The foundation for a great-looking print job begins with the right choice of paper.
For the customer who is not familiar with some of the terms and characteristics of coated paper choices, we hope this article will be helpful to you.

When choosing your coated paper, it’s important to consider how it will affect the finished printed piece. Does it create the image and identity that you desire? How well will it reproduce your imagery? Will it stand up in the mail? What is the effect of your paper choice on your budget? Consider these when making your paper selection, along with the many options to choose from:

• Paper Weight
• Finishes (gloss, matte, dull or silk)
• Brightness and Color
• Opacity

Here are some of the finer points to think about:

Paper weight: Paper weight options are referred to as either Text or Cover stock. (Stock is another word for paper). Text stock is the lighter weight paper used most frequently for the body copy in a brochure, general marketing pieces or catalogs. Cover weight paper is heavier and more durable. Cover stocks are typically used for book covers, postcards or direct mailers.


Gloss stock is a coated paper with a shiny or highly reflective appearance. It is most often used in color printing to produce sharper, vivid color photography and graphics.

Matte and dull stocks are coated paper selections that have an unreflective or dull appearance. These types of paper are frequently used to enhance readability in finished printed pieces and allow the end user to write on the sheet.

Paper Color – White is a relative term, ranging from warm soft white to a cold blue white. Choose the “whiteness” that provides the best appearance and contrast between light and dark images in the paper you choose.

Brightness – The brightness of paper is the percentage of light that the paper reflects. Brightness and whiteness are not the same thing. Color and whiteness can both be subjective but the brightness of paper is a measurable attribute. Brightness is important because it affects readability.

Opacity – The opacity of paper is the “show through” or how much printing shows through the paper from the other side. High opacity shows less printing on subsequent pages, thus enhancing readability.

When working with Allied Printing Services, we can help you make the best coated (or uncoated) paper choice for your project, while ensuring you have access to multiple paper options as well as printing methods that you’ll need to complete any job successfully.

If you want to learn more about uncoated choices, please visit our previous blog post, or email us and let our experts help you.

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