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How to choose the right kind of paper

Choosing the right paper type for your print project

Paper is made in different weights, sizes, opacity, coating, smoothness, and brightness, so it can be challenging to decide the one that best fits with your project. Choosing the right paper type is crucial for the outcome of any project. In this blog, you will learn about the different kinds of paper used for commercial printing.

Printing paper types

There are two main types of paper used in commercial printing: coated and uncoated. Find out exactly what kind you should be using, and when.

types of paper used in commercial printing

Full-color Posters in white gloss 100lb. text paper

Coated Paper stock has a surface sealant and often contains clay. Coating papers reduce dot gain by restricting ink from absorbing into the surface of the substrate. This sealant allows for crisper printing, particularly photos, illustrations, gradients and well-defined detailed images. Coated stocks are available in numerous sheen options: gloss, matte, dull and satin finishes:

Gloss – a gloss coated paper has a high finish, very common in a typical magazine. Gloss papers have less bulk and opacity and are less expensive than a dull & matte paper of equal thickness. Paper stocks with a gloss finish are well suited for grabbing attention with a flashy delivery since the gloss helps colorful designs pop off the page.

Dull – this finished selection has a smooth surface paper resulting in low gloss. Dull coated paper falls between matte and glossy paper.

Matte – a matte coated paper is a non-glossy, flat looking paper with very limited sheen. Matte papers are more opaque, contain greater bulk, and are higher in cost. Matte stocks are a good choice for a more subtle appeal.

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Notepad smooth 70# uncoated paper stock

Satin – a satin finish falls somewhere between gloss and matte. It produces a slight sheen, enhancing full-color images and graphics while preserving the readability of text.

Uncoated Paper stock is a paper not treated with clay or sealants. For this reason, the inks are quickly dry into the substrate. Some common finishes for uncoated paper are vellum, antique, wove, or smooth. Typically used for letterhead, envelopes, and notepads, and can be used for full-color projects but colors tend to be less vibrant and produce a natural, refined look. Finally, premium uncoated paper can also be used to provide a more personal feel for outstanding invitations, announcements, and thank you cards. For simple writing and everyday copies, it’s best to go with an uncoated paper stock.

The best way to go about choosing the right paper for your print job is to ask and stay informed

great printing ideas in Denver

Great printing ideas in Denver

The project is what tells you what type of paper to choose. Printing brochures, calendars, postcards, flyers, and other promo products with high-quality inks is only part of the equation; when you add the correct paper type to the mix you’ve invested in an outstanding print item that’s primed to get optimum results. Stay tuned to find out more information on this topic.