The most common papers used in commercial printing are coated, offset and opaque, text and cover, writing and specialty. Let’s take a look at each:
Coated: Coated papers have a coating added on their surface before the paper is finished which limits the amount of ink absorbed by the paper and how the ink adheres to the paper. This results in sharper images. Coated papers are graded 1 to 5 with 5 being the best quality regarding brightness. Types of coated papers include cast coated, gloss, dull/silk and matte.
Offset and Opaque: These are uncoated sheets with a broad use. Offset sheets come in many different weights and are used in offset printing as well as digital.
Text and Cover: These are premium, uncoated papers and are available in many different colors and finishes. Text papers are lighter and used for brochures and booklets. Cover papers are heavier and used for business cards, report covers and brochures. Some textures include: cockle, eggshell, felt, laid, linen, smooth, vellum and wove.
Writing: Writing papers are best known for being used as letterhead and stationery. They can be made with or without a watermark and many are made with cotton fibers. Common finishes include smooth, wove and laid.
Specialty: Specialty papers include metallic/pearlescent, 100% cotton cover, translucent, synthetics and industrial papers.
Source: Mohawk Papers