Which paper should I choose?

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Choosing the right material for your project is not always an easy task. Sometimes the choice of material can give your design that special touch you're looking for, or it can do the exact opposite. That's why it's very important to consider the different available materials before moving forward. Different paper types have different characteristics, the most important ones being the grammage (or thickness) and the coating of the paper.


The grammage or thickness of paper determines the firmness of your paper and has an impact on how your product is experienced when touching it. The grammage of the paper is expressed in g/m², but is usually expressed in g.

There are a lot of different grammages available, but the most commonly used ones are 80g, 90g, 135g, 170g, 250g, 300g and 400g. Each of these grammages have their own benefits.


The paper type that is mostly used at home or at the office has a grammage of 80-90g. This is often used for letterheads and brochures. Especially for brochures consisting of many pages it is advisable to choose 90g paper for the pages inside your brochure, to make sure it does not get too thick and/or too heavy.


Paper with a grammage of 135g is thin and light, but still 0.5x thicker than standard printing paper. Therefore, 135g paper is often used for hand-out materials like flyers or folded leaflets. It is also very suitable to use for posters. The fact that the paper is slightly thinner usually makes little difference to the people who look at it, but the person hanging up the posters will be a lot happier with less weight to carry around.


Folded leaflets for business use are best printed on 170g paper. This thickness will give a more professional and high value impression. It is often used at trade fairs and in showrooms. For some flyers, we recommend 170g as well, e.g. product information sheets. The paper of these info sheets will feel more solid, which makes people often perceive (unintentionally) your product as higher value as well.


If you like thicker paper, you should choose 250g. You can use it to make your print work stand out a bit more. This thickness is also used as the cover of brochures to make the brochure look more solid.


Paper of 300g-400g is mainly used for products that need to be firm, such as business cards.

Coating type

Besides the grammage of the paper, there is also a difference in type of coating. The coating of the paper should not be confused with the finishing of the paper. The finishing is for example a laminate or a lacquer. The coating of the paper is part of the unprinted paper when it leaves the paper mill.

Machine coated

The most used coating type is machine coated, also referred to as maco or MC. A coating is applied to the paper, causing the paper to absorb less ink. The ink lies, as it were, on the paper instead of being absorbed. A disadvantage is that with the coating, the paper is more difficult to write on. The coating can be matt or glossy, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, which are shown in table 2. A glossy coating is also sometimes called satin.

No coating

When paper has no coating, it's called offset paper. Because this paper has no coating, the paper absorbs more ink than the machine coated variants. The result will be slightly less clear and have a matt appearance. A big advantage is that you can write on the paper very well.


In tables 1 & 2 we list the advantages and disadvantages of each paper type and compare the grammages and type of coatings. If you are still not sure which paper type is best suited for you, do not hesitate to contact us. Together we will find the best solution for you.

Table 1: overview with the recommended grammages for a few frequently ordered products
  80-90g 135g 170g 250g 300-400g
Promotional flyer and/or folded leaflets
Flyers and/or folded leaflets for business use
Pages inside brochure
Cover brochure
Business cards
Table 2: comparison of the different types of coatings
  No coating MC Matt MC Glossy
Color photos