There has been ambiguity in the legal professional on what constitutes a legal paper. There are a couple of historical stories that explain how legal papers came about. In ancient times, the standard size of the paper was 17″ x 22” also known as foolscap. Lawyers would then divide the paper into two when drafting legal documents.

Even if the committee adopted that as the standard size, there was no justification for doing so. It should be noted that a contract can be drafted on any type of paper provided that it is legally binding. The legal-sized paper is still in use, especially when it comes to important documents such as deeds. If you want to buy paper for whatever purpose, it is important that you’re taking your time with the research process. In this guide, we’re going to highlight some of the considerations to have in mind when shopping for printing paper.

Type of Print Job

Before you can decide on the paper, you’ll have to consider the printing job. When thinking about the type of job, it is also important to figure out the material that will be used. The majority of paper products are made from wood. If you’re more conscious about the environment, you should look for paper that has been made from synthetic fibers or clothes.
Paper Finish

The type of finish will also be one of the most important considerations when shopping for paper. There are some illustration elements that will need to stand out. In such circumstances, it is not only the right size paper that will matter but also the finish. There are a couple of options to choose from when it comes to finishing and that is why it is crucial that you’re doing research depending on the quality of prints you’d want to achieve. For stationery printing, it is usually recommended to go for uncoated paper. It will be the perfect option for printing legal documents, fliers, and even newsletters.

Paper Weight

Weight is one of the key attributes that is used to identify paper. The thicker the paper, the more the weight. In most situations, the thicker paper will often translate to better quality. 20-24# is the standard paperweight and can go up to 120# depending on what you’ll be printing.


There has been a lot of misinformation about paper whiteness and brightness. The two terms mean totally different things and it is important that you’re aware of the differences. The brightness of a piece of paper is measured by its ability to reflect light. Bright and qualified sheets tend to be costly. Whiteness is the way the naked eyes perceive paper. Usually, the measurement of the color that is reflected can be used to test the whiteness of the paper.

Working With Printers

You might decide to settle on the best paper but still fail to get the quality you’re looking for. This could be a mistake on the side of the printer. That is why you should be doing due diligence on the printing company that you’ll be working with, especially when printing in bulk or on a regular basis. If you have a flexible budget that allows for specialty printing processes such as embossing, make sure that the printing company is capable of meeting your requirements.

End Usage

What will be the process of getting the printed material to the end-user? Will it be emailed or personally delivered? Asking such questions can help in determining the kind of paper to go for and also the printing process. If you’re designing letterheads, there is a high chance that it will be printed with an inkjet printer. If the end-user is unclear, make sure to get a few samples to determine the quality of the paper.


You can’t have champagne taste on a beer budget. Admittedly, that has happened even to the best of us. Getting quality paper doesn’t come cheap. Paper will constitute up to 30% of the total cost of a printing project. As much as there are different ways you can cut corners, the last thing you’d want to do is to compromise on the quality of the paper.

Make sure that the paper is available as most merchants will limit stocking a lot when there isn’t a constant demand. In case you need to print in bulk, the printing company should provide estimates and timelines for the project to be completed.