Printing Paper Types, Varieties and Terminologies

The variety of paper that can be used in printing various promotional materials is rather large. Unfortunately paper production in Kenya stopped at the once giant manufacturing plant, Webuye Pan Paper Mills. Revival is just a silver lining in a very dark cloud. We currently depend on imported paper.

There are various types of that can be used for printing a variety of applications. They come in various weights, colours, grades of whiteness, brightness and smoothness.

Below we highlight the common types, their applications and availability in Kenya.

Paper Type Availability Recommended Application
Plain Paper Available (coloured paper is also available) General office printing
Bond Paper Available General office prints
Ivory Board Available Cards, book covers
Card Stock Available Cards, book covers, carrier bags
Manila Available in various colours Files, covers
Art Paper Available in gloss or matte finish Magazines, annual reports, catalogues
Art Board Available in gloss or matte finish Magazine covers, cards
Embossed Papers (textured papers) Various colours and textures available Certificates, wedding cards
Perfumed Textured Papers Various colours and textures available Wedding cards, art and craft, decorations
Conqueror™, Royal, Classic Available in cream yellow, white, and blue Letterheads, Complementary slips
Bank Paper Available in white Bank stationery
No Carbon Required (NCR) Paper Available in white, green, pink, yellow and blue; top middle and bottom variants Business forms
Cover Board Available as one side coated Carrier bags, cards
Chip Board Available in white, grey and brown Covers, pads for loose-leaf
Newsprint Available in off-white, pink, yellow One colour posters, fliers, business forms

self-adhesive gloss/matte papers

Card stock, also sometimes referred to as cover stock or pasteboard, and is thicker than normal printing paper, but thinner and more flexible than paperboard. In Kenya, you’ll find sellers of paper referring to cover stock as coverboard. This normally implies that the paper has coating on just one side.

Bristol board is an uncoated, machine-finished paperboard named after Bristol City in England. More here…

Bond paper is similar to bank paper but has a weight greater than 50 GSM. It can be used as an alternative to plain paper at 80 GSM and is good for common stationery such as letterheads, complementary slips and even normal writing. More here…

Bank paper is a light and strong paper weighing less than 50 GSM. It is used for certain stationery in banks, typewriting and correspondence.

Paperboard is a firm thick paper normally with a thickness of greater than 0.25mm or weight greater than 224 GSM. Its wide variety allows for wide applications such as book covers, post cards, business cards etc. More here…

Manila paper is cheaper compared to other card stock papers. It not as strong as paperboard and is lighter than paperboard. It is normally used for art and craft purposes and can be found in various colours. It can also be used to print covers especially for files and folders. More here…

Newsprint is a common paper which you might be interacting with daily in newspapers. It is low-cost and is suitable for one colour prints such as fliers and posters. It can also be used to make receipts as it can be found in various colours to separate the duplicate and triplicate. More here…

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