This Paper Types guide is here to give you an idea as to the many types of paper and paper finishes that one can use when printing.

The Paper Types

Art
A type of coated paper.

Coated paper
Paper which has received a coating on one or both sides providing an even surface.

Uncoated paper
The general name for paper grades that have not been coated. Often surface sized to increase surface strength.

Laid
Paper with a texture.

Woven
A paper which shows an even texture rather than a parallel line pattern.

Art Paper
This is a term used to describe the best quality of coated papers that have a coating of china clay or other mineral applied to each side of the sheet, which is then 'calendered' by steel rollers to give a gloss finish.

Matt coated paper
This paper has calcium carbonate added in its production to make a more satin effect from an art paper. These papers, due to the process, are more prone to rubbing when printed and need to be sealed.

Cast Coated Papers
This paper has a very high gloss finish achieved by using a special coating and the surface is then polished by stainless steel drying cylinders.

Watermarked Paper
An impression is pressed into the top of the sheet on manufacture. This is normally used in high quality writing papers. i.e. Conqueror. Clients can have their own watermark put into a sheet if required.

Wove and Laid papers
Wove is a plain texture and laid has a series of ribbed lines running through it.

Carbonless
Paper specially coated to produce an image in black when pressure is applied. Used extensively in sets. There is a top , middle and bottom sheet with the coatings applied accordingly.

Pulpboard
Matt uncoated boards in white or tinted ranging from 200micron thickness to 750 micron.

Bank and Bond
Bank paper is under 63g/m2. Both are essentially stationery papers supplied in a variety of colours with a matt uncoated finish. Papers for copiers and printers are subject to more stringent moisture contents.

Newsprint
Mechanical pulp print paper containing a small percentage of chemical wood pulp. Grammage 45-50g/m2 Mechanical pulp is produced by grinding wood mechanically and is used in cheaper papers.


The Paper Finishes

The finish refers to the surface characteristics of the paper such as how the paper feels...is it smooth such as glossy cover or rough with an antique finish? Does the paper have a glossy appearance such as coated glossy papers or is it dull like bond paper. Does the paper enhance the look of the printed piece similar to watermarked paper or is it purely functional like newsprint?
          Finishes can be applied to paper during the manufacturing process or produced offline. A finish such as Laid can be created while it is being manufactured with the use of a marking roller that forms the pattern in the paper while it is still wet. Paper finishes provided offline are usually accomplished with steel rollers that press the pattern into the paper. The offline finishes are known as embossed finishes.

Some of the more common paper finishes are described below:

Cockle
A cockle finish simulates characteristics of hand made paper with a wavy, rippled, puckered finish. The effect is obtained by air drying the paper under minimum tension.

Felt
Felt is a soft texture on uncoated paper that is created during the papermaking process with a either felt covered roller or with a rubber roller with a felt pattern that creates the finish. It can also be accomplished as an offline process. The felt finish does not affect the strength of the paper.

Gloss
A gloss finish produces a shiny and reflective surface on one or both sides of certain coated papers. A higher gloss is usually seen on higher quality coated papers. The gloss finish is produced from compounds added during the paper making process.

Laid
A laid finish has the appearance of translucent lines running horizontally and vertically in the paper. It is produced during the papermaking process with a special roller that creates the pattern in the wet paper.

Linen
Linen finished paper resembles linen cloth and is usually produced after the papermaking process as an offline embossing process.

Matt
A finish on certain coated papers that is smooth but gives a dull appearance. A matte finish, as well as other types of coated paper, are good choices for print jobs in which high quality is required.

Parchment
A paper finish that has an old or antique appearance and is the result of washing Sulphuric acid over the paper and then quickly neutralizing the acid wash. This process melts the outer paper fibres which fill the voids in the rest of the paper. Parchment is very durable and grease resistant.

Smooth
A smooth finish is the result of the paper passing through sets of rollers during the papermaking process. This process is known as calendering.

Vellum
A vellum finish has an eggshell appearance and is consistent and even but not as much as a smooth finish. Vellum is one of the most popular uncoated finishes and paper with this finish has a high ink absorbency rate.

Wove
An even finish in uncoated paper with a slight texture made by a felt roller covered in woven wire.