GetPaper Blog

  • Dealing With Blueprint Designs? Avoid These 3 Mistakes

    If you're involved in the design or engineering sector at all, at some point, you'll need to work with blueprints.

    Blueprints are technical drawings used for architectural, engineering, or other design purposes. No matter what task you're working on, if you aren't going in with a succinct and detailed plan, there are going to be some major issues that arise.

    Here are a few important uses of blueprint designs:


      • The housing construction industry


      • Electrical planning


      • Auto manufacturing parts


      • Kitchen appliance design


      • Toy designs


      • Machine manufacturing


      • Plumbing plans


      • Local and national power grid


      • Roadway and bridges

    Since these blueprint designs are so integral for dozens of industries, accuracy must be maintained at all points. If planning on dealing with blueprints in the near future, make sure you avoid these design mistakes at all costs:

      • Too many details -- Though quality blueprints need to be detailed, they must be flexible and easy to understand. If a blueprint is too complex, anyone who is involved in the production process will struggle to achieve exactly what was intended. Make sure your blueprint is thorough, but avoid making it too complex.


      • Using the wrong kind of paper -- You'll need larger paper for any blueprint so you can cover all aspects of your design plans. Using 36 inch paper is recommended for the majority of blueprint designs, but you could always go larger. Make sure you're using a quality wide format printer for your 36 inch paper rolls as well. The global market for wide format paper is expected to reach $7.2 billion by 2022.


      • Designing everything yourself -- Even if designing the blueprint is your responsibility alone, you likely won't be working on the project yourself. You need to bring in some other people on the construction or manufacturing team so they can provide input and advice. Additionally, it's best to have other people witness your through process as you create your blueprint design so you're all on the same page.

    If you want to find out more about the various uses of engineering paper or find high quality 36 inch paper for blueprint designs, give Get Paper a call today.

  • Exploring Top Tips to Reduce Waste Around The Office

    While it may seem like there's nothing but grim environmental news to be found, there are some bright spots. For instance, Americans now recycle more paper products than they send to landfills, and it's not just consumers who are stepping up. Years ago the U.S. paper industry set a goal of a 60% scrap paper recovery rate by 2012, but achieved this goal three years early. Still, the typical office environment is far from perfect, and there are plenty of places we can improve our recycling and waste management strategies for maximum sustainability.

    If your office or work environment uses any type of paper, from standard printer paper to plotter paper rolls, these tips are for you: here are just a few top tips to reduce waste around the office.

    Shred/Reuse Paper

    Though it may be faster and more convenient to simply dispose of old, outdated, or otherwise unneeded documents, it's definitely the more wasteful route. Cut back on your office's paper waste by shredding old documents and using them as packing materials in any shipments you send out. It's easy to come up with an effective system to do this, and doing so will result in an instant boost to your eco-friendly credibility.

    Use Both Sides

    It may seem like a given, but a surprising number of businesses print using just one side of the paper. It's clearly much more efficient to take advantage of the space provided by both sides, and though this isn't an option for blueprint paper and some types of engineering bond paper rolls, printing using both sides of paper when possible is undoubtedly the more sustainable route.

    Purchase Paper Carefully

    Today, more than one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber. With this in mind, there's no reason why you shouldn't make an effort to purchase paper made with recycled fiber whenever possible. Doing so may not seem like it makes a difference, but over time these eco-friendly contributions definitely add up and save on energy usage and other efficiencies. Keep in mind that you can also purchase printer ink made with recycled or otherwise sustainable materials. And since most of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output, doing your part to prioritize sustainable ink in addition to paper makes for maximum efficiency.

    Ultimately, keeping these tips in mind is the key to creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly workspace all employees will be happy to contribute to. For more information about blueprint paper, plotter paper rolls, and other specialty paper products, contact Get Paper today.

  • Don't Bluff -- Become A Blueprint History Buff!

    California has more architects than any other state with 17,241 architects as of 2016. The state with the second-most, New York, has 10,734. One type of paper that virtually all engineering and architect firms use and work with on a regular basis is blueprint paper. Blueprints are ideal for technical drawings involving specific measurements, but did you know that they've been in existence since the 1800s? Blueprints have a surprisingly fascinating history -- here are just a few interesting points about the history of blueprint paper.

    Alphonse Louis Poitevin

    Alphonse Louis Poitevin was a French chemist who first found that the ferro-gallate in acacia gum is sensitive to light exposure. From there, he discerned that light turns the gum into a shade of blue that's insoluble and permanent. This means that when coated onto paper or another bases, an image from a translucent document can be reproduced.

