One Handy Tool…The “Down and Dirty” Print Book



Sometimes when selecting paper for your project, you may find yourself a little unsure how your design or printing technique is going to reproduce on the sheet. Sometimes you just pull the trigger and go for it, hoping it turns out like you have visualized in your head.  At other times, you need an actual printed sample to show the results and confirm you are on the right track. Our sample room is always full of a wide rage of printed samples to help in your paper decision process and there is one tool that we have found to be a “must have” in every printer and designer library…the “Down and Dirty Printing” book.

smooth felt


Inside you will find print comparisons of the same printed image on a variety of uncoated paper colors and finishes. Above is 4-color and metallics printed on smooth, felt, laid and linen.(Clockwise from upper left).  Each finish affects print differently.

And paper color most definitely affects the ink you lay on top.


Look at the 4-color printing on white paper (above) as opposed to a kraft color and golden color (below). Take special note of the photo with the man holding the loop on the left. After seeing these print demonstrations you may decide that the kraft paper gives you the vintage feel you are trying to achieve or maybe the bright white gives your photos that pop that you want. (And the golden paper makes the man’s flesh look like he is downright ill.)


What about fibers and flecks in a sheet? How are they going to appear in your printing?

FIBERS PHOTOSAs you can see, there is no hiding those flecks. And that might be just what you want.

Dark colors have their limitations in regards to  what inks look and reproduce well. We don’t suspect you will be printing 4-color process photos on black any time soon, but have you ever considered a halftone photo in opaque white? It can be hard to predict the results without a tool like this book. (Below: Upper left photo is white opaque halftone on black and lower right is the same, only on a burgundy linen). Or what about playing with varying percentages of white opaque as shown on the emerald green below? Metallic inks work well on dark pigmented papers, but be prepared for the “shine” of the ink to dull back on uncoated papers due to ink absorption.

BLACKSdark colors

The book is printed on all of the Neenah Royal Sundance papers, their value priced gradeline, but these demonstrations could easily translate to other uncoated papers and serve as a guide. For more information on Royal Sundance papers and how they can economically add color and texture to your project, contact your Field Paper Sales or Spec Rep. And get the “Down and Dirty Printing” book for your library…you and your clients will use this time and time again.