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Paper Types

There is a huge range of paper types to choose from. When you want the right paper for a job or you want something different to make a special result it can be difficult to know what paper type to choose or what type will work best.

We have listed the most common types of paper and where they are normally used. If you would prefer to speak to someone about the best type of paper for your next project, click here for our contact details.

Coated papers and boards (also called ‘art’ papers and boards)

Available in gloss, matt or silk (sometimes known as semi-matt or satin) finishes, they are usually used for printing full colour leaflets and brochures. They give excellent ‘lift’ to images and solid colours, and accept UV varnishes. Gloss papers tend to be used for leaflets and flyers whereas matts and silks tend to be used for prestige brochures and reports. They work well with contrasting laminates and UV varnish finishes. Matt and silk papers with heavy, dark solids (particularly dark blues) can sometimes present drying and rubbing problems, but can be sealed with a machine varnish. Gloss papers and boards usually dry more quickly and present fewer drying problems. Coated papers are available in white, cream and ivory colours.

Stationery Papers

These are usually used for printing letterheads and compliments slips, and report papers. They are available in ‘Wove’, ‘Laid’ and Textured finishes. Wove is a smooth finish which is more popular today for modern businesses. Laid is more traditional and has become less popular in recent years. It is still widely used by more traditional organisations and for things like menus where a traditional feel is required. Textured papers are ideal where an individual look is required but they are not widely used for stationery. Stationery papers are available in white and a range of pastel colours.

Uncoated papers and board, cartridges and bond paper

These are mainly used for single and two colour booklets, leaflets and business forms and documents which don’t require carbonless copies. Often used for programs, instruction manuals and application forms, they are available in white and a range of colours.

Carbonless Papers

Carbonless papers are used for producing multi-part business forms where copies of the completed document need to be circulated to different departments. They are called carbonless because they don’t need to have a carbon paper inserted between each leaf to create a copy of the original. They are mainly used for producing hand-written order pads, delivery notes, requisitions etc. Carbonless papers are also used for producing documents printed on high speed impact printers, such as invoices.

Digital Printing Papers

These are specially formulated ‘dust free’ papers which are designed for use with digital printing machines such as JTM Digital’s Xerox Docucolour SRA3 digital press. They have an appearance of silk or gloss art. Uncoated papers are available for stationery type applications and these also have a very smooth finish.

Creative Papers and Boards

When you want to really stand out or create a different look, there are a number of different types of textured and coloured papers and boards. Some of these will accept four colour process printing and images very well, whilst others are only suitable for printing in spot colours. Available in a wide range of colours and finishes.

Metallic Finished Boards

These boards are usually only used for brochure covers and for special inserts. They are available in a range of colours and textures.
For more information about papers and boards, follow these links to the leading paper manufacturers and merchants’ websites.