Coated and Uncoated Paper Stock
When choosing a paper stock for your print job, often the first choice you need to make is coated or uncoated paper. This is sometimes a price-based decision, but more often it’s about the end use of your printed product. This article from Printing Brisbane will describe the difference between coated and uncoated papers and boards, and the different uses for each. Find a comprehensive stock description list here
Coated paper or board
Coated means just that: the stock has a matt or gloss coating that makes it very smooth. The coating will be either very shiny (gloss) or slightly shiny (matt). It has some resistance to moisture, dirt and general wear and tear. Colours tend to be more vivid. And images are sharp on a coated stock because the ink does not soak into the paper or bleed. Coated paper is typically used for promotional flyers, magazines, booklets, business cards and brochures.
Coated paper or board is not the same as laminated or celloglazed paper. Laminated stocks have a thin layer of gloss or matt plastic on one or both sides. An easy test to see if your card is laminated is trying to tear it. If it is laminated, you will be able to easily see the layer of plastic as it will be hard to tear.
Uncoated paper or board
The uncoated paper that we are all familiar with is standard photocopy paper. You can easily see the paper fibres, and it has some texture to it. Some uncoated papers have a lot of texture: linen finish, embossed finishes, recycled papers, handmade papers. Some uncoated stocks have a wonderful smooth finish, and can be just as smooth as the coated stocks, but without the shine of the coating. Uncoated paper is used for letterhead, notepads, with comps slips and anything else that either needs to be easily written on, or go through a desktop printer. It is also used for business cards that need to be written on, like loyalty cards or appointment cards.
Is coated or uncoated paper cheaper?
At Printing Brisbane, our gloss and matt coated stocks are sometimes cheaper than our uncoated stocks. This is because we print a very high volume of coated stock, so it is simply economies of scale! So you won’t save much money by getting your flyers printed on photocopy type paper, gloss is definitely the way to go! But do get in touch if you want to know more. We can help you decide if price or finish is more important for your job, and help you with your decision making.