    Furthermore, the ferro-gallate is then coated on to another paper made from an aqueous solution and then dried. The coating is actually yellow, and in total darkness, it is considered to be 'stable' for a maximum period of three days. Then, the paper is secured underneath panels of glass in addition to a light transmitting document.

    The Cyanotype Process

    There are other processes for making blueprints that are carried out using photosensitive ferric compounds. One of the most well-known processes is called cyanotype. It uses ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide to create a bright blue compound.

    "Using the cyanotype process, an architectural drawing was made on a semi-transparent paper, then weighted down on top of a sheet of paper or cloth that was coated with a photosensitive chemical mixture of potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium citrate. In the final stages, the document was exposed to light. The exposed parts of the drawing (the background) became blue, while the drawing lines blocked the coated paper from exposure and remained white," writes PlanGrid.

    Ultimately, understanding how blueprints are made is an interesting and insightful look into how far the paper industry has come. For more information about 36 inch paper rolls or engineering bond paper in bulk, contact Get Paper.

  • Are Blueprints Really Blue? And Other Fun Facts

    Even though we know the purpose of a blueprint, does anyone really know why a blueprint is blue? It's not just because blue is a construction worker's favorite color. There's actually a lot more to it than you may think. Keep reading for a quick look into the coloring process behind blueprint paper.

    Back in 1842, an English chemist, photographer, an astronomer named John Herschel found that when you combine ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, you get a chemical reaction and a compound which is referred to as blue ferric ferrocyanide. After the compound was discovered, it was used to reproduce documents in a way that is similar to developing a photograph from a negative.

    This process became known as cyanotype and quickly became popular among engineers and architects. The process begins by creating a drawing and transferring it over to a tracing cloth. A tracing cloth is extremely thin so it's easy to see through. Next, a piece of regular paper is saturated with an ammonium potassium mixture and is left to dry. Once dry, the tracing cloth is placed on top of the paper and is exposed to light. this then causes a chemical reaction to occur. In a few short minutes, the chemical-treated paper transforms into the blue ferric ferrocyanide.

    As the years went on, the process of creating the blueprint paper became simpler and more efficient than ever. So much so that today, blueprints aren’t typically even blue anymore! They’re usually either black or gray lines on top of a white background.

    While the color of bulk engineering paper may have changed over the years, it's still used in much the same way it was when it was first created. The paper is still beloved by contractors and architects. So much in fact, that most of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output. It's going to be hard for anyone in the field to ever forget that Prussian blue color that made such a huge impact on the way we create things.

  • Engineer's Guide To Paper Brightness And Whiteness (Part 2)

    bond paperIn the last post, we discussed some of the essential components that make up paper brightness, which measures the amount of reflectance of a specific wavelength of blue light. However, it's important to understand that in addition to paper brightness, there are several other similar measurements that are also used to describe paper appearance and feel, one of which is referred to as paper whiteness. Having a full understanding of what these descriptors actually mean is essential to making the right paper purchasing decisions for your business for years to come. Here's part two of our engineer's guide to paper brightness.

    Paper Whiteness
    Similar to brightness, paper whiteness is a measurement of the reflection of all wavelengths of light within the visible spectrum. Also on a one to 100 scale, paper whiteness is more subtle, as some differences are only noticeable when compared side by side.

    "Individually, white papers may all appear quite white, but when placed side by side, white papers show a range of colors from bright cool white to a softer, warm white. For ordinary usage, the best measure of paper whiteness is your eye and the appearance of your image on the paper," writes Jacci Howard Bear on ThoughtCo.

    Knowing now what these terms mean, it should come as no surprise that both drastically affect the appearances of the images copied or printed onto these engineering bond paper rolls and other types of bond paper. For example, the higher the paper's brightness and whiteness levels, the brighter and whiter the images will be. Similarly, paper with lower brightness and whiteness levels will be significantly darker.

    When making the final decisions for your engineering paper needs, remember that most of the time, photos and images will appear brighter and cleaner on photo papers with higher paper brightness ratings. And as always, it's highly recommended to invest in a sample-sized order of the paper you choose so that you have time to test it with printers and copiers before committing to a larger order at a higher cost.

    The 2016 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards reported that there are 109,748 architects in the United States, but any business owner who needs high-quality printed and copied photos and images should understand the qualities that make up the paper they use. For more information about bond paper, contact Get Paper.

