A Brief Guide to Paper
What types of paper do you use?
We sell a wide range of printed materials. Our range includes Silk, Gloss and Premium Smooth Uncoated. Paper can either be coated or uncoated, and this is a big factor in the look, feel, and use of your printed piece.
- Uncoated paper has a rougher and more fibrous surface that soaks up ink, and so is unsuitable for large photos, but is easy to write on, so ideal for letterheads and compliment slips.
- Coated paper is paper treated with a clay compound that makes the paper surface smoother for better printability, helping ink stay on the paper surface for sharper detail, and makes for hardier paper.
- Coatings change the way colours are reproduced: Gloss coating reflects a lot of light and gives vibrant photographic prints with sharp detail, while Silk coating is semi-gloss and feels velvety to the touch, but with reduced glare.
What does ‘gm’ mean?
GM or GSM stands for ‘Grams per Square Metre’. It is a measurement of paper quality - it tells you how much a square metre of the paper or card you’re using weighs in grams. Although we often think of paper in terms of thickness, with premium print being on thicker paper, the printing industry now uses this standardised system, and heavier paper, e.g. coated paper, may be physically thinner than lighter paper.
Here’s a basic guide to some of the commonest paper weights:
- 400gm – Premium Business Cards and Folders
- 350gm – Standard Business Cards
- 300gm – A glossy magazine cover
- 130 to 170gm – Posters and Leaflets
- 100 to 120gm –Letterheads and Compliment Slips
- 90gm – Magazine pages
- 35 to 55gm – Newspapers
What are paper sizes?
Paper is sized according to the International A series, with each size in proportion to the others. Taking an A4 sheet as our guide, A3 is A4x2; A2 is A4x4 or A3x2 etc. And A5 is ½ A4, A6 ¼ A4 etc.