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For those of you who are struggling with finding the right paper/printer type combination for digi stamps, I thought I would share my experience since I think it may help someone. I spent a good bit of money and running around before finalizing my decision of what the best (in this post "best" means quality and cost effective combination, especially if you are on a budget like I am).
I have been using Prismacolor markers for the past year and a half and heard about Staples and Georgia Pacific Papers, I went with Staples 110lb card stock and it worked great with my Brother inkjet all-in one printer.
Although I love the Prismas, I decided I wanted to expand them by getting into the Spectrum Noir markers so I bought some, actually so many that I had more SN's than Prismas. Coloring on the Staples card stock with the SN's resulted in terrible feathering, even when I was careful to color with a very light hand and even simply touching the paper with the marker caused this. Needless to say, the Staples 110# is no longer good.
So then I went with the GP paper. This feels a lot like Staples 110#, but the feathering was even worse.
My husband and I were out for dinner one day and there is a local Art store nearby, we went and and the owner suggested Aquabee Manga paper which is marketed for Copics. At a cost of $10 for 30 sheets, it's expensive to me but I thought if it's good, then it's worth it. I brought it home, printed a digi on my inkjet, let it dry for an hour (which is hard for me but I'm and "instant gratification" kind of girl) and it was good... I mean really good as long as you steer clear of the lines as to not smudge the ink, leaving the digi to dry overnight yielded better results and there are many posts about this and methods to keep the smearing from happening. I am impatient and want to get right down to coloring, I do not like to wait.
Since it was Memorial Day weekend, Staples had 25-50% off sale on printers, I found a Brother Laser on sale for $90, and with a pack of (failed) paper I needed to return, my total purchase price was just under $80. After thinking about all the money I had already spent, I thought this will be my last ditch effort to get a good digi that I can color with the Spectrum Noirs. I asked the clerk at Staples if I can return the printer if it doesn't suit my needs and he said yes so I was on my way.
I got the printer home, connected it and within 10 minutes I was printing a digi on Aquabee card stock (this is about 80 lbs) and started coloring right away. Perfect, I think I found the right combo, but as defined under "best", it's not cost effective.
So now that I have a laser printer, I started doing research a different way and heard more than once about Hammermill Cover Copy and ordered some. I ordered it from Walmart on Saturday and for under $14 I had 250 sheets delivered to my door in 1 business day. I couldn't wait to try it and taking it out of the package, I realized it feels exactly like the Aquabee Manga paper, same thickness and smoothness, but the Hammermill was whiter (what what??) Tested it in the laser and did some coloring, found it doesn't smudge the print AT ALL and now I have finally found the "best" (angels singing).
So in short, here is the combination for printing Digital images if you are frustrated with Spectrum Noir Markers feathering:
Printer: Brother Laser HL-2240 (or any laser printer from what I've heard)
Paper: Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 80 lb weight
Yay! I've been trying to tell everyone about that Hammermill paper for ages, it is AWESOME! I first learned about it years ago when I was watching a You Tube video of a manga artist that used it for coloring with Copics, and was amazed to see no feathering and smooth, easy blending! I've been using it ever since on almost every image I color.
Glad you found a combo that works for you!
Glad you have found something you are happy with
Here in the UK I would think that one of the most popular card for printing and colouring our images on is Ryman's Bright white coated card.It's 200gsm and works great with my Promarkers,Copics and Spectrum Noir...you can colour in your images instantly.And even better theres no smudging And better still is the price...£9.99 for a 100 A4 sheets
I use Clairfontaine DCP paper 190grs icw my HP Deskjet printer and Spectrum Noirs and it's great! Here in the Netherlands a pack of paper A4 format is around €11 for a pack of 250 sheets. I now use 250 grs cause I'm using it for my designs too, and I need to have thicker sheet for building up layers =)
Crafter's Companion, who produce the Spectrum Noir markers, offer Neenah Classic Crest Card:
Top quality ultra smooth solar white card.
Perfect for colouring with alcohol based pens.
Pack contains 20 sheets.
On the UK site they are offering Multibuy discount 3 Print Packs for just £10!
On the US and Canadian sites they are offering a 20 sheet pack at $6.95
Hope that helps ... it is wonderful cardstock for Alcohol Markers.
I buy the Neenah Solar White Classic Crest. I bought it online when I first tried it and I thought it was a bit pricey. Then I found a Kelley Paper near me and I pay $33 for a ream (250 sheets) of the 80 lb and $42 for the 110 lb. Both weights are really great, but I use the 110 for card bases as well. Neenah also makes a cream color that I really like and I buy for some images.
I bought that laser printer too. Loved that it was under $100 that weekend. I have the Neenah paper as well from Crafters Companion. It goes through the manual feed just fine. I'll have to try the Gina K 120lb paper for card bases, and see if I can get it to bleed through. I don't have a light touch.
I too, love my digis and SN markers. I use Papertrey Ink Stampers Select White Cardstock. 40 sheets for $6. I know it's more expensive than the walmart paper, but I can use it as card bases also. Score! It is the cheapest high quality paper that I have found. Although I love the Gina K paper (25 sheets for $6.95) PTI is less expensive and is the same base weight.
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