Choosing the Right Paper for Your Print Job

Besides the standard drawing and watercolor papers, there are various specialty papers used for special events and activities. You need to have a particular type of paper to get a specific job done correctly. Drawings that entails visual plan for future development mostly link to engineering drawing.

The plan is put down on a blueprint paper as it’s the best platform for the presentation. Plan offers engineers a pre-plan design of a structure. Drawing papers profoundly differ in size, quality, and content. They are used by architects, engineers, contractors, ad agencies, and graphic artists.

According to a report by the 2016 Architectural Registration Boards Survey, there were 109,748 architects in the United States. Their ability to choose the right papers for different jobs determines their success. Here is a list of blueprint papers:

Plotter Paper

Many people are unaware that plotter paper is the only drawing paper that can be used with a plotter machine and some specific software. It is one of the critical requirements for the success of various design trades. It is a special paper used with printers which can print vector graphics.

Plotter paper is used with specific software by planners and designers such as engineers, architects, and other different trades. It was historically used to transfer drawings to the people in the design industry before computers became widely used.

Plotter paper comes in different sizes, weights, and textures. It also comes with specifications that clearly define the best type of machine it can best work with.

Vellum Paper

Vellum paper is one form of blueprint paper that is mainly preferred for inkjet printing because the blueprints are clear and crisp. It comes as plotter paper 24 x 150, which is the suitable size for plans. The roll weighs approximately 18 pounds.

Vellum paper is of high quality which makes it expensive and is mainly used in the final printing of designs that are ready to be presented to the client.

Gloss Representation Paper

Like vellum paper, gloss representation paper is for the display of the final presentation. It produces clear lines which makes it one of the best and most preferred blueprint paper. However, it doesn’t work perfectly well with inkjet printing.

It is a suitable option for pen plotting by the use of a pen plotting machine. It is not as costly as vellum paper.

Bond Paper

A bond paper is a standard and the most used printing paper. Translucent bond paper is the best alternative to vellum paper. It is very versatile and can correctly work with both pen plotter machine and an inkjet printer.

A plotter paper is usually in the form of rolls—plotter paper rolls. However, some are sold as huge flat sheets to work with flat sheet design printers that have gained much popularity since their establishment.

Visualizing paper

Visualizing paper comprises rag and non-rag tracing and graphic variations. The non-rag tracing paper is also called sulfite. Sulfite refers to a wood-made pulp. The pH can either be neutral or acidic based on how it’s processed.

Vellum is the most expensive type of sulfite and is commonly used by engineers and drafters to make their final blueprints. Sketch is the cheap variety used in preliminary drawings. On the other hand, rag tracing paper is oil and has resin qualities and elements that makes it transparent.

Other Basics

  • Separation and interleaving sheets are non-abrasive with a neutral pH and mainly used for protection and isolation of artwork.
  • The transfer paper includes carbon and graphite, mainly used in transferring drawings to a different surface.
  • Stencil papers can be oiled or waxed for reduced resistance.
  • Calligraphy paper must be scratch-free since they are ultimately used for pen and ink only.
  • The coated paper is for bookbinding and presentations.


The above prerequisite on blueprint paper is an excellent guide for architects. A drawing paper is not just any paper but the right one for the task at hand.

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