Learn how to choose the best paper for your printing work
In this blog we will show you the types of paper and grammage that best suit your printing needs and formats.
Before starting to print, it is important to know which material to use, in order to get the best results. We will give you information that will help you choose the type of paper that fits best for your product, according to its use, the format you want to print, and another important element, its cost.
The weight of a paper is not the same as its thickness, even though they can be mixed up. If we have a paper that indicates that its weight is 150 grams, that means that the weight of that paper is 150 grams per square meter. On the other side, its thickness indicates the distance between the two sides of the sheet. It is very easy to confuse both terms, because there are papers that are thicker and give the impression that their weight is also higher.
For instance: If we put an offset paper and a coated paper next to each other, the first one would seem to have more weight, because of its thickness. Coated paper, on the other hand, has a thin finish with no pores, and gives the impression of being lighter, although in general, its weight is higher because of its composition.
As you will see below, it is important to know the weight in order to be able to select the paper that best fits your printing jobs.
Types of paper
Paper can be classified in many ways: depending on its raw material, its finish, the characteristics of its surface, its application or use, and as we have seen, according to its weight in grams.
The printing we do in offices, schools or at home, are usually made on offset paper, a type of natural paper that absorbs a lot of ink due to its high porosity, for that reason the images printed on this paper will have a duller finish. Its grammage can go between 50 and 200 gr/m2, although the most common is 80gr, present in the paper we use every day.
This type of paper is usually the cheapest, and can be used for newspapers, books, magazines, catalogs, flyers, photocopies and letters.
There are two other types of paper in the offset category: ecological paper and recycled paper. As we have commented in previous blogs, the difference between them lies in their provenance:
The ecological paper has the FSC certification of the Forest Stewardship Council, which guarantees the consumer that the wood to make paper comes from sustainably managed forests and shows that in obtaining it there has been no illegal logging or irregular production practices,for its part, recycled paper is manufactured from used paper and its production uses raw materials that are recovered from recycled paper or cardboard, which are subjected to processes of de-inking and bleaching to be reused.
Coated paper is the most used paper in printing. It has a glossy feel compared to offset paper, because of its low porosity. Its composition based on cellulose and stucco layers, protect the print from ultraviolet rays, so the final work will have better quality and it will be more durable.
The finishes of this type of paper can be matt or glossy. Because it has less porosity than the offset paper, the ink is not completely absorbed and remains on the top layer of the paper, allowing more vivid colors.
For flyer, diptych and triptych prints, we recommend a matt coating of 200 or 250 gr, a light but resistant material, able to stand the test of time as well as offering good image and colour quality. A perfect solution for your communication products.
For catalogues and magazines we recommend a matt coating, because the silky surface of this material can achieve a more accurate representation of the images. Depending on the number of pages, we recommend one type of weight or another. If, for example, the catalogue is about 24 pages, we recommend making the inside pages between 150 and 200 gr, and the cover with a little more body, between 275 and 300 gr, and better if it is laminated, in order to protect the material from use and ageing.
If you want to print invitations, it all depends on the final finish you want to achieve. If you are looking for a light and delicate finish, it can be made with matt coated paper of 135 or 150 gr. But if we want a product with more body and a more premium finish, we recommend cardboard paper, a coated cardboard of between 250 and 280 gr.
Business cards are products for which the more special the finish, the better, because it will give them a special and distinguished look. At PCG we recommend a coated paper with more than 300 grams, and for a better finish, we recommend a matte or a soft touch laminate, which not only has a more pleasant feel, but also offers resistance and durability to the product. To add a special finishing touch, we can also incorporate the UV coating, which enhances the visual appearance of certain areas of your card (which should first be laminated), providing a glossy finish and soft touch.
As you can see, there is a lot of information to take in consideration when you are choosing the right paper for your prints. At PCG we will be pleased to help and advise you, so that you can have a good and high quality job. Do not hesitate to contact us!
Contact with PCG
If you need a personalised quotation or would like our team to provide you with assessment for your projects, please feel free to contact us. We are a team of professionals from the sector that will look after your project from beginning to end.