TYPES OF PAPER
• Small amounts of paper are still made by hand for prestigious applications such
as letterheads, limited-edition books, and artists’ paper, where completely random
orientation of fibers is important, particularly for watercolor paintings.
• The process is very slow and expensive, as each sheet has to be handproduced.
• This is a high quality grade of paper usually made from cotton rag pulp on a
cylinder mold machine, rather than a Fourdrinier machine (paper making machine).
• Acid-free is paper with a pH rating of 7 or higher rating of alkalinity. It has a
much longer life expectancy, and is used for books and other publications that are
intended to last in good condition. It is treated to neutralize the acids that occur
naturally in wood pulp. Where paper is not acid-free, it can yellow and deteriorate
BULKY MECHANICAL (NEWSPRINT)
• It is machine-finished paper, made mostly from groundwood pulp, or recycled
fiber used for printing newspapers and cheap landfills.
• It discolors, and becomes brittle when it is exposed to light, due to the impurities
contained in and around the fiber, that were not removed in the pulping process.
• These contain a large proportion of mechanical wood pulp, but also some
chemical pulp to increase strength.
• Can be bleached
• Can be produced with a smooth surface by super calendering, machine
finishing, or machine glazing.
• Used for offset printing, also called WSOP (web sized offset printing).
• These papers are used for cheaper leaflets and magazines – halftones up to 120
lines ppi, or more, can be printed satisfactorily.
• This paper is still made from wood pulp, but it is produced by the chemical, rather
than the mechanical process.
• To be described as woodfree, the chemical wood pulp content should be at least
• Strong sheets with good whiteness are produced for use as general printing and
writing papers, stationery, copying papers, and magazine papers.
• These grades will take color, but with not such good results as coated qualities.
• Includes: “bond” paper with fine formation (used for stationery), and “bank” that is
a lighter weight version of bond.
• These are tough, hard, sized papers that were originally used in the production of
cartridges. The term has been extended to most rough-surfaced heavy papers, such
as papers used for drawing and painting.
• Is used for covers to catalogues and paperback books, and for the production of
• It may be coated or uncoated on one or two sides.
• Board weights normally start at 150lbs (150gsm grams per square meter).
• Paperback book covers are specified in point thickness ranging from 10 point
(200gsm) up to 15 or 17 point (300gsm) for larger and heavier books.
• Thicker board is used for packaging, children’s board books, or binding cased
• This relates to bulky paper with a naturally rough finish (antique wove), similar to
that of an uncalendered handmade paper.
• Used in the production of books.
• This has a different surface characteristic as it shows the laid lines and chain
marks of the roll within the surface.
• Not suitable for halftones or line work with large solid areas of color or fine detail.
ENGLISH AND SMOOTH FINISHES
• Although uncoated, these are often used for publications that contain black-andwhite
halftones or color work.
• The smoothness of these finishes provides a receptive surface for the
reproduction of fine line illustrations and photographs.
• Gloss art paper is coated on both sides with china clay or chalk and calendered
to give a very high smoothness and gloss.
• It is used for the printing of halftones and color, and high-quality magazines and
• The base paper of cheaper coated papers can contain groundwood or recycled
• Matt art or silk-finish coated paper, is produced in a similar way to art paper
by coating with china clay or chalk, but the calendering process is only used to
consolidate the surface rather than to produce a high gloss.
• The surface has a matt appearance but still gives excellent reproduction of
black and white haftones and four-color images without the glare effect from gloss
interfering with the ease of reading the text portions of the publication.
• Blade-coated cartridge paper is midway between being an uncoated and a
matt art paper.
• Has a lighter coating than art and matt art paper, but reproduces halftones well.
• Used for some magazine work and illustrated books.
• Chromo paper is coated on only one side and is used for psoters, proofing work,
and the printing of book jackets and labels.
• Cast-coated papers are characterized by exceptionally high gloss.
• Cast-coated papers are used in the production of prestigious cartons or covers for
presentation material, and corporated annual reports.
• Made completely from plastic or with a plastic, or latex, coating over a base paper.
• Although expensive, these products are ideal for the production of some
waterproof maps, workshop manuals and books for young children.
• Tough and washable. They require special printing techniques and inks.
