Types of Papers

Many papers are used in business, but some are more common than others. To get the most out of your printing, you need to know what type of paper your company needs, so you can search for quality options and make sure they’re available on short notice when they’re needed. This guide will give you an overview of some of the most common types of papers used in business today, so you can select the best options when it comes time to do your printing.

The Different Types of Papers

1. Inkjet Printer Paper

Inkjet paper is meant for use with inkjet printers. These printers use heat to transfer ink onto paper, so they need special paper handling high temperatures. This type also has a glossy coating, producing sharp images and text. The glossy coating makes inkjet paper more expensive than regular printer paper, but some consumers prefer its appearance. You’ll find inkjet paper in many different sizes and thicknesses and various colors, so you have plenty of options if you’re looking for specific features.

However, keep in mind that these types are often designed specifically for particular printers; you won’t be able to buy any kind at your local store. Instead, you may have to look online or purchase specialized printer paper from an office supply store. That being said, inkjet paper is an excellent choice for most people because of its superior quality and versatility.

2. Laser Printer Paper

Laser printers are typically more expensive than inkjet printers, but they tend to be more durable and print faster. This printer paper is sold in reams instead of single sheets like standard copy paper. The toner on laser printer paper is also specially formulated for use with a laser printer, which can cause problems if you try to use regular copy paper with a laser printer. For these reasons, it’s often best to stick with what your printer manufacturer recommends when purchasing paper.

If you want to experiment with other types of paper (or other types of printing), high-quality photo paper might be an option that yields high-quality results. Just make sure you test any paper before making a bulk purchase to know how well it works in your printer. Even laser printers have their limits!

3. Matte

Printing business Matte paper is most commonly used in printing business cards, menus, and placemats. It’s smooth but not slippery and has a non-reflective surface that is easily written on. Mattes also don’t curl when placed under heat, making them ideal for writing surfaces. Most matted paper is available in sheets between 8.5 x 11 inches and 11 x 17 inches. This makes matt paper ideal for printing small business cards or stationery letterhead.

4. Bright White

If you’re printing high-quality brochures or other documents with lots of graphics, it might be worth your while to invest in a ream of bright white paper. Using bright white paper will result in a more attractive finished product, but it can also ensure that all your important messages are printed clearly and accurately. This is especially important if you’re hoping to present professional-looking information about your company.

Even if you choose not to use bright white paper for everything, investing in some specialty reams may prove useful as you prepare marketing materials like direct mail postcards or custom holiday cards. These items may require specific colors and qualities, so it pays to buy a specialized stock at the right place when necessary. Remember, you want your marketing efforts to pop!

5. Glossy

Glossy paper is made from fibers created by adding a kaolin type to wood pulp. The high gloss or luster finish comes from a superfine coating of silica and calcium carbonate on each sheet. It’s also one of the highest quality papers used for brochures, catalogs, magazines, and direct mail pieces. Although a higher price tag makes it more expensive than other paper types, its durability and color-rich nature make it worth your money. If you have an important message you want to share with your target audience, there isn’t any better way than glossy paper.

Before you order your next batch of prints, you might want to test out different types of papers first so that you can get just what you need; if someone sees an image printed in glossy paper versus another type such as matte, they will be more likely to absorb everything right away and remember what they read later down the line. Because glossy paper tends to last longer and use less ink, it is always a smart idea for most of your print projects. High-quality glossy papers can sometimes be found at local stores like Amazon and Walmart. At times, finding precisely what you need might not be easy, especially when looking for specific types of papers without needing them cut ahead of time.

6. Card Stock

While card stock is commonly associated with business cards, it’s also a widely used paper in printing. Card stock is thick, durable, and comes in many colors. It works well for brochures, magazines, and catalogs. While card stock tends to be a bit more expensive than other papers, it can make your printed products more professional-looking and sturdier.

Additionally, using heavier paper will help keep people from throwing away your printed material as soon as they see it. The thicker paper might even have environmental benefits if you print on both sides. If you plan on having a lot of pictures or graphics in your brochure or magazine, you may want to consider thicker paper so that everything isn’t spread out too much. Since thinner paper is cheaper per sheet, you should consider all aspects of what you are printing when deciding whether or not to use card stock. Your printer may even offer recycled options like post-consumer waste that doesn’t cost much.

7. Resume Papers

Slightly heavier compared to traditional papers, resume paper is suitable for making resumes, letterheads, and envelopes. It’s often made with cotton and wood pulp, which gives it a more refined texture that’s easier on pens. This type of paper isn’t used for commercial printing since it doesn’t have high enough resistance to bleaching compared to offset or fine papers. It can be used by home printers who need an occasional sheet or two of resume-grade paper and don’t want to purchase one of those super heavy-duty reams.

