NCR Paper: A Colourful History

When most people now talk about carbon paper, they are probably using what is known as NCR Paper. NCR paper, or No Carbon Required paper, is a newer innovation that many folks take for granted.

Carbon paper vs. NCR

Many businesses and organizations still use carbon paper, and it’s hard to figure out why. Placing your carbon paper on the back of each page you want to copy is kind of chore. Of course, if you need to copy something, you have to be sure the carbon paper is there; if you forget it, you need to write everything out all over again. You may also have to do double the work if the carbon paper isn’t completely under the page you want to copy from, missing a few spots. Also, carbon paper is meant to be reused, so you could end up running out of “ink” from too many uses where you need it, or find some voids in the carbon copy. Traditional carbon paper is also dangerous, as it is flammable, and it puts off a carbon dust that could cause respiratory problems if used in large amounts or cause skin irritation. Yikes!

People liked the convenience of making instant copies with carbon paper, but the idea needed to be improved on. In 1954, the National Cash Register Company, or NCR, invented NCR paper. NCR serves essentially the same function as carbon paper, but it does it better.

What is NCR paper?

Basically carbonless carbon paper, NCR paper responds to pressure from a pen or typewriter making copies onto the sheet or sheets below the top page. The backs of the sheets being copied from can have a thin layer of very small ink capsules. The tops of the sheets being copied to are treated with a reactive clay. The pressure from writing breaks the ink capsules which then interact with the dye and leave a mark. There’s another variety of cabonless copy paper that has the ink and the clay together on the backs of the pages being copied from.

Uses of NCR paper

There are a wide array of used for NCR paper and custom-made NCR forms today. Even in our digital world, these are a necessity for doing business for many all over the globe.

Usually NCR is used in forms where people need multiple, usually colour-coded copies of something. Manually created receipts, estimates, order forms, contracts, and invoices are commonly made with this paper. Copies are made instantly for the customer, the business, and any other concerned party, each in a different colour. This way everyone has all of the same information immediately. Since items created on NCR forms are often of a legally binding nature, many choose to have terms, conditions, and policies printed on the back of the page that would end up in a customer’s hand.

There are many possibilities for creating customized NCR forms, and printers like Newprint have a many options to choose from. By selecting paper size, padding, the amount of sheets you need per copy and more, you can have NCR forms specific to your business’ needs without any of the problems of old-fashioned carbon paper.

To find out more about custom printed products and NCR forms, contact the professional, knowledgeable customer service team at Newprint. You can also request an estimate for blank NCR paper for your other business needs.


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