CARBONLESS COPYING PAPERS
• Are produced by employing a coating of microcapsules that rupture under
the pressure of a stylus or printer key, releasing a solution of colorless dye. This
transfers to the reactive surface on the sheet below where the dye is converted to its
PAPERS FOR DIGITAL PRINTING
• Many digital presses use toners instead of conventional offset inks, and these
react with heat as the image is fused onto the paper.
• Coated stocks can cause problems in electrographic printing, as the coating asts
as an insulator.
• The moisture levels are more critical in digital printing.
• Many types of highly specialized papers are manufactured either through
modificaiton to the basic paper making process, blend of pulps, use of additives.
• These include papers for currency, photography, filters, electrical cable winding,
decorative laminates, security applications, self-adhesive, and postage stamps.
• Mills make a wide range of papers that have special sizes and uses, such as
index, bristol, tag, board and newsprint. Many are used in both the packaging and
printing industries. Several manufacturers produce specialty papers that resist
tearing and moisture. You’ve seen them as envelopes, labels, maps, menus and
• The paper industry refers to heavyweight, bulky stock as board. The material is
rigid, strong, hard and durable. Names such as index, bristol and tag are common
in addition to the general term “board.”
• Sometimes an additional name gives a clue to intended use. For example,
weatherproof bristol makes good lawn signs; plate bristol has a hard surface for
business cards; vellum bristol is soft with good bulk for directmail cards.
• Because there is no consensus about basic sizes for board stock, basis weights
vary greatly. Furthermore, some boards are described in caliper and others in ply.
• Ply board, also called railroad board or posterboard, comes in many colors and
may be weatherized for outdoor use.
• Chipboard- Made from mill waste without concern for strength or printability.
This inexpensive material is used for light-duty boxes and backings on notepads.
• Board Paper- This is very thick and used primarily for posters and signs. It’s
usually coated on one side and is available in traditional sizes for advertising
inside buses and trains.
• Bristols- These come in various finishes. Vellum bristol is used for business-reply
cards and self-mailers. Bulky and very porous, it runs well on quick print presses.
• Index bristol is used for file and index cards as well as direct-mail pieces. Its hard
surface gives good ink holdout. Tag is a heavily calendered, dense, hard paper for
products such as labels, scoresheets and notecards.
• Newsprint- This comes from groundwood pulp and usually runs on open web
presses. It can be sheetfed, but runs slowly due to lack of body and impurities that
lead to frequent cleanings of plates and blankets. The impurities also make this very
inexpensive stock opaque but likely to yellow with age.
• Kraft- This is a cousin to newsprint made for wrappings and bags. It costs very
little, may be hard to find for commercial printing, prints slowly and comes only in
the familiar brown and manila.
• Dry Gum- This paper has glue on the back ready to activate with either moisture
or heat. Heatsensitive glues are used for labels in retail applications such as meat
• Pressure-Sensitive Papers- Often called stickyback, these are printed to make
the popular peel-off label. Almost any kind of paper is available with a self-adhesive
• Carbonless- These papers have chemical coatings that duplicate writing or typing
on an undersheet. The stock is used primarily for multipart business forms. Sheets
come in three types: CF (coated front), CB (coated back) and CFB (coated front and
• Synthetic- These papers are petroleum products with smooth, durable surfaces.
They are very strong, as anyone knows who has tried to tear a synthetic envelope.
Synthetics make fine maps, covers for field guides, game boards and other products
that must withstand weather, water and hard use. Synthetics cost about three times
more than comparable premium-coated book papers.
• Specialty papers include metallic paper coated with either mylar or powdered
metals, and synthetic paper, which is actually not paper at all, but plastic film.
These papers are expensive and may require special inks and printing techniques.
If your design calls for using a specialty paper, discuss it with an experienced
TYPES OF PAPER
• Plants, such as hemp, kenaf and bamboo, that yield fiber faster than trees.
• Agricultural waste such as sugar cane, straw from wheat and rice, and byproducts
from coffee, banana and coconut plants.
• Contains a percentage of fibers made from either post-consumer waste
(wastepaper) or pre-consumer waste (cleaner paper waste, known as “broke”, from
printers or the paper mill itself).