Coated or Uncoated? Choosing the Right Printer Paper

Printing paper on a printing machineEnvelopes, notebooks, business cards, letterhead all fall under your company’s stationery package. At one point in your business dealings with your clients or prospects, they will come in contact with your paper supplies. These pieces of printed paper may be their first introduction to your business. This explains why your printing must be of high quality.

As you approach stationery printers, you need a basic understanding of printing papers so that you can make an outstanding choice. It’s the paper that forms the background for the print; it’s also the paper that interacts with the ink. There are different things to consider before choosing the paper to use. This article discusses the difference between coated and uncoated paper and their benefits.


Coated paper comes with various levels of smoothness, including matte, semi-matte, gloss and silk. This choice of paper provides excellent opacity, colour, smoothness and print definition. Also, this type is non-absorbent; therefore, paper fibres don’t absorb paint. Rather, the paint stays on top.

Coated paper is ideal for printing postcards, photographs, and brochures which do well with brighter colours and glossy finishes. This type of paper can also withstand more physical handling; no wonder it’s perfect for brochures and flyers (in-expensive marketing tools). Coated paper is best for printing pieces that need patterns to ‘pop.’


Uncoated papers have a rough and more natural look. This type is absorbent, and the ink gets inside the fibre’s top layer and quickly sinks in. Uncoated paper is best for printing pieces that include a lot of text such as stationery, business cards, invitation cards and the like. If you’re printing magazines or books, uncoated paper is the best choice.

Your business stationery may have a great design, which is essential in creating an appealing image, but it’s the choice of paper that will indeed create outstanding stationery materials. The decision to use either coated or uncoated is one of the major elements that will affect the overall feel of your corporate stationery and collaterals. So choose wisely.