for a new paper supplier.

    What products do you offer? One of the most important questions to ask paper suppliers is regarding which products they actually supply. Do they sell engineering rolls, blueprint paper, plotter paper rolls, and any other paper products you may need? Obviously, you don't want to choose a supplier that can't actually provide you with the products you need. So figure out which products they sell, the quality of these products, and whether or not they will meet your expectations.

    Are there savings options I can utilize? When it comes to cost, it's crucial to determine which prices you're looking at right from the start. Many supplier companies may have minimum orders, which is something you need to know about. But fortunately, many suppliers also offer volume discounts or savings on certain types of products. This is something you should inquire about, especially if you plan on ordering large amounts of products.

    Is there a chance prices will change? Another question to ask regarding prices is whether or not the prices for certain products will change over time. Some suppliers may grandfather customers at certain prices while others may not. Knowing about the possibility of price changes is important so you can determine what your total costs will be. This way, you can decide whether or not the price is worth the product.

    Choosing a paper supplier may seem like a small task, but it's actually very important. Ensuring you have high-quality engineering rolls and other paper products to utilize can make a big difference in your work. Because of this, it's important to ask these questions of potential suppliers and consider the importance of choosing a supplier that will provide you with the best products for the job.

  • How to Choose the Right Weight of Paper for Your Print Job

    When it comes time to print something, you need to choose the right paper for the job. And there are a lot of important factors to consider when choosing paper, like paper brightness, which is measured on a wavelength scale of zero to 100. But one of the most important paper features to consider is weight. The paper weight you choose will determine how sturdy and durable your finished product is. So let's take a look at a few different projects that may benefit from being printed on certain paper weights.


    Choose 16 pounds to 36 pounds when…


    The lighter paper weights generally range from 16 pounds to 36 pounds. This lighter paper, like 20 lb Inkjet bond paper, is the paper you probably know as writing paper or just regular printer paper. When you're doing everyday printing projects, like printing a form or making copies, you can probably choose this lightweight bond paper. For slightly more important printing projects, like printing legal documents or work projects, you might want to consider mid-weight paper. When choosing between blueprint paper or plotter paper options, you'll probably choose a weight in this range. And when you get towards 36-pound paper, you may want to use it for things like fliers or cover letters.


    Choose 36 pounds to 140 pounds when…


    After 36 pounds, you get into paper used for books, magazines, posters, and more. So if you have a more complex printing project, you may want to consider a heavier weight. This heavier paper is also ideal for items that need to be printed on thick and durable paper -- cardstock paper is good for invitations, business cards, and other important documents. So if you have a presentation to print or are printing marketing materials, you may want to consider this heavier weight paper for a more durable and professional final product.


    You have a lot of choices to make regarding printing -- from choosing between plotter paper options to deciding between color, brightness, and weight, you may need some time to come to a final decision. But hopefully, this article will help you land on the right weight for the paper products you need to print.

  • Uncoated vs. Coated Paper: What Are the Differences?

    Paper has come a long way over the years -- now, people have what seems like thousands of options to choose from regarding color, finish, size, and more. Today's paper is even more eco-friendly, with more than one-third of new paper being created with recycled fiber. But one common decision people must face when choosing between plotter paper options is going for an uncoated or coated finish. So to help you make this decision, let's take a look at a few key differences between uncoated and coated paper.

    Uncoated Paper

    Uncoated paper is not as smooth as coated paper -- and while the roughness may feel weird, the lack of coating actually helps the paper absorb the ink better. And since the paper absorbs more of the ink, the ink also tends to dry faster on uncoated paper. Types of uncoated paper can include bond paper rolls, cardstock, offsets, and newsprint paper. Uncoated paper is great for envelopes or letterheads because the paper allows the ink to go on smoothly, resulting in a professional and elegant finished product. For deep colors, greater contrast, and a traditional finish, you should choose uncoated paper.

    Coated Paper

    Two main coating options for paper include a glossy or matte finish. Coated papers are much smoother and sometimes have a shine to them, depending on the coat. Furthermore, the coating on paper can make the paper more durable and resistant to damage, like dirt and water. This can result in a finished product that will last and look better for longer. And because not as much ink is absorbed on coated paper, colors and images will show up more vibrant and clearer. With that in mind, coated paper is a great option for showing high-quality designs and print in a clear and crisp manner.

    As you can see, there are several benefits to both uncoated and coated paper. Ultimately, it depends on the intended use and desired final result when choosing between the two types. Both will print 1good images and words, just in slightly different ways. So keep these key differences in mind when you're choosing between plotter paper options.

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