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Best Inkjet Photo Paper for Black & White Printing

Best paper for black & white photography printing

Red River Paper's line of Premium Photographic inkjet media includes a number of papers popular for black & white printing. While there are no black & white specific inkjet paper media on the market, some are better than others at the task. This guide gives you expert insight into black & white printing and what papers are recommended.

Keep in mind that the choice of paper for black & white printing is subjective and personal. While there are guidelines for what looks good with grayscales, in the end the choice depends on your likes and needs. Tone, surface texture, base stock, weight, and thickness all play an important role in your decision. Think about what you like. Next, consider what you are printing. Is it modern photography, an old image, or an attempt to recreate an original print? What you are trying to accomplish should be considered when picking papers below.

Questions? We are happy to help with your black & white paper inquiry.

Cool vs. Warm Tone Inkjet Papers

In ye olde days of darkroom printing, you could buy both warm and cool tone paper. Today, inkjet paper can be classified in the same way. Why does it matter? The base whiteness of your paper sets the tone, so to speak, for the image. If you want the brightest whites and big contrast, a cool tone paper is your choice. Bright white papers are considered cool tone. Their bright white look comes from brightening chemicals (OBAs or FBAs) added to the base or coating.

Want to add natural warmth to the entire image without editing? Choose a warm tone paper. Warm tone is typically the choice if you want to replicate an old grayscale print or get the look of antique photography. Papers that have a natural white tone are considered warm. Most warm tone papers lack brightening chemicals. This is beneficial from a long term conservation standpoint. The tone of the paper will stay virtually the same over a long period. It is important to note that the presence of OBAs does not alter the fade characteristics of the ink. They are only related to the whiteness of the paper.

Read the B&W Inkjet Primer

Check out the Black and White Inkjet Printing Primer for top tips on file prep, printer setup, and more.

Neutral Tone Papers - Neither Warm nor Cool

Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag

Last updated: August 30, 2022

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