Printing Paper Information
Our standard stocks have three possible finishes:
Uncoated which has a finish feeling very slightly smoother than standard photocopy paper.
Matte (also called Satin) coated, which is smoother but with a dull, or barely shiny finish
Gloss coated which is smooth and with a glossy finish, not unlike the text of any glossy magazine
Our uncoated stocks are easy to write on, and are generally what you’d select for stationery. The lighter weights of 90 - 100 gsm are our budget stocks, and are usually what’s used for the text pages of booklets and similar. Heavier weights of 120 - 300 gsm are designed especally for our digital printer, and have excellent colour reproduction and writeability.
Coated stocks are smoother, and if they are being conventionally printed show richer, more vibrant colour because the ink sits on the surface coating and doesn’t sink into the paper fibre. This vibrancy is offset by the fact that it’s more easily scuffed or damaged by handling, and so jobs printed like this often have a varnish, generally of the same sheen as the base stock, either matte or gloss, applied to protect the surface.
Digital printing uses toner that melts into the surface of the paper, so people choose coated stock not for the vibrancy of colour but for the feel and look of the stock for their job. Digital toner always dries glossy, regardless of the gloss or otherwise of the underlying stock. It’s also substantially more hardwearing than conventional ink, so it would be unusual for a digital job to require a varnish to protect it.
Our paper weights range from 90 - 300 gsm (grams per square metre). As a comparison standard uncoated laserprinter paper is generally 80gsm.
In general, offset printing can offer a wider selection of paper stocks with the same three finishes. The stock can also range to a much heavier gsm. Our Business cards are printed on 420 gsm. However offset print runs usually start at 1000 minimum to be cost effective whereas digital printing can start with just one (1).
90 - 100 gsm - used for stationery, text for magazines and booklets, flyers and brochures.
120 -170 gsm - used for text for booklets, flyers and brochures. The heavier the weight, the more “upmarket” the feel.
200 - 250 gsm - used for magazine and booklet covers. Robust enough to give some body and stiffness when used in a publication, but not quite heavy enough to be used on its own for cards etc.
280 - 300 gsm - used for cards of all sorts and book and booklet covers.
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