Guide for

Printing Materials

Step 4 - Choose a Paper Finish

We are almost there!

The last thing to decide now is the paper finish. Or, to put it in a simpler way, the kind of paper.

With the evolution of the paper industry, new methods of paper production were developed and, depending on which method is used, a paper can look and feel completely different. Pretty much like fabric, paper fibre dictates the paper quality and how it feels.

If you are unsure, it’s probably a good idea to pop in our stores to have a look with your own eyes and see how each kind of paper feels on your hands.

Coated or Uncoated

Before choosing your paper finish, it’s probably a good idea to think if you will need a coated or uncoated paper. Some papers do not have a coated option, so deciding this can help you trim down your options and make the decision process easier.

Coating paper is the process of adding a very thin ‘plastic’ layer on top of the stock paper. This process can be done during the papermaking or afterwards, depending on the type of paper.

You have probably noticed that credit cards have a very thin plastic layer covering the actual card. On print paper, coating works in a very similar way.

Coated paper is more resistant to scratches, water drops, and are generally more durable.

The coating process also makes the paper a bit thicker and heavier. For this reason, a coated paper with a lower gsm is a very popular option, being usually a more cost-effective option than printing on a paper with higher gsm.

Uncoated paper is generally the stock paper, exactly how it is supposed to be. Since coated paper can add some level of glossiness and become reflective, depending on your needs, uncoated may be the way to go.

The ideal paper finish

There are literally hundreds of different paper finishes. The most common are Gloss and Matte, but there’s also satin, recycled paper, metallic, silk, parchment, and the list goes on.

To help you decide which paper finish to choose from, the first thing to consider is price. As a thumb rule, the more sophisticated a paper finish looks and feels, the more expensive it will be. So deciding what level of sophistication you need on your project is a crucial step.

Once that is decided, the second most important detail is how the material will be distributed or fixed. Some finishes like Gloss can be very reflective, so if your goal is to fix a banner on a place too illuminated, for example, your audience may have problems reading it.

At the same time, embossed paper can collect dust quite easily, for being a more porous paper.

We’ve selected below a few of the most common paper finishes and their main aspect.

And remember, if you are still unsure of which paper finish you need, you are welcome to visit us and our team will be happy to show you samples of most paper finishes available.

Most Common Paper Finishes


As the name suggests, this paper finish has a glossy look. Colours look more vibrant and provides great print clarity.

Main aspects:


Most common stock paper have a matt look. But a Matte finished paper brings that to the next level, providing a unique and professional look that stands out.

Main aspects:


Uncoated stocks tend to give a more natural, flatter look. All uncoated stocks have a non-sheen matt finish.

Main aspects:


Satin finish is for those projects where you want all the sharpness from a glossy finish, but with all the added benefits of matte finish.

Main aspects:


Similar to satin, silk finish brings a super smooth surface. Recommended for high-end projects, where the idea is to really impress your audience.

Main aspects:


If you are looking for an option to enhance appearance and add value to your project then a high grade speciality paper will ensure this.
This range includes textured papers such as felt, embossed, linen, vellum and wove. These all have varying textures from smooth to a subtle roughness.

Speciality stocks can include:

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