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Types of Printing Paper

Choosing the right kind of paper can help to ensure optimal results from your printing job. Different printers and tasks can require different forms of paper and learning which types of paper are suited for which tasks can be helpful in your printing journey.

Today, we take a look at a few different printing paper types. We also cover a few common sizes of paper and definitions of paper terminology. 


What is GSM?

You may have seen the term GSM used in reference to paper and be wondering what it means. GSM is an acronym for “grams per square metre” and refers to a piece of paper’s weight. Paper with a higher GSM count is heavier, while paper with a lower GSM is lighter.


Paper sizes

Paper comes in a variety of different sizes. While many printers are only capable of printing A4 sheets, others can handle other sizes. Below are a few 

A3 – 297mm wide x 420mm high.

A4 – 210mm wide x 297mm high.

A5 – 148mm wide x 210mm high.

A6 – 105mm wide x 148mm high.

Different Types of printing paper 

There are lots of different printing paper types to choose from. Each printer paper type has its purpose, and learning these can help you to choose the right one for your printing task.


Matte paper

Matte paper is commonly used for printing jobs. If you are someone that tends to simply print basic documents from time to time, this is likely the print paper you are most familiar with. This paper has a white coating for faster ink drying

Gloss paper

As the name suggests, glossy paper has more of a shine to it than matte does. Gloss paper has more white coating than matter paper and tends to produce more vibrant prints. Because of this, if you are printing documents that have a few graphics or images, you may wish to choose glossy paper.

Photo paper

For printers that can produce photographs, you will likely want to use photo paper. This paper is available in either a matt or gloss finish and is specially formulated for photograph prints. Photo paper is available in a range of different sizes, however, the most common is 6” x 4”. 

Card stock

Card stock is used to print business cards or postcards. Not all printers are equipped to handle card stock as it is a fair bit thicker than other paper types. If your printer can handle card stock your printer manual will likely note this. Some people also choose to use card stock for scrapbooking prints. 

Resume paper

Resume paper has a slightly off-white look, giving it a cream tone. This paper is used to show that the information printed on the document is important, and is often used for resumes. This paper is of high quality and is designed to make a good first impression. Other important documents can also be printed on resume paper.