Paper grades can be described in many ways, this can be confusing as a paper can come in many different finishes. Below is an explanation of some of the more common paper terms and the application they are most suitable for.
Uncoated paper is exactly what it sounds like – paper that has no extra coating or paper finishing. Since there is no coating, there is no glare on the surface. This makes it ideal for prints that have a lot of text or reading materials. Since there is no coating, this is the most porous paper, which is the best for smudge-less writing with the widest range of pens and pencils when compared to the other finishes. All bond stock paper is uncoated. Color copies, black and white copies, and flyer printing typically use uncoated paper for the low cost.
Matt Coated Paper
Matt paper has a light coating that provides a boost to the contrast to images, but results in little glare. In the picture above, that the matte coating did not provide much glare when the photo was taken. The matte coating provides a smoother presentation than an uncoated sheet, and softer than the appearance of a glossy sheet. Matt sheets are good for enhancing visual designs with a more subdued layout and color set without having a lot of glare which glossy coatings suffer from. Pen ink will not smear on matte coating, which makes it the ideal choice for journals and calendars.
Gloss Coated Paper
Gloss coated paper provides a lot of shine, which results in a higher contrast and color gamut than other papers. This coating is good for full color images where the color needs to “pop”. This coating gives a very nice finish and professional look for marketing materials or any other kinds of prints that want to show off the color.