Paper Characteristics

The paper that you use has a significant impact on the colors that you see. Even if you use the same ICC profile and the same printer, printing on a different paper can result in a very different color appearance.

Colors can change from paper to paper, particularly if you change from coated to uncoated paper or from sheet-fed to continuous forms paper. The changes can be so noticeable that printer manufacturers generally test and certify papers with certain characteristics for use with their printers. They also create different ICC profiles for their printers based on paper characteristics. Some ICC profiles can be used for groups of papers that have similar characteristics.

When you load paper, you set certain paper characteristics on the printer. When the printer chooses the correct device-specific output profile to use, it takes the characteristics into consideration. The paper characteristics are:

  • Media brightness

    The percentage of light that the paper reflects

  • Media color

    The color of the paper

  • Media finish

    The characteristics of the surface of the paper, such as: glossy, satin, matte

  • Media weight

    The basic weight of the paper