Optimize Your Printing
1. Using Adobe Acrobat Files (PDFs)

Paper Minis™ uses a universal file type named PDF. This is a type of file that requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download the Reader at no charge from the Adobe Systems website. That link is:

  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

This type of file is much superior to normal web page downloadable printies. The scaling for size is perfect and the detail is retained. Using the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can zoom in on the printable to see the detail. Even the 1 point text is crisp and the graphics are much clearer. Note: the level of zoom, and your screen resolution is not an indication of your printer's performance and quality of paper used.

 
2. Paper Quality Does Make The Difference!

You can print Paper Minis™ projects on plain paper. Although, if quality is important to you, it is advised you use high-resolution inkjet paper. I have advised folks to go to the website of the manufacturer of your printer and check to see if the manufacturer sells paper specific to their/your printer. If not they may recommend a paper line.

Paper that will give you great color and archival quality will be 'clay coated', unlike office paper. Some printer manufacturers and some paper vendors will have a sampler to purchase. This is a great way to experiment with your printer. When printing the small scales, avoid thick paper such as cover stock weight or photo stock weight because of their lack of flexibility for small-scale folding. Use gloss sparingly because the the finish tends to crack when folded. It's especially apparent on darker colors. For your information, Paper Minis™ printies have been formatted for maximum clarity and resolution so you can get the best print on your high-resolution inkjet printer.

I have used Epson printers for years because I like the color, archival quality and water resistance they offer, but I'm sure other printers offer similar benefits. Your printer is probably good enough for printies, you just need to experiment with the best settings.

 
3. Printer Print Quality Setting

Almost all color inkjet printers have print quality settings. Set your print file at print time to High Quality or 600/720 DPI. If you elect to use a Draft Setting, the printout will be blurry and the color will be faint and lifeless. Printing at quality settings does use more ink and does take longer to print. But my recommendation is not to be penny wise and pound foolish!

Following these steps will ensure that you will have the best looking miniature accessories possible–even better than those you can purchase pre-made!

4.  Demonstration of Best-Print Quality

The following images demonstrate how printouts are affected by file quality and type, paper quality, as well as printer quality settings.  The pages were scanned larger than actual size so you could see the difference.

This version is a typical 72 dpi web page graphic (the typical printie found on the internet) and printed on plain paper. The printer quality setting was set to 360 dpi draft print. Text quality is uneven and the colored areas are very grainy.
This version was taken from a PDF file (which is a crisp 300 dpi file). This is the type of file offered at Paper Minis™ through the newsletter.  It was printed on clay-coated-inkjet paper. The print quality setting was set on 720 dpi high-quality. You can read the text and the illustration is smooth, color saturation is rich, and the definition is high. Of course the difference is more perceptible on the smaller scale printables.
 

Here's the bottom line, experiment! Anything worth doing does take time and experience to do it well. This is part of the fun and the satisfaction of doing something artistic.

 
 
Paper Minis Miniatures
On-Line Since 2002

Front Royal, Virginia
http://www.paperminis.com
email: ann-vanture@paperminis.com


Copyright for Paper Minis Miniatures
held by Ann Vanture, 2003-2012
All rights reserved (worldwide rights)