A Guide To Paper

Paper Weight Guide

Here’s a quick guide to some of the popular paper weights used for a range of different product types. Remember that the choice of paper weight can have an impact on postage costs if the printed item is being posted as a mailing - we can always give you an estimate of the weight of the finished job if this is a consideration.

There are many creative treatments that will make good use of both lighter or heavier stock. Please get in touch to discuss your requirement.

Note also that the units of measurement are gsm (grammes per square Metre) used by most of the metric world.

Booklet Paper
Cover – 150-200gsm, Text – 90-150gsm

Brochure Paper
Cover – 250-400gsm, Text – 130-200gsm

Catalogue Paper
Cover – 200-250gsm, Text – 80-150gsm

Insert Paper

Leaflet Paper

Magazine Paper
Cover – 130-250gsm, Text – 90-130gsm

Business Card Board
350gsm Ivory Board


Coated or uncoated paper, whats the difference?

In manufacturing, all paper starts out uncoated. Paper is made out of bleached wood fibers, fillers, clay and caulk fillings. At the end of the paper-making machine, it‘s sometimes covered in a white clay or clay and caulk filler which covers up the small crevices, making it fairly smooth.

This coating creates a sheet less porous, than uncoated paper. In the printing process, a coated paper therefore doesn’t absorb inks as much as an offset or uncoated stock. When the inks aren’t absorbed, they stay on the top of the paper, thus looking more glossy. This makes the images, type and photographs look sharper.

Coated stocks are not always glossy, and are available in a variety of finishes such as dull, matte or silk. These finishes make it easier on the eye for reading long type passages. Unfortunately the inks also look less glossy as a result. Uncoated papers (such as copier paper) due to the fibers of the wood and other fillers, are rough compared to the coated stocks. Uncoated stocks are classified as bonds, offsets, card, newsprint, etc. These papers are very porous and soak up much larger quantities of ink.

Uncoated stocks have a tendency to dry faster to the touch, as the ink is absorbed into the porous paper. Uncoated stocks are easier to write on as the surface accepts the ink more readily than a coated stock.

Printers often recommend glossy stock for brochures with pictures and other attractive design elements that you want to draw attention to. A matte, dull or silk stock is best for literature that needs to be read, as it is easier on the eye. An uncoated stock is best for material that needs to be filled out by the recipient. It’s also great to use when going for a “natural” or more “earthy” look.

We have dozens of samples of different types of paper here at Hart Press and If you’d like to see some samples please call or come in.


Coloured paper

Coloured paper can be printed equally well on digital or litho presses and whilst creative use of coloured paper can make a visually appealing job, the paper mills are reducing the range of colours, weights and finishes available.

It's the old story of supply and demand - and the economics of producing vast amounts of paper on  huge paper making machines mean that only the best selling colours are kept in the range and the less popular colours being dropped.

However, there are still specialist paper companies producing coloured paper in smaller batches, with price tags to match, so please don't be put off we will always try to obtain that special shade if it's important to you.