Paper Types

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What Paper Type Is Best For Your Book?

Choosing the right paper stock to print on can be difficult. There are a number of options, and it's not always obvious what the difference is between them.

Two of the most common mistakes we see people make when choosing a paper stock are:

1. Choosing the lowest gsm paper, assuming it will save money.

2. Choosing the highest gsm paper, under the assumption that it is of higher quality.

Whilst those two assumptions aren't necessarily incorrect, using that reasoning to choose which paper stock to use is risky. Different paper types are right for specific situations. This guide should help you identify which would be right for your print requirements. If not, our team knows their paper, get in touch for some advice.

Gsm stands for 'grams per square metre' and refers to the substance weight of the paper, relating to a specific area of paper (1mm x 1mm), that remains constant irrespective of sheet size. See... confusing, right?

Types of Paper

Types of Paper Image
Types of Paper Image

Paper types refers to the finish of the paper, this affects the look of the pages rather than the feel or the weight.


This produces a matte finish. The majority of books that you read have an uncoated finish.

Perfect for: novels, poetry books, anthologies, short stories, and biographies.


Paper with a silk finish has a low sheen coating. This improves colours and sharpens images. Silk is somewhere between uncoated and gloss, it provides a high-quality look in a more subtle way than gloss.

Perfect for: photo books, posters, leaflets, and brochures


Paper has a higher sheen coating which further enhances colours and sharpness.

Perfect for: children's books, colour inserts, photo books, and recipe books

Paper Stocks

The paper stock is the weighting of the paper. As a general rule, a higher stock paper is a little more expensive to print on, but higher stock is also perceived as being higher quality.

70gsm - Uncoated

  • Suitable for black and white printing.
  • Thinner paper gives a more traditional, 'old-timey' feel.
  • Lowers the weight of your book which can cut costs on international shipping

80gsm - Uncoated

  • Our standard paper for black and white books.
  • Costs slightly more than 70gsm, but not significantly.
  • Perfect for novels, biographies, and poetry books.

100gsm - Uncoated

  • Our standard paper for colour books
  • Also works well as a heavier alternative for black and white books, particularly A4 books.
  • Perfect for autobiographies, anthologies, and history books.

115gsm (Gloss or Silk)

  • Slightly heavier than 100gsm, but with a gloss or silk finish.
  • Works best in books/booklets with a lot of colour.


  • Our standard cover card.
  • Recommended for the majority of the books we print.
  • Perfect for novels, anthologies, biographies, children's books, poetry collections and more.


  • A slightly heavier cover stock.
  • A little more expensive than 250gsm, but not significantly.
  • Works brilliantly on recipe books, manuals, workbooks, and children's books.