Types of Printing Paper

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Types of Printing Paper
Different types of printing paper are used for different things. (paper feed image by Glenn Jenkinson from Fotolia.com)

Send the right message by choosing the best kind of printing paper for your project. Understand printing terms when browsing options for your family event invitations for weddings, company brochures, advertising flyers or charity fund-raising reports. Types of printing paper vary from budget papers to eco-friendly choices and are defined by grades, finishes, sizes and weights, which are measured in lbs. per 500 sheets.

Uncoated Printing Papers

Choose uncoated printing papers for projects such as business cards, book pages, bookmarks and stationery items like letterheads and envelopes. Uncoated paper also suits the printing of lengthy texts, making them easier to read, because it reflects a lesser amount of light. If you are printing up materials on a budget, the lower cost of uncoated papers stretches the dollar further. For internal company reports, using uncoated paper shows you are aware of budget limitations and are proactive on saving cash. It absorbs more ink than coated papers, resulting in a less crisp result on documents with a large number of graphics.

Matt Printing Papers

Pick matt printing papers for everyday items like books, postcards, flyers, greeting cards, reports, brochures, catalogue and magazine inserts and documents containing multiple images, like photographs. Colour reproduction on matt papers may lose some intensity, appearing slightly faded, but this finish suffers less than glossy papers from marks left behind by fingerprints. Matt printing papers possess a discreet sheen, but not enough to cause glare from reflected light. Unlike uncoated papers, the text is very crisp, yet still easy to read, because it does not possess the highly reflective surface of a glossy finish paper.

Gloss Printing Papers

Glossy printing papers suit special projects and items such as magazines, flyers, photographic prints, posters and brochures. A gloss finish shows off materials with a highly visual content, or many high resolution photographs, such as fashion magazines, and excels for printing where faithful colour reproduction is essential. Contrast is good, but the surface is very shiny and highly reflective, requiring smaller areas of text or the choice of larger lettering types (known as fonts). Disadvantages of glossy printing papers include the smudges left behind from fingerprints.

UV and Aqueous Coated Printing Papers

Speciality coatings are added to printing papers for an extra amount of protection for covers or to add extra gloss. The two main types of speciality coating are UV and aqueous. UV coating is applied to items like magazine covers to enhance contrast and deepen colours. The aqueous version is water-based and adds less gloss than UV, but is seen as a more eco-friendly option.

Green Printing Paper

Green printing paper is suitable for a range of projects from event invitations to brochures. The choices available include recycled paper, FSC (forest stewardship certified) paper and paper processed without chlorine bleaching. Companies, charities and individuals seeking to promote their ecological awareness choose this option to communicate their green activities to the public.

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