4 Types of Paper To Make Printed Projects Look Their Best

4 Types of Paper To Make Printed Projects Look Their Best

Pick a pack of paper for your next printed project—but not just any paper. You can choose from a wide variety of papers, films, and other materials to preserve your design, get your message across, and otherwise announce your intentions to the world. Picking the right paper goes beyond the final product. It can also affect how well the printer reproduces images, prevents jams and misfeeds, and otherwise saves you money and time overall. Naturally, there are thousands of types of paper out there, but there are a few basic kinds to know. To that end, we go over four types of paper to make printed projects look their best.

Matte Paper

Matte paper, also known as copy paper, is probably the kind of printer paper most people are familiar with. It’s a flat, non-glossy, but smooth paper stock that takes ink and toner well. It allows them to dry or adhere quickly and avoid smudges, marks, and more. Matte paper is best for everyday printouts like announcements, fliers, memos, and so on. Run off a dozen, a hundred, or a thousand to get the word out, but don’t trust it to last long indoors or outdoors.

Photo Paper

As the name implies, photo paper is ideal for printing and saving photographs. Usually, it has two coatings: one side is matte, and the other is glossy. If you want to preserve images for a very long time, print them on photo paper. There are different brands and levels of quality, naturally. However, most are acid free for archival purposes. Photo paper images can fade unless they have UV resistance. But in storage, they’ll last a very long time while retaining their sharp and clear imagery.


When you think of mylar, you might think of balloons or similar fun items that consist of this usually shiny plastic film. Certainly, you’ve noticed how well mylar accommodates designs, messaging, colors, and more on those balloons. Mylar film for printers is the same material, except its applications go well beyond children’s toys. It’s the paper of choice for engineers, architects, and designers. They rely on mylar film to protect their plans, projects, and blueprints.

Coated Paper

The surface of coated paper has a layer of clay, which can make the paper’s images look clearer and sharper and allow for various finishes, from matte to gloss. Coated paper also prevents ink from bleeding and protects the paper from water and other environmental elements that can ruin it. Coated paper is everywhere, turning up in the pages of catalogs, brochures, magazines, postcards, posters, book covers, and so much more.

Those are just four types of paper to make printed projects look their best. Keep them in mind the next time you’re planning an ad campaign, publication, public relations project, or anything else!

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