Some of the Technical Paper Terms Demystified

Brightness: this refers to the amount of blue-white light that a paper reflects. This might be indicated on some types of paper you buy especially plain paper. On the label it might indicate ‘warm’ for a yellow-white or ‘cool’ for a blue-white. You may prefer to use the former on skin colour and food.

Smoothness: refers to the texture and feel of the paper. A smoother paper is good for printing images as it spreads ink better. Smoothness is measured using air leak methods hence the lesser the rate of air leakage (at a specific air pressure, from under a cylindrical knife placed on the surface) the smoother the surface.

Weight:  refers to how heavy a paper is. It is normally measured in grams per square metre (GSM). The higher the number, the heavier the paper e.g. plain paper weighs 80 GSM while business car paper normally weighs 300 GSM.

Coated and Uncoated: a coated paper usually has a smooth texture to it and is good for printing business cards and business cards e.g. art board. Uncoated paper has a rough finish and is rugged in look e.g. Bristol paper, bond paper.

Whiteness: a paper is truly white if it ideally reflects all wavelengths of visible light.

Glossy: a shiny finish on the paper e.g. Art Gloss Paper

Matte: a non-shiny finish on the paper e.g. Art Matte Paper

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