I’m an old school paper composer, Dorico is my first foray into computer scoring, so working from paper prints is important to me. After much research about printers and paper types I’ve found the following. This is based on several music standards and guidance including the MOLA guidelines, and after consulting with several paper retailers and online information. This is for a US based paper system (how I wish we’d adopt SI!). However there are equivalencies I’ll note AFAIK
First are the paper sizes, for orchestral work we can get by with two sizes, 12x18 and 11x17/A3 Tabloid (or 11x14 B4 is acceptable) for conductor scores. Here’s a table (graphic since we don’t have tables) of my standard for these papers, largely from the MOLA (the Rastral sizes is what I’m using subject to revision, and just a starting point for me)
The 12x18 (C4) can be used for a ‘Composers score’, and printed landscape and folded in half is the standard size of 9x12 for a part. For binding comb is acceptable for concert (not recording studio where it might make noise!), and a tape binding is always acceptable (see YouTube for how to do this)
Paper weights are a mess, for example a X weight “Text” is not the same as an X weight “Cover” or “Writing”. So to know what the weight means for a paper you have to know both the type (Writing (Bond & Ledger are also used), Text, Cover) and the weight. You also have the color, and whether it’s laser printer compatible (laser printers require a type of ‘tooth’ or surface, and weight restrictions).
I found various papers that might work but have settled on an old favorite of mine “Hammermill Premium Color Copy” which comes in the requisite sizes, of a perfect weight (32lb Writing which is nice and heavy), 100% acid free and easily available.
For laser printers you need at least Tabloid for scores, or perhaps could get by with 11x14 for scores and parts (not recommended by MOLA but in a pinch maybe, or perhaps Legal would be fine). Or to handle 12x18 and Tabloid the HP CP5225dn is a popular choice (the least expensive of the large format printers).