Types of paper printing
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The selection of paper is of paramount importance because different types of paper are used to accentuate designs. Here we will mention the main types of paper, their function and their most frequent weight. You must remember that paper quality speaks volumes about the quality of a company. Paper does not only determine the appearance of a design –which varies greatly depending on the type of material used- but also the definition of images and the legibility of text, as well as the durability of graphic pieces. In order to choose the appropiate type of paper, we recommend that you consider two fundamental factors: the type of piece and the budget of your company.

Offset paper

This type of paper is ideal for offset printing. It is resistant, long-lasting, easy to fold and useful for two-sided printing. Depending on whether it has a coating or not, there are two subgroups: coated and uncoated offset paper. Text paper is of very high quality and produces excellent designs. It is covered with a layer of clay and other materials, therefore presenting a smooth surface.

It is widely used to print promotional material because of several reasons. On the one hand, it produces high resolution prints which are very resistant and flexible. And on the other hand, it produces designs of high quality and low cost.

Text paper can be glossy or matte. Glossy paper produces compositions of lively colors and great visual impact. It is frequently used to produce brochures –Bi-folds and Tri-folds-, catalogues, posters and the cover of CDs and DVDs. Matte text paper has an elegant appearance and although colors do not stand out as much as with glossy paper, images are very legible and have very good quality. It is used as a more economical alternative to glossy paper. Regarding weight, glossy and matte paper usually weight 80# or 100#.

Although uncoated offset paper is not as attractive as text paper, its quality is very good. Since it does not have a coating, it is more economical, and a good option for companies with a low budget. In general this type of paper is used in the printing of brochures –especially flyers-, catalogues and sheets of paper with letterhead. The most usual offset paper is uncoated of 70#.

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Cover

Cover is a type of paper with considerable weight and thickness, which makes it resistant, long-lasting and distinctive. Cover can be coated or uncoated. Coated covers present a smooth surface that is perfect to optimize image definition. Coating may be glossy or matte, and in both cases it produces high quality designs that look attractive and professional. Glossy covers are usually bright on one side, creating designs of lively colors and magnificent look. Matte covers are an excellent option in the case of compositions where text is central because it offers great legibility. Coated covers are used to print post appealing cards, posters, personal cards, brochures and catalogues.

A good option when printing low-cost resistant designs is to use uncoated covers. However, we recommend that in order to prevent graphic material deterioration you give paper a water coating. No matter which cover you use, the result is always a solid and professional corporate image. For that reason, this type of paper is a worthy investment- especially when launching a campaign that is meant to be a commercial success. The most common coated covers are glossy and matte covers of 80 #, 100 # and 120#, and the most common uncoated ones are of 100#.

Newsprint

If you want to launch a low-cost graphic campaign of massive scope you can choose to use newsprint. Although this type of paper is uncoated, low-quality, not very resistant and it is not long-lasting, it is widely used when printing high volumes of flyers. The reason for this is its main advantage: its low cost. If you decide to choose this type of paper, it is paramount that you simplify your designs in order to maximize its impact. Newsprint usually weight 30# or 35#.

Other types of paper

Although offset paper– coated or uncoated -, covers and newsprint are the most usual materials for printing graphic pieces, it is important to bear in mind that there are other special materials for the printing of labels and packaging. In the case of labels, it is frequent to use adhesive paper, which may have a glossy, matte or velvet coating. It is also possible to find uncoated adhesive paper, although this is less frequent because it deteriorates sooner than coated paper. Adhesive paper may glue on the front or on the back.

In the case of packaging, it is important to rely on the advice of experts. The election depends on the type of product, on how it is preserved and delivered, on how it is sold and on the budget available. In general, when you want to print the packaging of a product you have to resort to specialized printing houses, particularly in the case of packaging using special cardboard or Cellophane.


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