Since joining the Jessica Sprague Creative Team I've developed a love/hate relationship with hybrid [meaning that digital products are printed out and assembled hands on vs. organized and assembled entirely on the computer] projects. Love the hands on process/ hate the bleeding print. A complete tragedy when that happens.
Did you know that paper matters?
Fairly recently I learned something new. Maybe something so completely obvious it's laughable to be sure, but new all the same. The type of paper used in printing projects matters. Alot.
One of the perks of being on the JS team is that companies will occasionally offer free or deeply discounted products for us to play with. When the Red River Paper Company offered sample papers I briefly wondered if it would be worth it because my printer just bleeds anyway. Again, not so. I was so excited when the package arrived I dusted off my JS products and kicked out a few paper postcards. I thought, "what better way to get a true test than with multiple patterns + colors in the same project?" I loved it. When the first page came out [printed on 53 lb Red River Premium Gloss] I picked it up, licked my finger and tried to smear the ink. No joke. Guess what? It didn't smear. So I licked it. Still no smear. By now I'm doing a little happy dance in my seat and wondering just what it would take for the ink on this paper to smear. I took it over to the sink and ran a small stream of water over it for a couple of seconds and then dabbed it dry. NO SMEAR! Obviously it's not ideal to put your paper project under a stream of water. The paper will warp if left to it's own devices, but I am not kidding... The ink stayed put.
I tried some other papers in the pack they were wonderful and heavy papers. The print was sharp and clear [though if it wasn't a coated paper the ink didn't seal and would bleed]. There was this one paper that, after I realized the ink wouldn't bleed, I sat it aside for a special project - It was thick and heavy and beautiful and thick. Too thick for my junk printer. And then there was this one project [done on a satin finish paper] that I thought would come off without a hitch but the inks wouldn't dry. Forever. It's still not dry and the lines are fuzzy. I realized much later that there is a right + a wrong side to special papers. I gave that paper a second chance and have come to the conclusion that Arctic Polar Satin 66 lb Red River Paper might be my favorite paper for printing projects at home. Not too glossy, true colors, clean lines. Beautiful prints.
Thank you Red River Paper Company! Not just for making fabulous papers, but for providing me the testing grounds for getting optimal results from of my less than stellar printer. I will stop complaining about it now.