March 16, 2017 The Print Authority

Printing Paper Options: More Than Matte Or Glossy

printing paper options

When it comes time to print your items, you must choose what to print them on. It seems like a simple task, right? Just print them on paper. There’s so much more to it than that. It’s not just a question of printing it on shiny or dull paper. When it comes to printing paper options, there is a lot to choose from, so it’s important to know the look you’re going for.

Printing Paper Options

Uncoated Papers

Uncoated paper is much more porous and therefore soaks up more ink. Because the ink sinks into it rather than sit on top, images printed onto this type of paper will have a softer, slightly less defined look. These sheets are often the top choice for stationary, business cards, brochures, invitations and books.

Uncoated papers come with the following finishes:

  • Wove/Smooth: very smooth surface
  • Linen: created with textured lines on its surface
  • Laid: also has textured lines on its surface, but they are finer

Coated Papers

Coated papers have a clay coating added on their surface before calendering. The coating creates a gloss or sheen on the surface of the paper and holds ink better. This allows for a better printing quality as it helps get a smaller dot because the ink is less likely to run. Clay quality determines how bright, printable and strong the paper will be. Paper quality is determined by brightness, smoothness, mechanical properties (resistance, shear, etc.), and stability of thickness, among other aspects.

Coated paper finishes include:

  • Cast coated: very shiny
  • Gloss: the typical gloss seen on paper
  • Satin: not as glossy as gloss, but not as flat as matte
  • Dull: smooth surface but low in gloss
  • Silk: smooth surface but not reflective
  • Matte: non-glossy, flat; more opaque and bulkier

Coated paper is best for marketing materials because of the fact that the ink doesn’t run. This means your images won’t appear fuzzy, which is best when you want to emphasize your logo. This paper is also more opaque, making it better for two-sided printing. You won’t have to worry about any bleed through from either side. However, it is very difficult to write on coated paper, especially with a pencil. Coated paper also may not print well in a home or office (laser or inkjet) printer.

Writing Paper (Correspondence Paper or Bond Papers)

Writing paper is designed for letterhead, corporate identity, and home or office printers. Basically, it’s your everyday, run-of-the-mill paper. This paper is often the kind you see watermarks printed onto, as it’s easier to do on this type of uncoated paper.

Matte Paper

Matte paper is dull and lusterless. It is used to produce good quality prints, but it doesn’t have a vibrant color finish. An advantage to matte paper is that it isn’t glossy, so fingerprints and glare won’t be a problem. A good use of this paper would be in a place where light would cause problems when trying to look at the sheet. A disadvantage of matte paper is that it soaks up more ink so the image won’t be as sharp. If you want to print a highly detailed image, such as a macro image, your best bet would be to go with glossy. Keep in mind that the different types of matte, semi-matte and lustre, may have a different look than that of your traditional matte paper.

Glossy Paper

Glossy paper is the most common choice for printing photos because it produces a sharp and vibrant image and is smooth to the touch. Because of it’s shiny, smooth surface, it’s extremely easy to cover in dust and fingerprints, so it’s best to frame glossy prints to avoid that. Glossy prints are also more reflective and shiny, so they are not best for use in the sun or brightly lit areas.

Glossy paper comes in a couple variations:

  • Semi-gloss: less glossy
  • Premium-grade: higher quality and will produce the sharpest results

Green Paper

No, we don’t mean actually green paper. Green paper means eco-friendly options that are made from recycled paper and other products such as Post-Consumer Fiber, Pre Consumer Waste, and De-Inked Material.

Do you have any questions regarding printing paper options? Contact us today! We’re happy to help!

Whether you need digital printing or offset printing, the experts at The Print Authority will find the right way to get your job done so it is affordable and looks fantastic! We have over two decades of experience as a business printing company printing flyers, posters, brochures, business cards, training and marketing materials and much more. Our experts will make your company or organization look great in print. Contact us today for more information!