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1,861 Views 6 Replies Last post: Nov 21, 2017 8:46 AM by awin RSS
Level 0 14 posts since
Sep 11, 2017
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Nov 16, 2017 8:02 AM

Black and white or cream paper colour

I have black and white graphics in my book. The inerior will be black and white. Does it matter if the paper colour is black and white or cream? Any suggestion which one I should choose?

Level 5 12,995 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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1. Nov 16, 2017 8:38 AM in response to: D.T.
Re: Black and white or cream paper colour

If the graphics are non-fiction/informational content, I would suggest that white paper is more common and provides better contrast. If the book is fiction and these are supplemental illustrations, then it's just a matter of personal preference.


(You probably know this already, but only black ink is used to print a b&w interior -- so anything that is "white" in your black-and-white graphic image will be cream-colored on the printed page if you're using cream paper.)

Level 5 19,170 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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2. Nov 16, 2017 8:38 AM in response to: D.T.
Re: Black and white or cream paper colour

If you had illustrations in a novel, having text would argue for cream (most fiction is printed on cream).  However, if your book were a graphic novel, you might be better with white paper.  The following are scans of the same image in two copies of the same book, printed by CS, the top on white, the lower on cream.



Although the white stock gives a little more contrast and snap to the image, in the context of an entire book, the cream works better. I am of the school that text on cream is better, it is my bias.  You might prefer white.


Remember that while you might see the side by side comparison, your readers won't.


Time permitting, you could do two books, one on cream and one on white.   Order proofs.  For $20 you'll have an answer.




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Level 5 4,129 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
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4. Nov 16, 2017 5:52 PM in response to: D.T.
Re: Black and white or cream paper colour

In support of fiction on cream getting the thumbs-up. Have a look at some of the examples here:


particularly the checker shadow illusion and the simultaneous contrast illusion. The eye is very easily tricked into seeing cream paper as if it were a white background. If in doubt, order a printed proof.

Level 2 137 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
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6. Nov 21, 2017 8:46 AM in response to: D.T.
Re: Black and white or cream paper colour

A further consideration is that the cream paper used by CS is slightly thicker than the white paper it uses.  Too slight a difference with an individual page, but cream paper results in a thicker spine, which allows you to have larger text.  Not important when books bought from Amazon, but important if your book ends up in a bookstore, where it will be displayed spine out 99.99% of the time.


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