From writing notes, wrapping a gift, to being handed a receipt, and the huge world of paper crafting, the paper is a paramount part of our lives, even in this digital age. With all of the different needs in the world that paper fulfills, it’s easy to get lost within the weights, use cases and different types of papers. Some people believe that the time of using paper is over because of the mass usage of PDFs and audiobooks online. However, the global production of paper and cardboard stood at approximately 411 million metric tons in 2016 and still increasing which proves it’s going to take a long that we remove the paper from our daily life.
This blog aims to help you know more about different types of papers which comes very handy to get the print job done perfectly. In this blog, different paper types are explained based on their usages, size, weight, and material.

A brief history of paper

Although the Egyptians were known for their usage of papyrus more than four thousand years ago, and the Chinese wrote on the bamboo cut, the invention of paper was in the Chinese Haan dynasty In 105 AD.

Arabs learned the art of papermaking techniques in the 8th century from Chinese who traveled through the Silk road. Then, paper usage was spread by Arabs through their military campaigns in the South of Europe and the North of Africa. The first papermaking in Europe started in 1144 in Xativa (near Valencia) in Spain.

Why do we still need paper? 

Paper is still vital for learning.

Studies confirm that humans use different parts of the brain, whether they’re reading from paper or reading online.

Traditional “linear reading” tracks left-to-right, top-to-bottom, start-to-finish.


Reading online, however, is non-linear.


Online readers face a host of digital distractions — pop-up ads, banners, navigation menus, etc. — which means a top-to-bottom, start-to-finish, reading is frequently interrupted.

Further research indicates that you remember points on paper better and longer. While reading using types of papers, we are less hasty and feel good.

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How to choose the best paper?

Choosing paper is more complicated than just choosing the most expensive sheet and hoping for the best. You shouldn’t think about picking paper based on the highest quality or highest prices, you need to figure out the most appropriate quality paper for your needs. You must know that papers are complicated and no two print jobs are ever alike. Here you get to know the importance of knowing different types of papers, materials, finishing and etc which we cover in the next sections.


Different types of papers

There are different types of paper by size, thickness, and finish. The “finish” of paper is how the paper industry refers to the texture of the paper’s surface. Knowing about papers will also help you to choose suitable paper for your own use, printer or for paper order of your company.


Basic types:

  • Printing papers: also called offset or Repro paper, created in many different ways to survive different conditions. It is one of the most usual papers on the market
  • Drawing papers:  made specifically for artists and designers so that they can control the way paint is applied to paper.
  • Writing papers: Created to be used efficiently for all kinds of writing. The durability of this kind is better for a more extended keep.
  • Blotting papers:  light and thin papers to absorb liquids, also used in cosmetics to remove makeup.
  • Handmade papers: mostly used as decorative.
  • Wrapping papers: like wax and craft used to protect goods from outside influence.
  • Specialty papers: created for a particular purpose mean like tissue, cigarette paper.
  • Cardstock:  a medium weight paper, heavier than printer paper. Greeting cards, scrapbooking, handmade boxes, and more are most often made from this type of paper.
  • Newsprint: a cheap paper that is thick enough to be printed on both sides and, as the name suggests, is used for printing newspapers.


Paper by material:

  • Wood pulp paper: the most usual paper that’s made by the separation of cellulose fibers from wood, fiber crops or waste paper
  • Cotton paper: also called rag paper because it can be produced from the used clothes but mainly created form the cotton splinters. Compared to ordinary wood pulp paper, this type is significantly better in terms of durability and strength.
  • Wood-free paper: created by zero wood pulp, using only chemical pulp. This kind of paper does not become “yellow” with old age.
  • Tree-free paper: made with particular techniques that have a minimum impact on the environment. They are the most eco-friendly papers.  
  • Acid-free paper: only PH-neutral water that the main ingredient is cellulose fiber. Its most considerable disadvantage is its short lifespan.
  • Construction paper: inexpensive and available in many colors used in children’s crafts. Since the colors fade quickly are not used for projects that are meant to last a long time.


why the types of papers weight matter?

Whether you’re printing books, business cards or, or producing an advertising display or a flyer, every product has a recommended weight. Choosing the wrong type of paper can ruin the final effect.

Paper by Paperweight:

130-gsm paper: This type is suited to reproducing high-quality color images and is perfect for printing glossy magazines, brochures, posters, and folded flyers. It is relatively resistant to aging.

170-gsm paper: It is ideal for printing catalogs, presentations, certificates, and posters. A nearly light paperboard, which ensures an attractive texture and excellent color rendering. Depending on the type of paper can be given a satin, matte, or gloss finish.

 350-gsm paper: It is thick that guarantees superior strength and durability. This semi-rigid paperboard is for creating business cards, book covers, presentation folders, and invitation cards.

 380-gsm paper: It is a cardboard type used for rigid book covers, folders, packaging, counter displays, and product tags. This category is highly shock and dent-proof.


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Paper by Size:

Paper sizes are different just like the American general system of measurement.


North American Paper Sizes
Paper SizeInchesMillimeters
Junior Legal8×5203×127
Government Letter8×10.5203×267


Most printer users are familiar with ‘A size’ paper. They are the most widely used category in different types of papers. These standard sizes are simple to understand, as they increase and decrease in successive order, with A1 being the biggest paper size and A10 the smallest size.


International Paper Size
Paper sizeWidth x Height (inches)
A123.4 x 33.1 in
A216.5 x 23.4 in
A311.7 x 16.5 in
A48.3 x 11.7 in
A55.8 x 8.3 in
A64.1 x 5.8 in
A72.9 x 4.1 in
A82.0 x 2.9 in
A91.5 x 2.0 in
A101.0 x 1.5 in


Types of papers by Finish

You have noticed that some papers are more textured or rougher than other papers. This texture is named “paper finish. Smooth or textured are two basic categories in the paper finish. Here are some popular paper finishes.

  • Matte: Matte finishes are not shiny so they won’t reflect lights. The finish of the Matte paper is smooth to the touch and silky.
  • Gloss: shine like glass. By reflecting light better, gloss finishes offer a greater sheen.
  • Wove: one of the most frequently used finishes for general printing. It’s the standard paper finish.
  • Bond: The bond paper was originally designed for documents like government bonds, hence its name. It’s mostly used for business correspondence and copying.
  • Vellum: Don’t confuse translucent vellum paper with vellum finish! vellum finish paper is all-purpose, unlike translucent vellum. almost like an eggshell, It’s smooth to the eye but it has a fine texture to the touch.
  • Smooth: Smooth paper finish is about as smooth as you can get. paper is made smooth by a process called “calendaring” that involves passing the paper through a set of rollers.
  • Laser Smooth: This paper is low in moisture to prevent the paper from curling in the high heat of laser printers.
  • Linen: After the papermaking process, linen texture is produced in an offline embossing process. Linen texture. Linen textured is similar linen cloth.
  • Laid: The laid paper tries to copy the fine look of handcrafted paper; it features vertical and horizontal lines across the page.
  • Felt: By using a special roller, felt textures are created.they are created using rubber marking rolls.


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Information provided in this blog hopefully helps you to find the right types of papers for your project. Whether you need invitations, business cards, or any other type of printed and advertising products, let us show you what high-quality, and professional printing looks like. Our expert at All American Printing and Advertising are here to help you pick the right paper for your project. For more information, click on the Request a Quote button on the menu or visit the Contact Us page.