What is Plotter Paper and How Can You Use It?

Despite how common plotter papers have become in businesses nowadays, many people still don’t know what plotter paper is and how it can be used. Simply put, plotter paper is a special type of paper that is used for plotter machines. For those of you who don’t know what plotter machines are, they are computer hardware devices that work just like printers and are used to print vector graphics for businesses. While thermal papers can be commonly found throughout the globe, plotter paper is something that can benefit technical engineers, businesses, and architects. 


Plotter machines are widely used by architects and personnel involved in designing houses and buildings in order to create blueprints. They are also commonly used alongside popular architectural and design software like AutoCAD. 


Plotter papers are of great benefit to architects, engineers, and personnel engaged in technical businesses due to the high accuracy with which you can print on them. However, there is a wide variety of plotter papers currently available in the market with each type offering a unique set of advantages.


What are the different types of plotter papers? 

There are a host of different types of plotter papers varying with respect to sizes, weights, thickness, textures, and uses. Plotter papers also vary with the kind of plotter machine they are meant to be used with. 


Some plotter papers can be used with flatbed plotter machines while others with electrostatic plotters. Electrostatic options for plotter papers are coated papers that generate imprints through negative and positive charges for creating the end result. 


Plotter paper is also available for both inkjet and traditional plotter pen printing purposes. A good example of this is bond paper which can be used for both black and white inkjet printing. The size of bond paper rolls varies starting from 50 yards - the width varies between 24 to 36 inches. 


If you plan on printing a high number of blueprints with no compromise on quality, the inkjet vellum paper should be the choice for you. The size of inkjet vellum paper is usually 24 inches by 150 feet which fits the needs of businesses well. 


Another type of plotter paper that is quite budget-friendly is the translucent bond plotter paper. A package of translucent bond plotter paper may weigh around 18 pounds and is sized around 36 inches wide. 


The last type of plotter paper to be discussed is the gloss presentation plotter paper which is most often used with pen plotter machines. If you are looking for a type of plotter paper that allows you to capture sharp lines and high contrast designs together, gloss presentation plotter paper is the best choice. This type of plotter paper allows the user to create aesthetically pleasing and professional-quality drawings. 

How to pick the best plotter paper option for your business? 

With so many plotter paper options on the horizon, it can be challenging to choose a plotter paper that works best for your business needs. Hence, you can find below, a short yet extremely helpful chart outlining the various types of plotter papers already discussed along with their features. 


Plotter Paper Type 

Main function 



Inkjet and traditional plotter papers - Bond Paper 

Used for inkjet printing 

Can be used for both white and black inkjet printing purposes 

24 to 26 inches wide 

Inkjet Vellum Paper 

Used to create high quality and a number of prints 

One of the finest qualities of plotter papers 

24 inches by 150 feet

Translucent Bond Plotter Paper 

An affordable category of bond paper 

Great for overlays. Alternative to vellum 

36 inches wide 

Using this chart, you can see the different categories of plotter paper that are available along with their corresponding unique features. 


Generally speaking, the most popular type is the 20# plotter paper, probably owing to its cost savings and quality results. Bond papers are also more common in architecture and engineering owing to their versatility. 


The gloss presentation plotter paper is used for advertisements and tradeshows owing to its glossier texture. Given the proliferation of plotter papers in the United States, more eco-friendly options for plotter papers are also available.