What is the Difference Between Whiteness and Brightness of Paper?

by Laura


Customers often ask us for paper samples so they can see firsthand how white and bright a certain stock is.  Sheridan Books’ stocking paper list includes a number value for brightness and while it does not have a number value for whiteness, we do list a description of the color that we receive from the paper mill.  But what does this information really mean?  And what, if any, correlation is there between whiteness and brightness?  I came across a blog post on the Printing Impressions website the other day that did a great job of explaining this.

color chartBy looking at this chart, you can see that brightness and whiteness fall at different points on the color spectrum, and are therefore two different measurements.

Brightness measures the ability of a paper to reflect blue light.  Take our stocking paper list, the higher the number is in the brightness column (ranging from 1-100), the brighter the paper.  Whiteness on the other hand measures paper in the same way that the eye sees it.  Whiteness measures the ability of paper to reflect all colors of light.

If you are ever in doubt about how bright or white a paper will appear, don’t hesitate to ask your printer for samples.  To see samples of Sheridan’s stocking papers, contact your sales representative, or request them by clicking here.