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Difference between Direct Blue Paper Print & Ammonia Print

By Jacqueline Odhiambo I November 2021 I Technical Prints

Printing for approval and deciding on which print between ammonia print and direct blue paper print depends on striking a balance between cost, speed of production, wastage, and what a specific County Council is accepting for approval.

After the designs have been approved by the client the final print is usually printed for approval by the County Council and other approval bodies to begin the process of construction.

Before the prints used to be done on ammonia paper which involved the printing of a tracing paper of which a copy was made using ammonia solution and ammonia paper. The ammonia paper would then be used for approval purposes but the tracing would be rendered non-functional from thereon unless more ammonia prints were to be produced. Before then when drawings used to be drafted on the tracing paper with the use of a drawing board, would be a tedious task thus there was a need to store the tracing paper for the process not to be repeated again when more ammonia prints were required or there was a revision to be done.

The digital era transformed the work environment in the construction industry whereby buildings and other structural designs is designed using the Cad software and printed using the large format printer. This has eased the tedious process of drawing manually reducing the production time. In regardless of printing on tracing the drawing still exists in the digital format and can be printed when the need be. After copying on ammonia paper this results in the accumulation of tracing paper which is not in use anymore but takes a lot of space.

Ammonia print


A tracing print has to be produced before an ammonia copy is produced.

Ammonia prints with continuous usage at site fades with time thus production of more ammonia prints.


The tracing is printed and has no use anymore after the ammonia copies are done.

Production time

It takes longer to produce because it involves two processes:

  1. tracing is printed
  2. Copying is done using the ammonia printer.

Direct blue paper print


Direct Blue paper print is printed directly on blue paper without the need for tracing paper thus saving on the cost of tracing paper and the cost of production. It also minimizes unnecessary paper printing that will not be of any use in the long run.


Prints required for approval is all that is produced.

Production time

It also takes less time to produce, this is because only printing is done on a blue paper.

Several County Councils are now accepting Direct blue paper print. This includes Kajiado, Machakos, Nairobi, and Kiambu


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