One of the great things about digital printing is that you don’t need colored paper to create rich solid colors in your project. Full bleeds can be used to transform white paper into nearly any color that you wish and presents other colors besides your base tone more accurately. And if you think about it, the results will probably look better printed on white paper anyway.
Here are some of the drawbacks to using colored paper:
Altered tones. Without specialty equipment and processes, anything printed on colored stock stands the possibility of not looking as it was intended. This is because the color of the paper will affect the appearance of the ink. For example, if you’re printing blue or yellow designs on red stock, the result on the paper will be purple and orange. There are some more advanced processes available that will put down a layer of white ink first, then the intended color over the top with beautiful results, but not all printers are a capable of doing this (We’re developing this capability for printing on kraft paper and several new color stocks we’ll be introducing soon, so watch for a future announcement about this upcoming offering).
Limited color possibilities. Colored stock is lovely, but it can be difficult to find the exact shade of paper that you’d like to use. Paper stock companies try to create paper products that will appeal to the greatest number of people. Specialty colors are less likely to be offered due to their limited appeal. Because of this, printing companies that offer colored paper will be selective and choose popular colors that are likely to sell. That could leave you choosing a colored paper that isn’t quite the right shade. With digital printing on white paper, you can turn the paper into the exact shade of color that you want.
Dot gain risk. Most colored stocks are uncoated and therefore use of them runs the risk of experiencing “dot gain.” Dot gain is a phenomenon that causes printed material to look darker than intended due to the way the ink dots are absorbed into the paper. When the paper absorbs the ink, the pigment is drawn down into the paper and sideways on top of the paper, which increases the dot’s diameter. This effect is more pronounced on uncoated than it is on any type of coated paper. Though dot gain can be reduced to some degree, coated paper reduces the impact significantly.
Though colored stocks are available, they don’t work well a variety of printing projects. Digital printing is incredibly flexible, allowing you to create full color invitations, business cards, brochures and more that look as if they were created on colored stock.