I tried printing grids on white paper using an offset sheet feed machine. I used a gray color ink. I wanted to use a fountain pen on this paper. When I wrote on this paper I found that the fountain pen ink was skipping whereever it crossed the grid lines making the writing look bad with interruptions. Can anybody help me with this problem.

  • Is the paper otherwise suitable for writing? Just sounds a little strange. This is something you would normally see with digital print which often lies sort of on top of the paper. I've made some checkered paper, offset printed with Pantone colors on uncoated paper, a couple of times. Seemed to work fine.
    – Wolff
    Sep 19 '20 at 16:21
  • @Wolff might depend on the ink and stock. If it's printed on coated paper with oil based ink, then the ink will dry on the surface rather than be absorbed. This could be the source of the problem.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 19 '20 at 16:42
  • It is an A4 copier paper. Brand is - Excel Pro 100gsm. The paper works well with fountain pen. I have tried different colors of inks on the plain paper and all of them work very well. Sep 19 '20 at 18:43
  • This is a laser printer? Why didn't you say? An 'offset sheet fed' machine is a traditional printing press, using oil-based 'wet' inks & an intermediate blanket [the 'offset' part] to transfer ink from plate to paper. A laser-jet is just… a laser-jet. My answer below still applies, laser-jet toner is water-resistant, & cannot be substituted, so .. same reasoning, don't use a water-based pen.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 20 '20 at 17:05
  • 1
    Sorry if have conveyed the wrong impression. The printing was done on an regular offset printing machine which is a sheet fed machine. What I meant was that the paper that was used to print on was a regular copier paper of brand (make) - Excel Pro of 100 GSM. Sep 21 '20 at 1:49

Presumably the printer won't allow you to change to a water-based ink, so what you're left with is to not use a pen with water-based ink either.

I'd guess your problem really is that fountain pen ink tends to be very 'watery'. At the opposite end of the scale would be a regular plastic 'biro' but they tend to skid over any waxy surface.

This is very possibly why the 'sharpie' type 'felt pen' has become so popular… will write on anything less waxy than a candle ;)
Late edit Actually I just tested. A sharpie will write on a candle.


Offset prints inks are oil-based. That is the principle of offset printing: Water repelling the ink.

Notebooks are printed using different systems, some a little old fashioned are printing the lines with some needles that are feed with water-based ink.

Another option could be screen printing. But I am not sure about which one.

  • 1
    Interesting on the notebooks.. I used to be an offset litho machine op, but I've never done 'writing paper' of any kind. I'd never thought of it before.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 19 '20 at 16:55
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    On DRUPA I once saw a press dedicated to printing checkered paper. It had this metal grid which was pressed into the paper like a stamp. I've also noticed that (especially cheap) checkered paper has indents on the grid lines.
    – Wolff
    Sep 19 '20 at 17:06

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