8. Bond Paper

Paper that is used for both printing and writing. Bond paper is also thicker than other paper types, so it provides good support when using a pen or pencil. It can be found at almost any office supply store. Although, some companies choose to use heavier bond paper in different colors and textures.

Heavy bond paper is often used for scrapbooking as well as other crafts. They are also similar to bank papers, except their weight is more like index cards. This heavy bond is excellent because they don’t fall apart while you’re making something, and they aren’t flimsy either. The texture on these papers ranges from smooth to textured, which gives them an overall better feel when writing on them with your hands or with a medium such as crayons.

9. Pulp Paper

Most people know that paper is made from wood. Depending on how much processing it undergoes, they may not know that there are two different paper types. Pulp paper can be recycled, while higher-quality papers cannot be recycled. Unfortunately, pulp papers make up 90% of what people see in stores.

So if you prefer paper with a less chemical smell and texture, choose a high-quality piece of writing or print paper instead. Printing business owners will appreciate saving money on their environmental impact by producing less waste when using better quality papers. Printing business owners should learn to tell whether their paper contains more than 50% recycled fibers before deciding which type to use. The best way to do so is by carefully reading labels.

10. Watermarked Paper

Watermarked paper is high-quality, with tiny watermarks to show off its quality. This is primarily used for stationery, greeting cards, and documents such as legal briefs. The watermarked paper adds an elegant look to anything you print on it. It’s fairly expensive and might not be worth your investment if you aren’t printing documents with a lot of text.

However, a professional document can stand out when printed on watermarked paper. If you’re looking for something visually appealing and impressive, you may want to consider using watermarked paper during your printing process.

11. Uncoated Paper

This is paper that does not have any coating. It is made with 100% wood pulp and is used for magazines, catalogs, newspaper printing, and more. Uncoated papers are not glossy and are often perceived as inferior to coated papers. But uncoated paper remains popular because it can be recycled without experiencing any changes to its structure or quality. Uncoated paper has been employed for decades and has since become one of the most commonly purchased printing products.

Over 70% of all printing materials sold today fall under the category of uncoated paper. Although uncoated printing materials may appear flat and dull at first glance, many printing companies choose them because they offer various cost-effective benefits. They are also straightforward to recycle when they finally reach their end-of-life state. However, they tend to yellow over time, limiting their lifespan considerably if they aren’t appropriately handled before their recycling process begins.

12. Wove paper

Employed in publishing and chromatography, woven paper is made by setting a wire screen over a frame. The screen must be patterned by hand. It is used to separate solids from liquids or as a packing material. This type of paper can be translucent or opaque depending on how much sizing is applied during manufacture.

13. Brown Kraft Paper

This thick, sturdy paper is ideal for printing handbills and posters. It’s not typically used for invoices or other business forms. Brown kraft paper is often made from recycled fibers, making it an excellent eco-friendly choice for businesses looking to green their operation. Paper Mart has plenty of choices for brown kraft: You can purchase a full ream in one size or choose from a variety of options such as legal or ledger size.

Guide to Paper Sizes

Before you decide to print, it’s important to choose your paper size wisely. And when we say wisely, we mean knowing which type of paper size works best for what kind of work. The following are the paper sizes you should always consider.

1. A size

Almost all the printer users comprehend what A-size papers are all about. A-size papers are commonly employed, and it is effortless to distinguish them. So, to describe briefly, it’s a standard-sized paper that comprises a minimum of 26 x 37 mm/1.0 x 1.5 inches and a maximum size of up to 594 x 841 mm/23.4 x 33.1 inches.

Here is a simple guide on how to distinguish A-size papers.

Paper size Width x Height (inches) Width x height (mm)
A1 23.4 x 33.1 in 594 x 841 mm
A2 16.5 x 23.4 in 420 x 594 mm
A3 11.7 x 16.5 in 297 x 420 mm
A4 8.3 x 11.7 in 210 x 297 mm
A5 5.8 x 8.3 in 148 x 210 mm
A6 4.1 x 5.8 in 105 x 148 mm
A7 2.9 x 4.1 in 74 x 105 mm
A8 2.0 x 2.9 in 52 x 74 mm
A9 1.5 x 2.0 in 37 x 52 mm
A10 1.0 x 1.5 in 26 x 37 mm

2. A4

This is mainly employed for printing purposes and measures 210mm x 297mm. Some people assume that A4 papers are international paper size, but actually, it’s not. Instead, it’s an ISO standard paper size (A Series) that originated in Australia.

3. A3

Measuring 297mm x 420mm, A3 size papers are commonly employed in portrait mode (while A4 are usually used in landscape mode). The main reason why businesses choose A3 size papers is that they have a larger display area than A4-sized sheets. Similarly, it’s often used for printing business brochures and magazines.

