aper with a clay or polymer coating applied to one or both sides is coated paper. The coating can be dull, gloss, matte or high-gloss (cast coated). Commercial printers typically offer a selection of coated and uncoated papers for use on printing projects. The coated paper produces sharper, brighter images when used in printing and has better reflectivity than uncoated paper. Even the dull and matte coated papers, which are not very shiny, provide a much superior surface for printing than uncoated papers. Coated papers are usually coated on both sides of the sheet, but the coating can be applied to only one side, such as for use with labels.
Coated papers are manufactured at paper mills and should not be confused with paper that is coated at a commercial printing company during the printing process with UV coating or flood varnish, which is applied in-line on a printing press as a job prints or afterward.
Our offset paper is the standard stock used in business correspondence. Due to its uncoated surface, offset paper has a high ink absorption. As a result, the colour reproduction is less intensive than on art print paper, for example. Offset paper is suitable for simple designs with few images.
The glued surface gives offset paper a coarse structure. This makes the paper ideal for printing with a laser or inkjet printer, writing with a ballpoint pen, fountain pen and others or stamping. The higher the paper weight of offset stock, the more sturdy the paper.
Paper comes in many qualities, from coated art papers to newsprint. The end product will determine the publisher’s paper choice. Two of the major considerations are book thickness and price, and these concerns are related. The weight of the paper contributes to the thickness and weight of the finished book — and the heavier the book, the higher the shipping costs.
One of the most challenging aspects of using lightweight papers is opacity. Opacity is the amount of transparency of the paper. High opacity papers are less transparent, meaning you cannot see through the paper. Lightweight papers by nature are less opaque, which means the print is more likely to show through to the other side of the page. When there is print on both sides of the page, as in a novel or biography, opacity is not a big problem. But in a highly illustrated book — such as a travel or art book, where images may appear anywhere on the page — high opacity is essential. Groundwood lightweight paper typically has higher opacity than other stocks. The finish of the paper also contributes to opacity, with coated papers having a higher opacity.