Paper Types Explained

Source: https://printingpartners.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/paper-types-explained/

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Coated Paper
Coated paper has been coated with a surface sealant, typically clay, to impart certain qualities to the paper, including weight, surface gloss, smoothness or reduced ink absorbency. The coating on the paper reduces dot gain by not allowing the ink to absorb into the paper. This allows for cleaner crisper printing, especially in photos, blends and fine details. Coated papers come in numerous options: gloss, matte, dull and satin finish.



Uncoated Paper
The uncoated paper stock is paper that has not been coated with a surface sealant. Inks dry by absorbing into the paper. This paper type can dull the colors that are printed. Uncoated papers comprise a vast number of paper types and are available in a variety of surfaces, both smooth and textured. Some of the common types are weaved or smooth, laid and linen.


Coated One Side (C1S) and Coated Two Sides (C2S)
This paper is commonly referred to as C1S (coated one side) or C2S (coated two sides). In a C1S paper the coating has been applied to only one side of the paper. C2S the coating is on both sides. Typically the coated side is glossy. You will find this type of paper used primarily on postcards. It gives a glossy feel to the front of the card while using the back uncoated side for addressing.

Weight

The weight of a paper refers to its thickness and is typically measured in pounds (such as 20#) and points (such as 10 PT). The higher the number, the thicker the paper for that “type” of paper. Paper weights in commercial printing can be very confusing. For example, a sheet of 20# bond (probably what you use on your inkjet printer) is about the same thickness as a sheet of 50# offset.


There are three general paper categories used to describe the basis weight of a paper: writing, text, and cover.




Opacity
A paper’s opacity is determined by its weight, ingredients and absorbency. A paper’s opacity determines how much printing will show through on the reverse side of a sheet. Opacity is expressed in terms of its percentage of reflection. Complete opacity is 100% and complete transparency is 0%.

Brightness
The brightness of a sheet of paper measures the percentage of a wavelength of blue light it reflects. The brightness of a piece of paper is typically expressed on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the brightest. The brightness of a paper affects readability, the perception of ink color and the contrast between light and dark hues.

Hopefully, this helps take some of the mystery out of selecting paper. The best advice we can give is to look at our paper sample books and ask your representatives for samples.

If you have any questions, please us for details at 360-697-2286.

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