Thank you Michelle for inspiring me this morning!

Nothing in printing is more challenging than specifying paper. In an earlier blog, I likened the paper options we have to the myriad of wall paper options. There are so many paper choices from coated papers offered in many finishes, such as gloss, dull, silk and matte. Then there are the uncoated paper options, meaning they do not have a finish. Then we must consider the paper weights, 65lb, 80lb 100lb, but is that cover, book or a text weight? You have Mills that manufacture coated sheets in many grades of paper, grading usually refers to the brightness, opacity and quality of the coating. I know this is boring, so I’ll get to the point.

Designers typically will take great care in determining what paper they want. If there’s a lot of vibrant color they might choose a coated paper because of the superior ink hold out. There is dot gain on uncoated papers and if you’re not working with a quality managed print shop you might not like the way your photos turn out. But then, sometimes there’s the end client who will just roll their eyes and say Finch or Sterling ~ I don’t care which bird you use.


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