Paper comes in a wide variety of options that are designed to suit specific purposes. When it comes to commercial printing, there are three main terms to know: paper weight, paper thickness, and paper finish.

PAPER WEIGHT

It is as it describes, the weight. This is sometimes confused with paper thickness. Paper weight is determined by weighing 1000 sheets at a given size. There are also two modes of measurement: text and cover weights. Text weights are thinner compared to their counterparts. It is improbable to conceive a single sheet’s weight unless using relativity. For instance, a letterhead sheet of paper is 70lb Text, compared to a Business Card that is 130lb Cover. By feel, the difference is obvious. Cover weights usually begin at 65lb Cover which is about the same as 100lb Text. 100lb Cover is close to twice the weight of 100lb Text.

PAPER THICKNESS

This category is very straight forward. All paper companies use a measurement called points which is unique to the printing industry. Thickness can vary between weights. Some 130lb Cover stocks (used for business cards) are 16pt and some are 13pt. Typically, Gloss Coated sheets are less thick because there is more clay coating on the surface to make it shiny. It’s a combination between the weight and the thickness that helps generate an overall feel of thickness.

PAPER FINISHES

Matt Coated is the roughest (still smooth to the touch) of the coated family. This generally has no sheen and is a nice flat surface. This category is extremely close to the Dull/Silk family. It is almost indistinguishable in many cases. These terms are all relative and some Matt Finishes can be exactly the same as another companies Dull Finish.

Dull/Silk Coated is the most versatile finishes as it is best for most applications. It is the smoothest to the touch and contains very little sheen. The smooth clay finish is always better for print quality and clarity. This can be ideal for both photographs and text. The advantage of little to no sheen, means while reading, there is no glare to disrupt the experience. This term is also supplemented for semi-gloss or satin.

Gloss Coated is as good as Dull/Silk for Images. It has excellent print quality and clarity. However, it does create glare and is not best for type.

Uncoated has no clay coating and is best for writing. Our smooth uncoated stock still prints very well but also allows for a pen’s ink to be absorbed by the surface. We use uncoated for letterhead if there is signing and for cardstock tags that need filled out.


We have narrowed the variety that best works for the below outlined uses.

Cardstock – 130lb Cover Silk, 13.8pt

Brochures – 80lb Cover Silk, 8.5 pt

Business Cards – 130lb Cover Satin, 16pt

Flyers – 100lb Text Dull, 5.1pt

Letterhead – 70lb Text Uncoated, 5.3pt


We can also custom quote any other types by request


Below is a a link to a more detailed description from the Mohawk paper manufactor.

https://www.mohawkconnects.com/article/ask-mohawk/paper-basics