Paper Coatings FAQ

Choosing the right paper stock or coating for your project is important to achieve the desired result.


What’s the Difference Between Coated and Uncoated Card Stock?

Selecting the best print product is tough if you’re not familiar with paper stocks. One common customer questions is: Should I use coated or uncoated stock for my materials.

The difference is how the ink lies on the paper. Coated stocks include an extra layer created during manufacturing that makes the paper less porous and more glossy.

Coated PaperStock

Coated paper can have either a glossy, matte, silk or dull finish. It’s usually very smooth with a slight shine, (silk, dull) or a high shine (glossy).  Any of these types of coated paper will make your images and graphics deeper and richer in color over uncoated paper.

Another advantage of coated paper stock is its resistance to wear and tear, and rubbing.

The reason your colors appear brighter and are more resistant to wear is that coated stock absorbs less ink than uncoated paper.

If you love sharp and crisp images, the coated stock is best because the ink stays on top of the paper. The more ink absorbs into the stock, the less sharp images appear.

Designers, and artists are likely to choose a coated stock to shed the best possible light on their images.

Please note however, that coated stocks are difficult to write on, preventing people from making notes on printed pieces. If glare is a concern, opt for a matte coated stock, since high gloss stock is very reflective to office lights.

Uncoated Paper Stock

Because uncoated stocks do not have a coating and are more porous, they allow more ink to be absorbed into the paper. They're also not as smooth as coated paper and graphics and images have a softer, warmer, duller look. Uncoated stock is used mostly for stationary items, like letterhead and envelopes.

Uncoated paper is usually categorized as offset, bond, newsprint.

Uncoated stock is ideal for forms or materials that need to be written on.









What is UV coating finishing?

A matte, silk, satin or glossy finish is applied to the entire printed piece. For this type of coating a liquid is applied to the printed paper and exposed to an ultraviolet light which rapidly cures it and bonds it to the paper. UV coating adds durability to the printed piece and deters dirt.

For most UV coatings, the piece can no longer be printed on nor written on with a ballpoint pen.


What is spot UV finishing?

A matte, silk, satin or glossy finish can be applied to specific "spot" areas of the printed piece such as photographs and graphic images. For this type of coating a liquid is applied to the printed paper and exposed to an ultraviolet light which rapidly cures it and bonds it to the paper.