Paper: Overview

Cover Paper vs. Text Paper

A cover weight paper is thick and similar in feel to cardstock. Text weight papers are thin like catalog and magazine paper. A paper for printing labeled "cover" is always going to be thicker than a "text" paper. For example, 100# Gloss Cover is going to be much thicker than 100# Gloss Text. You can also tell the difference in thickness by checking the "point" or "pt" thickness.

For example, a 100# Gloss Cover is 9pt while a 100# Gloss Text is 5pt. You measure paper thickness with a micrometer.

You are not required to use a cover weight as the cover paper. You can use either a cover weight or a text weight as the cover paper for your booklet project. For example, the 100# gloss text can be a nice cover option for projects like catalogs, programs and magazines.

Coating Options


Gloss paper is shiny and is very popular for most print projects.


Matte paper has a “flat” look to it. It does not shine and reflect light the same way that gloss paper does.

UV Coating

UV is short for Ultra Violet coating. This is a shiny gloss coating applied over printed cover weight paper to make photos and colors pop to catch your customer’s attention and to protect against scratching and frequent handling. UV coating is recommended for extra protection of the cover of your project. UV coating is not recommended when you need to write on the coated area.


This paper is similar to the paper you would put in a home printer. It is easy to write on like notebook paper and should be used in a project such as a journal, planner, or coloring book.

Paper Recommendations by Product

  • Brochures - 100# Gloss Text
  • Business Cards - 14pt Gloss Cover
  • Calendars - 80# Gloss Cover for the cover paper (with a UV high gloss cover finish for extra "Pop!") and 100# Gloss Text for the inside pages
  • Door Hangers - 14pt Gloss Cover
  • Flyers - 100# Gloss Text
  • Greeting Cards - 12pt C1S (C1S means Coated One Side. The outside of the card is coated so that it has a nice finish but the inside is uncoated so that you can easily write in it)
  • Newsletters - 100# Gloss Text
  • Posters - 100# Gloss Text
  • Presentation Folders - 12pt Gloss Cover
  • Rack Cards - 14pt Gloss Cover

Self-Cover vs. Soft Cover

  • Self-Cover (soft cover) is when the cover and the inside paper are the same weight. We recommend 100# Text (Gloss or Matte) for both the inside and cover papers. Self-cover is only available for Saddle Stitch Binding.
  • Soft Cover is when the cover is thicker than the inside pages. We recommend an 80# Cover (Gloss or Matte) with 100# Gloss Text for the inside paper. Soft Cover is available Saddle Stitch, Perfect Binding, Spiral, and Wire-O.

What does Collate mean?

Collate printing is the action of taking multiple different printed pages and putting them together into a complete set. Collating is most common with color copies, as the copies can be collated without being bound together. On the other hand, collating is also common in the process of making booklets, catalogs, magazines and any other type of multi-page product. An example of an uncollated project is a notepad.

Available Paper Options