Okay, I’ve just got to try and clear this up once and for all. This week I’ve already had to make three phone calls to prospective clients just to ensure that the paper they’ve asked for is actually the paper they want! And it’s not that our customers are being silly…
I keep hearing “I want Matt paper” which to me, your favourite printer, means a ‘Matt art stock‘. However, years of experience have revealed that a call to my client can quickly set the record straight. You see, what they’re frequently asking for is not Matt Paper, but an Uncoated stock.
Confusion reigns when it comes to the difference between Matt stock and Uncoated stock. So let’s try to sort it out once and for all.
The Coated Stocks (also commonly known as the ‘Art Papers’) are the most common used in full colour printing. The fibres are sealed in with one of three levels of coating which are:
Coating the paper ensures that the images that print are best replicated. With ink being translucent the coating shines through, really bringing your images to life.
All three styles work excellently in this regard. So it’s just down to personal choice which level you prefer, with Matt carrying the least, silk the middle and gloss the most ink.
SIDEBAR: Just a small point worth noting; paper is weighed including the coating. As such a 300gsm gloss for example will actually feel thinner than a 300gsm silk that in turn will feel a little thinner than a 300gsm Matt. And not a lot of people know that!
So back to my phone calls, “Was it really a Matt art that you wanted?” Recent experience tells me it probably wasn’t and that by Matt you most probably meant Uncoated. This material is just as it sounds….no outer coating on which the ink sits.
Uncoated paper looks and feels more natural.
For those after the more natural look or who want to use something that’s 100% recycled then this is the likely answer. But please do be aware that the ink absorbs into the paper giving a somewhat flatter/duller finish, with finer detail sometimes being lost as a result. Don’t let me put you off though as this really is a very effective look for the right product, but one that should be a deliberate decision.
For a brochure selling products via high quality images the Art stock route is recommended, but where subtlety and a more tactile finish is the name of the game then uncoated is what you need.
Either way, just be sure to ask for what you really want and avoid any confusion. And if you’re still not sure just ask me or a colleague for a paper stock sample.
Happy printing….. and speak soon.