  • Common Office Problems Only A New Wide Format Printer Can Solve

    36 inch paper rollsIt's no secret that countless industries use wide format printers and the paper that goes with them, from 36 inch paper rolls, bond paper rolls, and more. But if your printer is experiencing issues that are affecting other office functions or productivity, it may be time to take action by investing in a brand new wide format printer. Here are just a few common problems that an office may experience that can be solved by investing in a new wide format printer.

    Inefficient Output/Not Meeting Business NeedsIf your printer is many years old, chances are, it doesn't have all of the features that the latest technology does. This can include anything from printing speed, to compatibility with other types of technology, and even the quality of the prints themselves. Most of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output, and if your printing needs have expanded in any of these ways, your current wide format printer may not be able to keep up with demands. Instead of letting this go on to potentially affect business performance, do the right thing and invest in a wide format printer than can fulfill business needs and will last for years to come.

    Supplies Are Becoming Unavailable
    It should come as no surprise that some wide format printer materials like 36 inch paper rolls and ink can become difficult to find after many years. Technology is constantly evolving, and it can make it difficult and rather frustrating for your business to have to search longer and potentially pay more for a product that may even be subpar than the most up-to-date technology. Don't waste additional time or expenses finding the right products for your printer -- eliminate frustration and invest in a new wide format printer will readily available supplies.

    Slow Start-Up
    Aside from the time it actually takes for a printing job to complete from start to finish, it can often take just as much time, if not more, to even start the printer up. The time it takes for your printer to turn on and get ready for a printing job shouldn't take longer than a few minutes, and even that amount of time can be difficult to wait when there's an influx of printing jobs that need to be done. If your office is frequently experiencing this issue, investing in a new wide format printer should almost completely eliminate it.

    Ultimately, understanding the many problems that a new wide format printer can solve is the key to maximizing office and overall business efficiency. For more information about 36 inch paper rolls, contact Get Paper.

  • Engineer's Guide To Paper Brightness And Whiteness (Part 1)

    engineering bond paper


    When it comes to choosing the right type of paper for your business, it can be difficult to understand some of the common terminology used in the industry. For example, many people think that the term 'paper brightness' refers to the shade of the paper itself. However, it has a much more technical definition in the paper industry. Paper brightness measures the amount of reflectance of a specific wavelength of blue light. Brightness is measured on a scale of zero to 100. The higher the number, the brighter the paper. Understanding the various elements that make up paper brightness is essential in order to determine the right level for the paper you need. Here's part one of our guide to paper brightness.

    Measuring Brightness

    As mentioned, paper brightness refers to the amount of reflectance of a wavelength of blue light, which is 457 nanometers. To get a feel for how paper brightness works, think about the typical engineering bond paper rolls used in many industrial printers and copiers. Most of this paper has a brightness level of somewhere in the 80s range.

    Photo paper, however, comes in countless types, but they're typically very glossy, giving them an average brightness level ranging from the mid- to high- 90s.

    Don't Be Deceived...

    Always remember that brightness is measured on a numeric scale between one and 100, not using buzzwords or fancy adjectives. It may sound surprising, but there are countless paper manufacturers that use seemingly intentionally misleading descriptive language as part of their marketing scheme. Don't let words like 'ultrabright' or 'bright white' convince you that the paper will fit your business's printing and copying needs. It's always worth it to take the time and look for a supplier that has the consumer in mind and uses the proper scale to describe paper brightness.

    Regardless of the paper brightness you need, remember to recycle it whenever possible. Fortunately, Americans recycle more paper products than they send to landfills. The U.S. paper industry set a goal of a 60% scrap paper recovery rate by 2012, but achieved this goal three years early.

    Keep an eye out for the next post, where we'll discuss some more essential details about paper brightness as well as two other similar indicators of paper appearance, called paper whiteness and shade. For more information about engineering bond paper in bulk, contact Get Paper.

  • 3 Key Considerations When Selecting The Right Paper For Your Print Media Project

    white engineering bond paper

    There are countless industries that rely on wide format printers and white engineering bond paper every single day for blueprints and other print media. In fact, most of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output. However, deciding which type of bond paper rolls your business needs isn't always easy, and without making some key considerations, you could end up investing in the wrong kind of paper. Here are just a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting bond paper rolls for your business's print media needs.

    Print Media Type

    Plotter paper roll widths are expressed in inches. Common roll widths for wide-format plotters include 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches. First, it's essential to consider the end goal for your bond paper: what will it end up as? A book? Blueprint? Poster? There are virtually endless forms of print media, and each of these different projects may be best suited with one type of paper in particular. For example, between coated and uncoated bond, coated is usually ideal for photography-based projects, and uncoated may be better for everyday book and magazine printing. Make sure to carefully consider what you're actually making when choosing the type of paper it's best made with.


