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Different Types of Paper and Their Effect on Print Jobs

Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Paper

While most of the paper we deal with on an everyday basis seems straightforward, paper types are much more complicated and important during professional print jobs. Did you know that the color of your project, how long it takes for your project to dry after printing, how effectively the ink sets in the paper, and other factors are dependent on the type of paper you choose?

With so many different sheet types and sizes available, it can be daunting to try and identify the paper type that may be the most suitable for your end result, but consulting the expertise of a professional printer can help you not only answer the questions you have but also take into consideration details you may not have considered while planning your project.

Paper Types for Printing

Each type of paper has unique features that can be beneficial depending on what type of project and run you’re planning. Some of the most common paper types used in printing today are:

  • Matte. This is the most commonly used type of paper. It features dull, lustreless coating and smooth finish. Ink dries quickly with less smears and smudges on this paper type due to its texture and high absorbency.
  • Glossy. Coated with high-shine polymer, this paper type can produce sharp, full colored photographs. Ink takes longer to dry on glossy paper, increasing the likelihood of smears and smudging during drying.
  • Bright white. You may have thought that standard printer paper was the whitest that paper could get, but bright white paper features a non-textured surface with a distinct white coating that can help enhance image and text definition with professional projects.
  • Copier and Laser Printer. This is also a very commonly used paper. This is the type of paper that can be purchased in large packs and stacked near your printer. This thin, lightweight paper is 75 percent opaque and offers quick drying times.
  • Listing. Designed for printers with the proper paper-feed mechanism, listing paper is a ream of paper sheets connected with perforated seams that are continuously fed into the printer.
  • Photo. Although photo paper is also a type of glossy paper, it’s typically only glossy on one side, has a much higher weight, and is often brighter for better definition.

Professional printers are experienced in a wide variety of paper types and understand how each type will affect the outcome of your project. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about which paper might be best, investing in professional print services is well worth the experience and knowledge that printers can lend.

Characteristics of Paper

In addition to different paper types, paper can also have different characteristics that can affect print outcomes, including:

  • Coating. Gloss and matte are polymer coatings that give paper specific properties. There are also raw, uncoated paper types, but most printed projects involve coated paper.
  • Weight. Thicker paper weighs more in grams, which can also make a difference depending on what type of project you’re creating.
  • Brightness of the paper is measured on a scale of 0-100, with upwards of 80 being the typical benchmark for top quality paper. The brighter the paper, the better a print will look.
  • Opacity. How transparent the paper is will also have an effect on the finished product. This is also measured on a 0-100 scale, with 0 being completely transparent and 100 being completely opaque.

Reach Out To Us Today

When it comes to deciding what paper type and characteristics are best for your project, trusting a professional printing company with your next print run can help make the difference between a good outcome and a striking, visually engaging outcome. Contact us today to discuss your next printing project.

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Thomas Group Printing is a family-owned print shop that ships nationwide. In addition to a variety of standard-sized printed resources, our experienced team can help you quote and print any custom job you can imagine. Get started on a print job with us today and experience the difference in print quality and service.