Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Q&A: What are paper grades?

Papers are graded by their use. Luckily, the grade name suggests the current or original use.

  • Bond was originally used to print financial documents; now commonly used in copy machines and desktop printers.
  • Writing grade papers are sometimes considered a subset of bond papers and consist of finer paper used for stationery systems (letterheads, envelopes and business cards).
  • Coated is used when the way the paper receives the ink is important, such as in full color printing. They are often referred to by the kind of coating – gloss, dull or matte. Coatings can be applied to one or both sides of the sheet.
  • Text is often used for announcements and booklets because of the range of interesting textures and colors.
  • Book was originally used to print textbooks. Today, it’s used for general printing, as well as books. Book papers offer a range of weights and may be coated or uncoated. 
  • Offset is similar to coated and uncoated papers, except that surface sizing is added to resist moisture.
  • Cover is a heavier-weight complement to bond and text papers. It is often used for business cards and booklet covers.
Other paper grades include index, tag, bristol, digital, newsprint and lightweight papers.

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