    Durability may also be an important component of paper type when considering print media. If you're making something you expect to be widely distributed or frequently passed around and handled between colleagues, it may be better to invest in higher end bond paper made to last and provide strength. If you're just printing a flyer or ad for a one-day purpose, it's generally acceptable to use lower end or uncoated paper.


    Finally, when you've narrowed down your selections based on the previous two criteria, consider how much, if any, light you wish to pass through the paper. This is known as opacity, and it determines how much of the printing will be visible through the other side of the sheet of paper. A lower percentage lets more light through, and a higher percentage lets less light through, with 100% being completely opaque. This is important to consider to potentially prevent 'show through text' which may appear when printing on both sides of the paper.

    Ultimately, understanding these three considerations can help you choose the right paper for all of your print media needs. For more information about white engineering bond paper, contact Get Paper.

  • Guide To Choosing The Right Wide Format Printer: Part 2

    36 x 500 bond paperIn the last post, we discussed some of the most important elements to consider when shopping for a wide format printer for your business. However, having a good understanding of all critical printer elements can help your business make the most informed decision regarding its printing needs. Here's part two of our guide to choosing the right wide format printer.

    Many businesses tend to neglect user-friendliness when printer shopping, causing them to invest in a printer with way too many bells and whistles. Having more features and capabilities is always ideal, but make sure the printer you choose is easy for employees of all technical skill levels to use. This includes maintenance tasks such as changing the ink and refilling the printer with 36 x 500 bond paper. Not choosing a user-friendly printer can cause employees to grow frustrated, but more importantly, it can cause multiple misprints, which can become a considerable waste of resources.

    Image Quality
    Before choosing a printer, you should know the general quality of image printing required for your business's needs. Most of today's architectural and engineering offices average 3,500 square feet per month of printing output, much of which needs to be printed in a high-quality resolutions to ensure the accuracy of subtle details in technical drawings. The same goes for construction companies that rely on heavily detailed technical printouts. If one spot appears blurry or is unable to be deciphered, projects can be seriously compromised.

    Of course, part of this also depends on the type of paper you're using. If you're printing on photo paper or another type of glossy paper, there may be discrepancies in both color output and quality of fine lines. As we stated before, higher misprints will result in higher amounts of paper waste. Fortunately, Americans recycle more paper products than they send to landfills today. In fact, the U.S. paper industry set a goal of a 60% scrap paper recovery rate by 2012, but achieved this goal three years early. With this in mind, you should be able to find recycled paper that doesn't affect image quality.

    Ultimately, understanding these essential components can help you invest in a wide format printer that meets your business's needs. For more information about 36 x 500 bond paper or inkjet plotter paper rolls, contact Get Paper.

  • Guide To Choosing The Right Wide Format Printer: Part 1

    engineering bond paperWide format printers are becoming an increasingly popular business choice for creating high-quality printouts. In fact, the global market for wide format printers is projected to reach $7.2 billion by the year 2022. But before your business invests in a wide format printer and some engineering bond paper to go with it, it's essential to consider some important aspects that can affect costs, lifespan, and printing quality. Here's part one of our guide to choosing the right wide format printer.

    Black And White Or Color?

    First, your business should know that wide format printers come in models that print both black and white and color. Most businesses are quick to assume that they need a color printer, but that's not always the case. The main consideration is determining how often you'll be using your printer as well as what you'll be printing with it. If you're printing posters, photos, drawings, presentations, or technical documents, a color printer is probably the right choice. If you're more interested in volume and productivity, you may be able to sacrifice the color component of your printer and choose a black and white model.


    A wide format printer is certainly an investment, and it's critical to consider both performance and speed. This includes examining a number of components. Processing time, the time it takes for your printer to prepare itself prior to printing, can make or break overall performance. Similarly, the warm-up time, which is how long it takes for the printer to start printing after entering sleep mode, should also be taken into consideration, since your business may not need to turn the printer on and off between uses.

    When examining performance, you should also compare speed to quality. While black and white printers can print at the same speed regardless of what's on the page, the same can't be said about color printers. With color printers, the printing speed depends on the printing mode you're using.

    Ultimately, examining these critical factors can help your business make the right decision when investing in a wide format printer. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we'll reveal some more essential aspects to keep in mind when shopping for wide format printers, and for more information about engineering bond paper or inkjet plotter paper rolls, contact Get Paper.

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