The type of paper you choose to print your project on has a number of key terms: coating, brightness, and weight. Each of them describes different characteristics of the paper and will help you decide what kind of paper you should use for your project.


Coating or coated paper refers to a film that is put on the paper that improves how light reflects off the paper. The coating can be applied to either both sides or only one side of the paper. A common type of coating is gloss or glossy paper. It's used for pictures and any other graphics or text that you really want to stand out. You can also purchase the best quality coated paper via

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In the printing industry, "brightness" refers to how much light is reflected back off the paper. Brightness values range on a scale from 0-100, 100 being the brightest. The important thing to remember is that brightness mainly influences the vibrancy of your colors. Don't confuse brightness with whiteness though. Whiteness refers to the shade (cream, beige, gray) of the paper and has little to do with its brightness. 


The weight of a given paper is based on how much 500 sheets of paper weighs in pounds. If 500 sheets of paper weigh 80 pounds, then the paper would be referred to as 80 paper. Even though this measurement may seem quite precise, it's still not an exact science. You'll need to treat weight as a rough estimate until you're actually able to examine the paper for yourself.

Choosing the proper paper can be quite an intimidating task if you're unfamiliar with the terms. Above mentioned information will help you to decide what paper will be best for you.