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Buying the Right Paper: A Guide | Business Hub |®

Buying the Right Paper: A Guide

Selecting the right office supplies can be tricky. Paper speaks about the feeling, function and quality of your final product. Thus it's important to choose the paper that is right for your budget but still looks good for your product. Therefore, you need to take the time to find the answers to the following questions:

  • What is your final product? This can be a poster, book, business card, flyer, and others.

How long do you intend to use the product? A flyer intended to be used for one day needs a lower durability than a book to be read for several years.

  • What feel do you want your product to achieve? Should it be cheap? Fancy? Traditional? Solid?
  • What type of material would the product handle? Will it be a textbook or a photo album?

Choosing the Right Office Supplies

There are some parameters that distinguish one paper from another. See that you take them into consideration when selecting the right printer paper for the job.

Coated vs. Uncoated Paper

The choice between coated and uncoated paper probably has the greatest effect on the total appeal of your final product, so you should choose prudently. Typically, most papers other than matte coated papers are ideal for printing photos and other types of art. This is because the quality of the paper allows the printer ink to stay on the surface of the paper instead of getting absorbed underneath the surface. The result is a glossy finish and brighter colors. On the other hand, uncoated paper has a natural and rough feel, making it the preferred choice for producing material that contains a lot of text.

Coated paper has found myriad uses in illustrations, photography, and other applications that need to stand out. On the contrary, uncoated paper is primarily used for everyday magazines and books.

 Weight and Thickness

Choosing the right paper weight is a bit tricky. This is because it can be gauged in a number of ways, depending on the place you're working in. Two most commonly used measurements are pound weight and grams per square meter of 500-sheet ream with 17" x 22" dimension.


Paper weight is occasionally indicated by the "#" symbol. For instance, "10#" means "10 pounds per basis ream of 500 sheets." One rule of thumb to follow in choosing the right paper weight is as follows:

  • 24-28# for average-quality posters
  • 80-100# for most business cards

With regard to thickness, the greater the weight of a sheet of paper, the stiffer or thicker it is. A caliper is often used to measure this, which is ordinarily given in thousandths of an inch.


The paper's brightness indicates the percentage of wavelength of blue light that it reflects. It is usually expressed on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the brightest. At any rate, the majority of papers reflect from 60 to 90 percent of light. This is an important consideration as the brightness can affect the appreciation of ink color, readability, and contrast between dark and light hues.


When looking for the right business supplies, begin your search by identifying your final product. The next thing to take into account is the function and the quality you wish your paper to have. To make the right choice, you can't avoid making some compromise between price and quality.





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