PRODUCTION PROCESS : Paper selection.

There have been whole books written on paper selection but a few gems of knowledge can make all the difference.


There are cost implications to paper choice.

A rule of thumb is that paper cost is approximately 25% of the print cost.

The difference between the most, and least expensive paper is around 10%.

This means that if you are printing many copies of a multi-page document, the difference between the best and least expensive stock can be huge, but the opposite is also true. Paper choice in a project with a small quantity and few pages will not make a huge impact on the budget.

There are also the environmental issues. Most paper used in Annual Report production has some level of environmental credentials.

These credentials (ISO9001, ISO 9076, ISO 14001, FSC, TCF, ECF) are usually shown on paper swatches that can be obtained from the various companies that supply paper.

Download a detailed description of these credentials.

Coated vs uncoated.

There are two types of paper: coated and uncoated stocks.

Coated paper has been coated with a pigment (usually china clay or calcium carbonate) together with a mixture of binders, (starch and polymers). Coating gives a smooth shiny, satin, or matt surface to improve printability; coated papers are commonly used for four-colour process printing. 

Uncoated paper has no clay coating giving it a porous, slightly rough texture. It absorbs ink easily which makes colours look less vibrant than on coated papers.

For more information on coated and uncoated papers download the Paper fact sheet.