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the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock


When you are starting a print project it’s important to know the type of paper that you would like to use. When choosing a paper you should consider the coating, if any, as it will ultimately determine the final look and feel of your printed piece.

But what’s the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?

During manufacturing, all paper starts out uncoated.

Uncoated paper stock is quite absorbent due to its porous surface and will therefore soak up more ink. Quite often referred to as bond paper, this type of paper is often used for printed materials that need to be written on – student workbooks, letterhead, envelopes and so on. It also offers a more ‘natural’, ‘earthy’ or ‘organic’ look for your printed piece. Due to the ink absorbed more into the paper compared to coated stocks, the colours will look different.

Coated stock, is simply that. A coating is applied to the paper during the manufacturing process, with the most common coated options being glossy, matt or silk. The coating on the paper creates a less porous surface which means the ink stays on top of the paper offering a smoother and brighter finish. Quite often referred to as art paper, this type of paper is often used for brochures or any print project that offers images and design elements as it offers sharper detail.

There are additional coatings that can be added to your print project after it has been printed to offer further effects. Quite often for booklet covers, brochures, presentation folders and so on, we can add a gloss or matt cello glaze.

But what’s the difference between gloss or matt coated stock and gloss or matt cello glaze?

A gloss or matt cello glaze, often referred to as cello, is different to a gloss or matt coated stock, in that it is added to paper by adhering a thin sheet of film using heat and pressure – after your project has been printed. It has a silky smooth finish and offers added production and durability to your print job that is very difficult to remove. Matt cello is non-reflective and gloss cello offers a clear, high shiny finish.

There are a variety of uncoated and coated paper stocks in a variety of weights (gsm) for your next print project. The Print Group Australia can offer samples for you to feel and touch as that is really the best way to review paper. What is GSM you ask? Learn more in our blog - paper weight, gsm and what it all really means.