Know Your Papers – Types of Paper Explained

Any printing job has to be printed on something. That’s so obvious that people tend to overlook it. They focus on the colours, the images, the fonts, but forget that one of the most important aspects of the job is actually the paper itself.

Different types of paper have various thicknesses and textures. Which one you choose sets the tone of the printed material.


Heavier papers and those with some texture or finish feel more luxurious, and of course, they tend to cost more. When you need 50,000 flyers for a once-off special offer, it makes sense to go for less expensive, less durable paper. But when you are printing a brochure showcasing your products or services, you have to consider the message your paper choice is sending.

Is the finished product a document that people will read once and put away, or something they will consult repeatedly? Is it likely to be passed around and handled by many people? For example, a newsletter will probably be read once and discarded, but a brochure listing the services available at a venue will be kept and re-visited over and over.

Paper is described by its weight. It is measured in grams per square meter, which is written as gsm. The lightest paper in common use for printing is 90 gsm, which is regular copier paper. Business cards, invitations and folders are usually 350 gsm. When you order your print job, be sure to discuss the weight as well as the types of paper that will meet your needs.

Paper absorbency is another factor you may need to consider. Different types of paper absorb water (and therefore ink) in different ways. If you chose a specific type of paper beforehand, this is something you need to be aware of, as it may not be the most appropriate one for the printing job requested. An experienced printer will be able to confirm that the paper you want is suitable for the printing job.

Different Types of Paper for Different Jobs

Here’s a quick overview of some different types of paper for print jobs. Understanding the terminology before you place your order can help avoid any confusion. Of course, experienced printers are happy to explain any terms or issues that are new to you. Never hesitate to ask questions!


  • Art Paper: This describes paper that has a special coating to give it a smooth, glossy finish.‌‌
  • Constellation Snow: This luxury paper stock has an embossed linen feel. It exudes a natural elegance.‌‌
  • Lux Paper: Made by layering three cards, it typically features a different colour in the middle card to give it a distinctive look and colour.‌‌
  • Silk Paper: With its low sheen and excellent ink-to-paper contrast, this choice enhances brightness and contrast for an easily readable result.‌‌
  • Uncoated Paper: This is what printers call regular copier paper.



These are just some of the most popular types of paper. There are numerous options to choose from, each with its own specificities, that can help your final product pop. Our team is happy to recommend a paper that will best fit your needs and budget. Drop us a message and tell us about your project!