4. SRA

Also referred to as the supplementary raw format A’, SRA papers are A3-sized with a trimmed right-hand margin. As a result, SRA paper size is equivalent to A3 paper size. In short, it serves in both portrait and landscape modes that measure 11.7 x 16.5 inches.

5. C size

These are unique types of papers employed for envelopes. The size ranges from C1 to C10 and primarily corresponds to standard envelope sizes.

Here is a simple guide on how to distinguish C-size papers.

Paper size Width x height (inches) Width x height (mm)
C1 25.5 x 36.1 in 648 x 917 mm
C2 18.0 x 25.5 in 458 x 648 mm
C3 12.8 x 18.0 in 324 x 458 mm
C4 9.0 x 12.8 in 229 x 324 mm
C5 6.4 x 9.0 in 162 x 229 mm
C6 4.5 x 6.4 in 114 x 162 mm
C7 3.2 x 4.5 in 81 x 114 mm
C8 2.2 x 3.2 in 57 x 81 mm
C9 1.6 x 2.2 in 40 x 57 mm
C10 1.1 x 1.6 in 28 x 40 mm

Guide to Paper Coating Types

There are various coating types used in printing papers. Depending on their intended purpose, papers can be coated using a combination of different methods. Some coating types include;

1. Varnish

These types of coating are usually made using Shellac, Resin, or Alkyd. The coatings are applied to protect the paper from oil, dirt, and water. Printing papers are coated using varnish-based coatings to improve gloss quality, water resistance, and print durability. Coated papers can be recognized by glossy/glazed-looking surfaces but may also appear smooth if a matte finish is applied. Some examples of different varnish-based coatings include polyester, polyethylene, PVAs, and PVCs.

2. UV Coating

These coatings have been made to protect materials from sunlight, air, etc. These UV coatings include Epoxy Acrylic (which has a pearl-like effect), Phenolic, and Silicone Resin. Many printing papers are coated with UV coatings to be exposed to sunlight without fading. They may also be applied to make ink printed on them more resistant to ultraviolet rays. Examples of printing papers coated using UV resin include; Kraft liner board, packaging board, and newsprint.

3. Aqueous Coating

These coatings include; Calendaring Coating (great for printing colored and gloss coated products), Top/Bottom Coating, Flock coating, and Glitter coating. This is one of the most common coatings used in paper production. It offers several different benefits, including superior abrasion resistance, improved coating adhesion, and many other properties depending on what it’s made from.

How to Choose the Right Paper

It’s easy to get bogged down in all the types of paper you could use and think about all your options, but it’s more important to figure out what works best for your printing business. Paper is an essential part of any printed piece and influences its quality, look, and feel.

To ensure that you choose wisely when buying paper for your printing business, take some time to research different types, their uses, and what they mean for your specific needs. After reading up on various papers and comparing their features, benefits, and costs, you should be able to decide which one (or one) is right for your business. To help you get started, here are the factors you should always consider.

1. Consider paper early on

Choosing a paper early on will help you streamline your printer paper purchasing process. Once you’ve chosen your brand of paper, be sure to buy in bulk, as it will save you both time and money. Most brands allow you to reorder through their website or an easy-to-navigate app. And once you find a company whose paper works for you, consider putting them on speed dial; the chances are good that they’ll have specials, discounts, and coupons available online or via email.

You don’t want to start printing only to realize that a much better deal was hiding behind a simple click. There’s no reason to skimp when it comes to printer paper—it should be excellent quality and cost less than what you would pay at major office supply retailers if you get creative about where you shop. Remember, Quality matters when printing things like wedding invitations!

2. Personality

Another thing while choosing paper is figuring out your personality. Are you bold? Bright and colorful? Classic, elegant, and understated? Then select papers that match. For example, someone who wants a bold look should choose a colorful or patterned paper stock, while a classic person will choose an elegant white or cream-colored paper. The rule of thumb here is to complement your personality type with your choice of paper. Below are some suggestions for each personality.

What kind of personality do you have? Do you prefer bright colors or darker ones (like black)? Would you rather have artful patterns or something more subtle? Answer these questions before heading out to buy paper for your next project. You’ll be glad you did!

3. Finish

Don’t forget that printer paper isn’t just for printers. Whether you use a paper shredder, scanner, or photocopier, you’ll need paper for those devices. Since different machines work best with different types of paper (and some don’t work with recycled paper), it makes sense to check which type of paper works best for your equipment before you buy. You won’t have to waste time switching out papers on your machine and setting it up again.

When in doubt, try printing an email test page: if it jams your printer or you see streaks in the printed area, you may want to stick with higher-quality paper. If all looks good, you can save money by using less expensive, lower-quality paper. So start by going through your office and seeing what kind of paper is being used. Most places are pretty standardized regarding what kind of printer supplies they use; once you know where things are typically kept, you can start checking out online options to find lower prices and maybe even free shipping.

