All paper is just the same, or is it? When you are designing printed pieces, one of the most important decisions to make is what type of paper they will be printed on. Apart from your personal preferences, there are several other things to consider. For instance, the differences in the type and quality of paper you will use could make all the difference. Paper is usually classified into two categories. Each type of paper has its own set of unique qualities which make it suitable for certain tasks. So here are some pros, cons, and uses of coated vs uncoated paper
Coated paper will give you a sharp, crisp result. You will also get a lot of contrast between the printed photos. Its coated surface offers an excellent vehicle for images, allowing you to view all the finer details with greater contrast between the printed area and white space. That’s why it’s favored by most magazines and high-end catalogs. Most people also like it because of its “glossy” prestigious surface. So if you are looking for a prestigious canvas to use for images with high-quality detail, and you are thinking about whether to use coated vs uncoated paper, then coated paper is the way to go.
Coated paper is ideal for:
- UV coatings
- Gold or Silver foil stamping
- die cutting custom shapes.
There are a few drawbacks when it comes to coated paper. For instance, writing on it using a pen can be a challenge. Apart from that, if you are printing something with lots of text or small details, the shininess of the gloss-coated paper can make it very difficult to read. This is one of the advantages of uncoated paper when comparing coated vs uncoated paper.
The uncoated paper has a warmth and tactility factor to it. It implies a sense of authenticity and respectability, and that’s what makes it a perfect choice for resumes, non-profit reports, and annual reports. In most instances, it is also used for letterheads, envelopes, and some catalogs. There are also several variants of uncoated paper, each with a different finish.
Uncoated paper is used for several purposes, including:
- foil stamping.
The uncoated paper provides a smooth contrast between the paper surface and the embossing or foil stamping. It is also ideal for folding. Even when dealing with heavier weights, it can be quite easy to fold. This is what makes it ideal for custom packaging projects.
It is not advisable to use uncoated paper for images with great detail. It can present a challenge, especially in the mid-tone areas. You will notice that they can sometimes appear “muddy.” Apart from that, uncoated paper usually requires additional drying time. This means it might not be ideal for tight turnaround projects.
The surface of the coated paper provides an ideal canvas for high-resolution pictures with fine detail. This is why it is perfect for prestigious applications like magazines, automotive catalogs, and flyers. Coated paper also offers an excellent ink holdout. It performs rather impressively with regions of heavy solid color and metallic inks.
On the other hand, because of its qualities, uncoated paper is well suited for educational, non-profit, and environmental projects. Uncoated paper will give the best aesthetic outcome with pressure-based print techniques. In those applications, it will give a nice contrast between the surface of the sheet and the impressions. However, because of the way it absorbs ink, you might want to work with smoother options within uncoated papers.
These are some of the pros and cons of coated and uncoated paper. Because of their qualities, these papers are used for different applications. So, if you have a project in mind and you are wondering whether to choose coated or uncoated paper, you might want to put these factors into consideration first.