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19-8-2018 09:47:33  #1

Yellow paper?

In reading some writers who used typewriters during the Golden Age of typewriting (30's to 70's) I've read that several favored yellow typing paper. I'm not sure if it was for aesthetics or to ease eye strain, or if it was the equivalent of the ubiquitous yellow legal pad. So, in the spirit of keeping vintage things vintage, I am thinking about investing in some canary yellow copy paper. Is there a specific color you prefer in your pewrotten work?


19-8-2018 09:48:51  #2

Re: Yellow paper?

Last line: typewritten work***

     Thread Starter

19-8-2018 16:35:52  #3

Re: Yellow paper?

People who suffer from dyslexia often prefer yellow paper, which makes the text much easier to read. I don't know if that has any connection with what you are talking about.


21-8-2018 00:34:13  #4

Re: Yellow paper?

Hi NewOldWriter

Here's my thoughts on this subject. If you look at today's copy and print paper, it's given a brightness number. It's not unusual to find paper rated as 96, 98 or even 100 brightness. Back in the 1970's, paper that was listed as being bright white is less white than a 90 bright by today's standards paper. Going back even further, like to the 1950's or earlier, it was probably difficult to get decently white paper, so it may have been preferable to type on colored paper like yellow as opposed to off-white paper.

Adding to Rob's answer, although I was never officially diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome, I was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child. I've always found the starkness of black print on bright white paper stressful on my eyes and reading often gave me a headache. My typing papers of choice are the ivory, cream or ecru colored papers. Staples item # 490950 is pastel cream paper that makes for good typing although it is a little on the heavy side for airmail letters. Step Forward wheat straw paper is a soft 92 bright paper that accepts both type and fountain pen ink reasonably well with minimal wicking or bleeding.

Other forum members may have different ideas, but that's what I love about this forum, there are so many different people with different ideas, it's always fun to read their thoughts and expand your own envelope of thinking. All the best,




30-8-2018 19:56:41  #5

Re: Yellow paper?

Thoughtful post, Skywatcher.

"Yellow" covers a lot of ground.  You mention cream, ivory or (my favorite) ecru. Somebody with a smaller vocabulary and lacking fifty words for off-white might call all that "yellow". I will usually pick some off-white shade when writing a letter but plain white paper when writing for myself. I am not sure this has much to do with eyestrain but something to do with social expectations -- office paper looks too cheap for a letter and letter-writing paper looks too fine for a draft. But I think the ubiquitous yellow legal pads must exist for a reason and I imagine that reason is reducing fatigue.  My usage committee does not feel that off-white is a particular shade but rather anything that is not quite white - which itself is a perceptual matter. Whatever the physiological or sociological reason fine paper is usually expected to be slightly off-white, in one of the shades that you mention. Almond milk and soy milk and all that jazz always look off-white to me relative to standard cow milk, but not in a good way -- more like some particularly cheap brand of bargain copy paper. 


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