Figuring out which paper is better takes lots of time--so why not let the FLAAR Digital Imaging Technology Center do all the work for you.

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Premium laser paper will make your images look so much better.

Our goal is to test papers and establish which enhance your images. If you have good pictures to begin with, why go low-bid with the paper you print them on. Students will be more motivated if they see images that attract their attention. If you are applying for a grant, reviewers will notice if your proposal is clearly superior in appearance.

Presently we are testing paper use on a QMS 2060 (11x17 up to 13x26"), Lexmark Optra R+, Lexmark Optra N (for 11x17), and a Lexmark Optra SC1275n for color. In Europe we test primarily with A3 size paper as well as A4 size. In August '99 we began testing a French paper, Reprint, both with the QMS as well as a GCC graphics quality laser printer.

color Lexmark
Color Lexmark printer with test print

If you get your laser paper at Walmart or Office Depot it is possible you are ending up with multipurpose paper relabeled as laser paper. If you are ordering from most office supply catalogs, again, you are probably getting ordinary paper. If low-bid is what you wish for your images, go for it. But if wish to enhance your images, here are some suggestions.

When we began looking around for a means to reproduce workbooks for our students, we immediately bought an Epson, after all, they were so cheap. Everyone sold them, you can get one at Office Depot. But the Epson was a total failure (we know, we bought three in a row, each time hoping the new technology would help). Professor Lin Osborne went through the same procedure, buying two Epsons in an attempt to produce color for his students. He returned both of them in dissatisfaction and bought a Lexmark color laser instead.

Now, at last, color laser technology offers a viable alternative to ink jet: long-lasting color, color that costs only 12 cents a page for an entire page (not a pathetic 5% coverage). When was the last time you printed a page with 5% anything?

booth Lexmark
Booth Lexmarks

The Epson system is too slow, and the color fades terribly. It is a public embarrassment to admit that your picture has practically disappeared off the paper. Alps is one good low-cost printer that solves this problem.

Color laser is the solution if you need hundreds of copies for your students (cheaper printers can't hold up to the round-the-clock use and take too long per-print). Lexmark printers crank out the images by the thousands, like having your own short-run printing press on your own desktop.

Our test lab is currently preparing to review the following papers:
* Potlatch (provided courtesy of Potlatch and by their main distributor, Mac Papers).
* Hammermill (provided courtesy of a national distributor Xpedx). Monadnock Paper Mills
* Plus some very exotic imported papers from CTI Paper USA


While on the subject of laser printing, you ought to check out the bible on this subject, "Laser Printer Secrets" by Steven Burrows, 1 800-252-2599, e-mail,


Comprehensive information, on the best ways to print digital photos and graphics.

How about color prints a full 36" inches wide?

postcard sized digital photo printers (dye sub printers) letter size and 11x17 dye sub printers for outstanding quality
what paper is best for digital photos ? what paper for brochures? European paper ?  Rolls Royce of digital printers
Capable laser printer for printing photographs at 11x17 (A3) up to 13x26". What are the best scanners to digitize your photos, your pictures, your 35mm slides, 3-D objects? 24 inch wide color printing capability on your desktop
Which graphics quality laser printer(s) can print up to 35 inches long, at up to 1200 dpi? Once you scan (digitize) the photos, how do you store the digitized format?

What wide format printer to avoid ? What ink jet printers to avoid ?

Where can you get premium paper? Baudville, 1 800 728 0888, Paper Direct, 1 800-A-PAPERS (which is 1 800 272-7377).

We also recommend Mac Papers, and if you want Futura Laser, the best place is Unisource.

FLAAR offers for you more information about this subject
Laser vs Inkjet Printing 3D Objects Inkjet Printers Tips to buy laser printer
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