How to Choose Paper Color

How to Choose the Color of Paper

Color is the #1 attribute when shopping for paper. And yes, there are many choices beyond White and Ivory. But White and Ivory are the standards for business and personal correspondence with good reason.


White is the traditional color for business communications. It’s the best way to display color in its truest form. It’s great for showing contrast.

It can be very formal but it can also be contemporary. There are many different shades of white – from bright white to the softer “natural” – but they are all still white.

You may notice that Laser Papers use a designation with a Brightness factor that is measured by the amount of light that is reflected off the sheet. Try not to get confused. There are two scales in use.

The US, or GE/Tappi, scale signifies 100 as being the brightest white. The International, or ISO, scale begins with 100 at the low end of the brightness scale.

NB: Southworth is one of the only paper companies that makes Ivory Laser Paper!


Ivory paper has also become a standard in today’s offices. Ivory is “warmer” than white and evokes a feeling of tradition, like something of value that has been handed down through the generations, worthy of preserving.


If you think it’s impossible to be different yet maintain a professional appearance, think again!

There are many different colors which when produced in subtle tones appear to be just as traditional as ivory or white. Gray is just one example of a color that is comfortable in most corporate climates. Think of a law firm … or a gray flannel suit.

But don’t stop there. Southworth also produces a soft and neutral Blue or Almond Résumé Paper that will help job seekers stand out in a sea of white.

Specialty Colors

You can also step up your presentation with the sophisticated blend of colors and textures available in Southworth’s Specialty Paper selection.

Granite Specialty Paper: Add contemporary flair to your documents with Rose, Blue, White, Gray and Ivory

Parchment Specialty Paper: A wide selection of colors bring an Old-world look and feel to your presentations. Choose Ivory, Gray, Blue, Gold, Celery, Copper, and Coral.


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