4. Color and Brightness

Color affects our mood and mental state. In particular, reds and blues have sparked creativity and productivity, while greens and yellows can induce calmness. When selecting your paper’s color or brightness level, think about what your primary goals are—if you’re writing a research paper, you might want something more subdued. However, if you’re writing a children’s book or comic book, brighter colors will be more appropriate.

Brightness levels also play an important role in determining readability: white papers tend to be easier on your eyes than dark ones. Just keep in mind that many printers won’t work with bright yellow (as it interferes with toner), so you may need to settle for pale yellow or cream instead.

5. Weight

It would be best if you also considered the weight when choosing paper. It’s measured in GSM, which stands for grams per square meter. The higher your GSM or thicker your paper, the more durable it will be and thus less likely to break. When printing something permanent (such as a tax return or a vital business document), you want to choose a thicker type of paper like 20-pound stock because these papers will last longer than lighter ones when faced with handling and multiple copies.

These are better for printing things that don’t require frequent changes because a high-quality printer can easily rip through thinner paper. So if you think something might get passed around—or someone is prone to accidentally ripping pages out—it’s worth investing in heavier paper.

6. Recycled Content

Not All Recycled Papers Are Created Equal: It can be hard to figure out which recycled paper is right for you with all of those different options. You must know what to look for when choosing a printer paper that works well with your printing needs. One of your most important considerations is what kind of printer you have and whether or not each option is compatible with it.

If you use a laser printer, choose laser-compatible paper; inkjet printers work best with inkjet-compatible papers. If you try to use an inkjet printer to print on laser paper, the chances are good that it won’t come out looking as professional as you had hoped! Once you know what type of printer will be used to create your printouts, research how much content will likely be printed before buying more sheets.

7. The Printing Process

When it comes to printing, there are four main methods you’ll run into offset, digital printing, letterpress, and screen printing. Of these, digital printing is by far one of the most common and most versatile methods for getting your business materials made. Offset printing involves using images (called plates) that print on a sheet; most newspapers use a variant of this method because they need to produce hundreds or thousands of copies at once.

Letterpress and screen-printing involve applying ink directly onto the paper with a press; Simultaneously, although they might seem archaic in some cases, they can look very lovely in others—and still have their place in modern printing practices.

If you’re looking to print postcards, flyers, invitations, greeting cards, and other small items, these two methods will likely be your best bet to get them produced quickly. Digital printing is also an excellent option if you want something printed large; it works well on banners, posters, and even t-shirts. It might not be quite as fast as letterpress or screen-printing (typically), but its versatility makes up for that deficit in many cases.

8. End Usage and Distribution

The paper you choose for a document or project will impact its use and distribution. For example, if you’re printing documents that will be widely circulated, you may want paper that can withstand wear and tear. That’s where heavyweight (or bond) comes in.

This paper is sturdy and durable, so it’s great for printouts that may be handled repeatedly or passed around between colleagues. It can also stand up to ink refills from ballpoint pens—unlike most other types of printer paper. However, the bond paper does tend to show through when photocopied; if low-cost copies are important to your business strategy, you might consider using another type of printer paper instead.

9. Cost Considerations

Price is an important factor when choosing a paper, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But it’s not your only consideration; type and weight are also significant factors in deciding which paper is suitable for you. The cost of each paper product varies, so be sure to do your research before purchasing any product.

Check prices at multiple retailers and request quotes from suppliers to understand what different grades will cost you. Some distributors have websites that allow customers to compare their pricing with other sellers by entering item codes or part numbers.

Even if you don’t plan to make purchases online, these sites can give you a good idea of where your money is best spent. Remember that every company includes shipping costs and taxes in its price quote—you should check out standard shipping rates (often free) and sales tax rates before finalizing anything. There may even be room for negotiation based on quantity or location, so it never hurts to ask about special deals!

10. Availability

It would be best to understand that there are tons of paper types. It’s crucial to determine which ones are used at your school, organization, or company—and why they were chosen. If you discover why one type was chosen over another, it might hint at what qualities you should look for when choosing between them yourself.

Also, if you want your paper professionally printed, ask if someone on staff can recommend a printer based on knowledge of past projects and their requirements. But don’t forget: Asking lots of questions doesn’t make you sound stupid; ignorance is what makes you sound stupid!


In a nutshell, different types of papers are used for accounting and business needs. Your first step when choosing a paper should be to determine your specific need. For example, do you need paper to print invoices or write down ideas in a meeting? Next, you need to decide if cost is more important than quality. What other factors influence your choice? Once you’ve determined what’s most important in your situation, choosing which type of paper is right for you will be easier.

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