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Quick facts




  • Used to best effect if printing yellow based images such as deserts, beach and sunset scenes - will make the yellows 'pop' more
  • Images will appear darker


  • Used to best effect if printing blue based colour prints such as seascapes, sky, water scenes
  • Images appear brighter, lighter and more vibrant


General Overview:

Whiteness is a measurement of light reflectance across all wavelengths of light comprising the full visible spectrum.

Our perception of whiteness is usually increased where media has a slightly blue tone.  By comparison, paper reflecting a higher percentage of yellow tone light provides for lower whiteness ratings.  

In technical terms, whiteness is a single number index which references the relative degree of near white materials under specific lighting conditions. The French based international Commission on Illumination (CIE) developed the concept of CIE Whiteness and this is the most commonly used whiteness index. 

The CIE test refers to tests made using a standard representation of outdoor daylight. For a perfect reflecting, non fluorescent white material the CIE Whiteness would be 100. Papers containig fluorescent additives such as Optical Brightening Agents (OBA) will measure above 100.  

Many people confuse brightness and whiteness. Brightness is the measure of a papers ability to reflect light (think 'wattage'). Whiteness refers to the colour of the reflected light itself which can either be seen as a yellow-white or blue-white (think 'shade').

Test Methods include:

ISO 11475 - quantifies the procedure to be used for determining the whiteness of papers and board and should be read in conjunction with ISO 2469

Tappi T560 - quantifies CIE whiteness and tint of paper and paperboard for white or near white papers with and without optical brighteners

Examples of HP Paper Whiteness:

HP Bright White Inkjet paper - 166 (ISO 11475 Test Method)
HP Heavyweight Coated paper - 144 (CIE Ganz 82 Test Method)
HP Coated paper - 145 (ISO 11475 Test Method)
HP Universal bond paper - 110 (ISO 11475 Test Method)
HP Professional Matte canvas - 130 (ISO 11475 Test Method)


Paper and Media