Choosing The Right Paper Stock For Your Project

There are many different types of paper available out there, each perfect for a particular purpose. While looking for the right type of paper for you, there are some things you should keep in mind, such as:


Brightness is the percentage of a wavelength of blue light that a sheet reflects. It is basically how white a paper is. It typically ranges on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the brightest. Most papers reflect 60-90% of light. The brighter the paper is, the stronger is the contrast between lighter and darker colors. If you are going for a more calm and understated look, a lower brightness would be best. If you are looking for sharper more modern feel, you may should go with brighter paper.

MDD brightness low vs high

Our logo in low brightness vs high brightness


Finish is the coating on the paper. You could choose to go with no finish on the paper or no-coating. No-coating usually gives a rougher natural feel suited for someone who wants to be seen as eco-friendly or rugged. It is also used in productions that include lots of text, such as newspapers. Coated paper is used for things that should “pop” out. Coatings come in a variety of smoothness like matte, semi-matte or silk, and gloss. Coating stops ink getting absorbed by the paper fibers and instead makes it stay at the top. This creates brighter colors which is great if you want to enhance the images on paper

MDD matte vs glossy

Our logo in matte vs gloss finish

Thickness and Weight

Weight is how heavy or thick a paper is. It is measured in pounds, which reflect the weight of 500 sheets of uncut 17” x 22” paper. A 20lb rating is average or standard. However, if you are looking for higher durability, such as business cards, you should go with 80-100 lb. The weight is sometimes written using “#” symbol. For example, 80# means 80 pounds per the weight of 500 sheets. It is important to choose the right amount of thickness, the heavier the paper is the more importance it denotes; however, thin paper has a greater translucency. MDD Texture

Thick paper allows for different depth between logos and background


Opacity is the amount of light that passes through the paper.  With low opacity, everything that is printed on the side will bleed through, whether or not you hold it to light. However, with high opacity, the light doesn’t pass through and you can’t see through the other side. High opacity indicates high quality. There is no specific scale for opacity and usually depends on the paper weight, whiteness and coating. MDD opacity

Low opacity allows for a transluscent effect

Let us show what paper is right for your project. Contact us for more information at [email protected] or 646-507-5280

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Manhattan Digital Direct

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