Choosing the right types of printing paper can be a very complicated task. You have overwhelming options. Paper influences every aspect of a printing project, along with overall perception, reproduction quality, durability, and shipping cost. Choose wrong, and you can ruin a great project.
Being specific involves considering many aspects. First, the surface of the paper because it affects its appearance, feel, and printability. It matters because people are influenced by the appearance of paper, it’s that simple.
Main types of printing paper
We receive many inquiries almost every day demanding more information about the different types of paper for printing that are available in our online printing shop. For this reason, we thought it would be very practical to gather a brief review of all of them in a post, so… let’s go!
Gloss Coated Printing Paper
A very common paper used in magazines, catalogs, calendars, posters, and brochures. It is characterized by having a surface layer of coating that keeps the ink on the surface. Colors are intense and beautiful. This paper is suitable for printed products that have large images and few texts to read.
Satin Coated Paper
Along with glossy coated paper, it is one of the most common types of paper used for commercial printing. It has characteristics and uses similar to glossy coated paper but with less brightness, as it has not undergone as much calendering in the manufacturing process. This type of paper is suitable for printed products in which comfortable reading of texts is essential, thanks to the absence of reflections.
Glossy and semi-matte coated papers are the most common types of paper used for printing magazines. In fact, they are essential for commercial printing and can be found in products such as catalogues, calendars, posters, flyers, and folded brochures.
Recycled Coated Paper
Similar to the previous paper but made from recycled fibers, that is, fibers that have previously been used to make paper. Recycled paper is more sustainable.
White Offset Printing Paper
Unlike the previous types of paper, no coating has been added in the manufacturing process of different types of offset paper, so this paper maintains its natural porosity. Its texture is less smooth than that of coated papers, and colors appear less vibrant as the paper absorbs a good portion of ink. It is suitable for writing on it, making it the preferred type of paper for personalized agendas, letterhead paper, invoices, and envelopes and bags. It is also commonly used to print the interior of books where text predominates over images.
Ivory Offset Printing Paper
Similar to the previous paper type, but with a slightly yellowish tone that is highly appreciated in certain specific usages, such as book editing and corporate stationery.
Graphic cardboard is characterized by being made up of several layers of chemically pulped paper to which a layer of coating is added on one or both sides. In the first case, it is usually referred to as “1-side coated graphic cardboard” and in the second case as “2-side coated graphic cardboard”.
It is especially used in products that require extra stiffness, such as the bases of desk calendars, which must support the weight of the sheets that make up the calendar without bending.
A second area of use of graphic cardboard is the covers of paperback books, for the same reason: graphic cardboard, compared to a coated paper of the same weight, is thicker and stiffer, which makes it suitable to act as a book cover.
It is also a common support for wedding invitations and other events, since the consistency of the cardboard is suitable for conveying the feeling of “prestige” that is usually sought in this type of product. In our online store, we use 260 g E-Feel L&d Canvas cardboard, of high quality.
Folding is a type of paper similar to graphic cardboards, but with the difference that the inside has layers of mechanical pulp and chemical pulp. Its main application is in packaging, although they are also common in other types of products such as triangular desk calendars or corporate folders.
In our case, we offer printing on one-side coated Folding paper, with a weight of 295 grams.
Click on the link to learn about the difference between mechanical pulp and chemical pulp.
There is a wide variety of types of adhesive papers on the market; virtually all types of papers (coated, offset, cardboards…) have their “adhesive” version. Thus, for example, if we talk about printing on glossy adhesive paper, we are referring to a glossy coated paper with adhesive properties.
Depending on the strength with which the adhesive paper sticks to the surface, adhesive papers are classified as removable, permanent, and… superpermanent!
Another differentiation that is usually made is depending on whether the adhesive paper has small cuts on the back to facilitate the peeling of the protective layer. According to this, we talk about adhesive paper “with back slit” or “without back slit”.
In our online store, in the “Adhesive and Stickers” section, we offer the two adhesive papers which our experience has shown us are used most frequently: 80g glossy permanent and 80g glossy superpermanent adhesives, both with back slit.
We offer a 330 micron-thick magnetic paper. It is a type of paper that is printed like “normal” paper, in fact, it is a semi-matte “normal” coated paper on one side, but on the other side it acts as a magnet. Perfect for printing photos and turning them into attractive customized fridge magnets.
Available in three colors: gold, silver, and pearl white. It is important to highlight that the paper itself is metallic, it is not conventional paper to which metallic inks have been applied. This achieves a really spectacular metallic effect, allowing even the application of white ink on the surface.
In our W2P you can find a wide range of products printable on metallic paper:
The most important feature a paper used as a coaster must have is extreme porosity, as it must be able to absorb the liquid released by bottles and glasses. This is the kind of paper we offer in the coasters section of our online store.
How Printing Interacts with Different Types of Printing Paper
Aside from the tactile feel of different types of paper, the way ink interacts with paper is also extremely important to consider when planning your next printing project. Your print advisor should be able to provide you with printed samples of the major paper types to demonstrate how they will interact with ink when printed.
I have attempted to give a very brief and simplified explanation of what you should expect to see regarding ink interaction on the major paper types discussed earlier in this document.
Uncoated calendar paper absorbs ink. This means the printed image sits within the paper, so to achieve a good printed image, the printer will need to use more ink compared to a coated sheet in order to achieve the same quality image.
Uncoated paper conveys a message of environmental awareness as well as of being budget conscious.
Charities often use this type of paper when printing fundraising materials or reports for their members. A key disadvantage of using this type of paper is that due to the amount of ink required to achieve a good image printout, it can lead to longer drying times, making these types of materials not very suitable for quick turnaround jobs..
And that concludes the listing of the different types of printing paper we offer at our online printers. We hope you find it useful!