How to choose the right paper grade?

We explain how to choose the right paper grade for your printed material, whether you’re looking to create colourful brochures or direct mail inserts.

How to choose the right paper grade?

Whether you’re looking to print mailers, vouchers or postcards, it’s important to use the right paper grade for your printed product.

We can help you choose the right paper product and finish, ensuring your brand message is carried with impact and effectively reaches your customers.

But how can you be sure which paper will be right for you? Whether you want to send out a folded brochure or launch a direct mail campaign, here’s our run-down of the different types of paper grade and the projects they’re suitable for.

Coated paper

Coated paper is ‘sealed’, limiting the amount of ink it absorbs, preventing bleeding and giving it a smooth, flat surface.

Printing on coated paper grades is crisp and sharp, so it’s ideal for brochures, glossy photos and booklets. It is also excellent for finishes including varnishes, UV coatings and foil stamping, and is more resistant to dirt and wear.

Coated paper comes in gloss, silk or matte, giving businesses a range of surfaces and finishes, depending on their needs.

Gloss-coated paper has a reflective surface with a luxurious, satin-like feel and allows vibrant colours with a ‘bright’ look and feel.

Matt paper is easier to read in low-light situations such as restaurants, so it’s perfect for menus. Matt stock has risen in popularity over the past decade, so if you go down this route, you’ll be choosing an on-trend paper for sure.

Silk lies between the two grades, and is commonly used for leaflets and brochures  

Uncoated paper grades

Uncoated paper, as the name suggests, allows more ink to penetrate the paper so images can appear softer. Although it’s not as smooth as coated, it still retains a quality, classy feel.

It’s a great choice if you’re looking to print report and accounts, premium brochures, letterheads and compliment slips, as its look is subtle and refined, rather than bright and glossy.

Recycled paper

Growing numbers of businesses understand the importance of sustainability and are choosing recycled and natural paper grades for their commercial printing projects.

It can contain between 10% and 100% recycled material or post-consumer waste, while some are made almost entirely from natural materials, such as sugar cane waste.

FSC & PEFC certified papers

You may have heard of these two certifications but are unsure as to what they mean, and how they affect your paper choice.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) are the two biggest systems for forestry management, and means the forest where the paper originated from is managed to the highest environmental, social and economic standards.

When you buy a paper that comes from a managed forest and holds one of these certifications, you will be able to use the system’s logo within your printed material, showing your customers, and the world, that you have chosen to source your paper in a sustainable way.

Don’t forget, as a World Land Trust certified printer, we can also Carbon Balance your printed material, helping you reduce emissions and your carbon footprint.

We can help you find the perfect paper

No matter what the project you have in mind, our team can help identify the perfect paper grade for you.

Give us a call on 01268 646789 or fill out the contact form here.

Get in touch

Our expert team can meet all your printing needs, no matter the size and scale of a project. Contact us today and let’s find out how we can help.