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What Is a Carbonless Form?

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by 3 Comments

Maybe you’ve heard someone use a saying like, “He’s a carbon copy of his father.” Maybe you’ve had the unpleasant experience of using carbon copy paper yourself. Whether you’ve merely heard of the stuff or gotten your hands coated with the smudgy, inky junk that makes it possible to make carbon copies without the use of printers or electronics, we’re here to let you know that there is now a better, cleaner, easier, more attractive and more modern alternative: carbonless copy paper (or CCP). Many businesses are now using forms made with carbonless copy paper to easily produce duplicates of receipts or contracts for customers. But what is this great stuff and how does it work?

Well, carbonless forms start with simple sheets of paper that are printed in a format that is useful for the business at hand. For a plumbing business, for example, it might be a work order with blank fields that can be written in by hand. Then, the top sheet of the carbonless form is coated with micro-encapsulated dye or ink. Finally, for the bottom layer, a sheet is coated with a reactive clay to complete the functional trio. If there are sheets in between the top and bottom layers of the carbonless forms, they’re coated with dye on the face-up side and clay on the face-down side.

How Do Carbonless Forms Work?Cabonless Form Printing
When a user writes on a carbonless form, the pen or pencil puts pressure on the sheet of microencapsulated ink, causing the ink cells under the point to burst and spill out their colored dye. The work “micro” in microencapsulated is accurate; these ink cells are so small that they allow for a very precise point to be drawn, without any over-spillage. (These forms can also be used to make duplicates when printed on with dot-matrix printers and impact printers, which use pressure when imprinting.)

Who Invented Carbonless Copy Paper?
The geniuses behind CCP are Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green, who were employees of the NCR Corporation. Their goal was to create a more environmentally friendly and mess-free and stainless alternative to carbon paper, and that’s exactly what they did. Some people in the printing industry still refer to carbonless forms and carbonless copy paper as NCR paper, reinventing the company acronym (which actually stand for National Cash Register Co.) to stand for “no carbon required” paper.

A custom printed carbonless formWho Uses Carbonless Forms?
Anyone who needs to provide clients with a copy of a receipt on-site, or a copy of a contract or agreement for that matter, would do well to use carbonless forms. If you choose a good printing company, carbonless forms can be designed and created to your exact specifications so that you can deliver a professional, high-quality paper proof, complete with specifics and signatures, for the client’s and your records. Some examples of industries that use carbonless forms include maintenance companies who can provide signed receipts or work orders quickly and easily, wherever they go; nanny services, who can use carbonless forms to give records of hours worked and notes to clients and employers; small mobile retail businesses who don’t want to bring electronic equipment wherever they set up shop; food delivery services; rental equipment services; magazine or newspaper subscription salespeople — and many, many more!

Are Carbonless Forms Expensive?
Carbonless forms are surprisingly affordable in light of the incredible ease and professionalism they provide. Inquire with a trusted printer to see how you can bring your design ideas into reality on an attractive, useful carbonless form!