Paper Type

Paper Types

Paper, the types, sizes, thickness and finish; it can all become a little complicated, This go to guide will help you to choose the paper fit for the job and make the whole process just a little less stressful.

Deciding on the paper type can sometimes be the hardest choice for this whole process, so to help you we’ve provided a list of types along with a description of each.

Paper types

Gloss coated paper

Gloss paper is typically used for flyers and brochures as it has a high shine. As the ink dries well there is no need for a seal varnish as the ink does not rub off.

Recycled paper

Made from re-used paper products, recycled paper is perfect for those who are trying to reduce their environmental impact. It can be used for most documents including reports, memo paper and forms.

Silk coated paper

Silk coated paper has a smooth silky coating, leaving it smooth to the touch but without the shine of glass paper. This type of paper can be used for many things such as magazines, books and catalogues.

Uncoated paper

Typically found in most office printers, uncoated paper has no coating, making it excellent for ink receptivity and absorbency. As it is uncoated it has the advantage of being used by both printer and pen, ideal for forms, letterheads and memo paper.

Paper sizes

The table below provides the dimensions of each paper size. So whether you just need to know the size name or the measurements, use the below for a quick reference.













Width x Height (mm)

841 x 1189 mm

594 x 841 mm

420 x 594 mm

297 x 420 mm

210 x 297 mm

148 x 210 mm

105 x 148 mm

74 x 105 mm

52 x 74 mm

37 x 52 mm

26 x 37 mm

Width x Height (in)

33.1 x 46.8 in

23.4 x 33.1 in

16.5 x 23.4 in

11.7 x 16.5 in

8.3 x 11.7 in

5.8 x 8.3 in

4.1 5.8 in

2.9 x 4.1 in

2.0 x 2.9 in

1.5 x 2.0 in

1.0 x 1.5 in

Paper weight/thickness

Finally once you’ve decided on the type and size of paper, the thickness is the final stage. Weight value of paper is measured in gsm (grams per square metre). The higher the gsm the better quality and feel of the paper.

Paper Weight Descriptions

35-55gsm: Most newspapers

90gsm: Mid-market magazine inner pages

130-250gsm: A good quality promotional poster

180-250gsm: Mid-market magazine cover

350-450gsm: Most reasonable quality business cards

Standard paper weights are between 75gsm and 100gsm for common business applications; photo paper is much higher and goes up to 280gsm in weight.


In the printing industry, lamination refers to the process of bonding a clear plastic film onto printed matter to make it stronger and more durable. In most cases, the bonding is applied to both sides of the printed piece so that it is totally enclosed in the plastic film. This protects the piece from stains, tears, moisture and other hazards that can damage or ruin it altogether. Lamination adds strength and rigidity to a printed piece and also makes the colors stand out more.

Lamination is used in a wide variety of print projects and is ideal for items constantly being handled. For example:

  • Restaurant menus
  • Price lists
  • Maps
  • Educational materials
  • Bookmarks
  • Business and membership cards
  • Marketing materials

Lamination also helps protect printed pieces that get used in dirty or damp environments. These can include machinery warnings, operating instructions, safety signage, reusable tags, and more. In these environments, the plastic film often extends beyond the edge of the printed piece so that both layers can bond with each other. This provides a tight seal that prevents dirt, moisture and other contaminants from getting inside.

Matte and gloss: the most popular lamination choices

Matte laminated print has a velvet look. Gloss laminated print has high shine.

The choice between matte vs. gloss lamination can be one of the most important decisions in a print project.

Matte lamination produces an elegant, sophisticated finish. It also provides a softer, more natural look that makes it easier to read the printed piece. Matte lamination has a “velvety” texture that makes it pleasant to handle. It also softens the contrast of darker colors so that they don’t stand out quite as much.

Gloss lamination produces a shiny, glass-like appearance that enhances the color and vibrancy of the ink on a page. It is commonly used for business applications such as marketing and promotional pieces. It also works well as a covering for bound information in the form of books, reports and training materials.

Both matte and gloss lamination provide many important benefits for printed materials. These include:

  • Enhanced durability. Laminated print pieces can withstand high levels of daily use.
  • Damage protection. Lamination protects against damage from fingerprints, liquid spills, stains, smudges, grease, dirt, grime, and much more. When the laminate gets soiled, it is easy to clean.
  • Improved appearance. Enhanced ink colors of the printed piece create a more professional look. The added strength and stiffness of the laminated item give the impression of better quality.
  • Easy to read. Because it is completely transparent, lamination doesn’t impair or blemish the printing.
  • Affordable. Lamination is reasonably priced and can actually save money by extending the life of print pieces and avoiding the need to reprint damaged ones.

When to use matte vs. gloss lamination

The choice between matte vs. gloss lamination depends on the printed piece and how you plan to use it.  Both types provide a strong, clear covering that makes the text and graphics completely visible to the reader. However, keep in mind that matte absorbs light while gloss reflects it. This makes a big difference in the appearance of the printed piece and the impact it has on people.

Choose matte laminate when:

The printed piece will be situated underneath direct lighting (i.e., store signage). The matte finish helps deflect any glare, making the piece easier to read at any angle.

The printed piece doesn’t get handled very often. Matte laminates can easily be scratched or scuffed by excessive use.

You want a modern, sophisticated look. Matte makes a great first impression. The printed piece contains subdued color tones.

Choose gloss laminate when:

The printed piece is an item that gets handled a lot every day. Gloss provides a higher level of protection than matte and is easier to clean.

You want the piece to make a strong visual impact. With gloss lamination, the colors seem to jump off the page.

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