DIY portfolio printing - Best paper?
January 28, 2008 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Printer paper - I'm printing my portfolio for application to art college. Hoping to DIY so I'm looking for high quality, A3, dual-sided, matte paper for use with a Canon Pixma IX 4000 printer. I think.

I need to submit my portfolio to a number of art colleges and, because it consists mostly of photos of 3D work, I thought I'd try and print it myself. A typical page would consist of some text and several photos. Some of the pages will be all photo, full bleed, some will be just text. It's kinda hard to describe exactly the look and feel I'm going for but if you have any Phaidon published books at home that should give you an idea.

I've never done this kind of dual-sided printing before and I'm worried about show-through (especially with large colour photos). I'm also concerned about keeping the page weight down below that of the typical photo paper so that the book's not too clunky. I guess there's a compromise point there somewhere. Cost is an issue but given the importance of the project I'm happy to pay extra for the good stuff.

The choice of papers out there is making my head spin a bit so if you've attempted something like this before and have any advice regarding brands, weights and finishes I'd really appreciate it.
posted by rog to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have an Epson, but have always found this stuff to work well on all kinds of printers. And it's always double-sided, which is a nice bonus.

Good luck on the application process!
posted by arishaun at 2:54 PM on January 28, 2008

Do they require a paper porfolio? Many art portfolios are now submitted on a disk instead. Most galleries have moved from slides to disk portfolios, I imagine the requirements for art school are similar. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of print outs but unless they specially are requesting a full printed portfolio you might want to submit a disk.
posted by 45moore45 at 3:01 PM on January 28, 2008

I printed my portfolio for design program applications. I cannot give advice on paper brands, as I was in Sweden and the brands are different there. However, I did work in a copy shop at the time and had access to cheap color laser printing and almost free paper, and I can tell you I tried every possible combination of paper weight and finish to find what I liked the best. Matte finish looked much better and took the laser print ink much better than glossy. The bright white card-stock weight paper was by far the best. Still, show-through was an issue and in order to get that crisp white look I decided to only print one-sided. That combined with the heavy weight paper did make for a potentially clunky portfolio, so I combined a few pages, and weeded out some pages entirely. One piece of advice: follow the application guidelines to the letter. It used to be that RISD required you submit folded originals. If you rolled them instead of folded them, they would not even look at your portfolio (so I hear).
posted by Eringatang at 5:40 PM on January 28, 2008

I got into RISD using slides. Don't hype that school to God like status, they ain't all that.
posted by 45moore45 at 5:57 PM on January 28, 2008

Oh - whoops I just realized: you have an inkjet! Sorry, this will change things. In this case, I think you are looking for a dense but supple paper, not a card-stock. That should get things popping. Arishaun's rec. looks good. If you don't get the look you want, consider printing at Kinkos (or equiv.) on a color laser jet. Good luck, I hope you get the Phaidon-look you are after. Remember to make a copy for yourself and your mom/dad.
posted by Eringatang at 6:46 PM on January 28, 2008

Response by poster: Cool. I'll try those out. I've a few months to go so I've enough time to check a few different varieties. Unfortunately none of my top choice schools accept digital portfolios but I'll be doing the layout in InDesign so creating a PDF will be easy.

Thanks for your help guys!
posted by rog at 1:07 PM on January 29, 2008

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