The Ultimate Guide to Paper Type and Sizes in Printing

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Every paper has its own purpose in every printing. With so many different sizes, types and other things to consider, it can be hard to know which will be suitable on a particular job, and when is the right time to use that certain type and size of paper. Aside from this, there are also different coatings and weights to ponder as well!

In things such as preparing for future jobs, knowing the type of paper to be used is very essential to tackle. According to the team behind Rayacom, here are some of the things that you need to know about paper stuff.


A size

This is the most popular and easy to distinguish paper size because this is the widely-used type. Moreover, this paper size is very simple to understand since it only increases and decrease in successive order, starting from A1 being the largest all the way down to A10.


Measuring 210mm x 297mm, this is the most commonly-used for printing. This is because of its different weights with several different coatings. So, there is an A4 paper that is suitable not only for any printing job, but for some special purposes as well.


This paper size measures twice of the A4 paper, which is 297mm x 420mm. This larger paper works best if you are aiming to print papers for more visual aspect, like larger graphic or higher resolution images

Since they are larger, they are enormously useful, being capable to print in both A3 and A4 sizes especially with faster print engines.

Other A sizes

Aside from the abovementioned, there are also smaller paper sizes like A5 and A6.  These sizes suits in printing flyers or other smaller materials. Also, larger options like A2 and A1 can be used in posters and banners.


Also known as the ‘supplementary raw format A’, this paper size is somewhat huger than A size paper. This paper type is commonly used for commercial printing because this can be bled, gripped and trimmed. SRA3 paper size is the most common on this type, which can be used in various digital print machines.

C series

This range of paper used solely for envelopes. It varies from C1 to C10 and it resembles to the same sizes in A sizes, however, they are somewhat bigger, so that it will be allowable to the same A paper size to fit inside the envelope.

Paper weights

There are also various paper weights available for different uses.

Paper weight is generally measured in ‘Grams per Square Metre’ (GSM). This is the measurement of paper thickness or density depending on the media quality. So, the thickness of the material is determined by the higher or lower GSM value of the paper. Moreover, it means that the thicker the paper, the sturdier the page will be. With that being said, thicker papers are commonly used for more manufacturing purposes.


Aside from paper sizes and masses, printing paper also has many different coatings. It provides a sheet a precise appearance, which by then determine its fittingness for a particular purpose.


Usually found in sometimes gloss, satin or dull textures, this coating can be colored. Despite of the affordability, it has a lower protection level. This can be used in giving gloss to a photo for a more professional appearance.


This has a higher protection level to printed papers. Moreover, it can bring enhancement to the printed colors.

This coating is applied as a liquid prior to the hardening process under ultraviolet light. This can be applied in either matte or gloss with particular glitter or tinted textures.


This quality keeps prints from markings like fingerprints or other damages. This coating is water-based, so it dries easily. This is more environmentally-friendly than other alternatives.


This refers to how transparent or opaque a paper is.

The opacity of the paper is influenced by its weight. So, the heavier the paper is, the opaquer it is.

This is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, the scale 0 being the transparent sheet, while 100 is the completely opaque.

Various paper opacities have different uses, like the more transparent ones are suitable for tracing purposes.

Paper types

Also, there are different paper types which have diverse usages.

Inkjet Paper

This is designed for definite use with inkjet printers. There are many forms of inkjet paper which work well with inkjet ink, like the photo, glossy, business card and greeting card papers. These papers have certain conditions to safely pass through an inkjet device.

Laser Printer Paper

This works best with a laser printer. This is suitable for more business transactions, like in printing cheques, address and mailing labels.

Meanwhile, here are the common paper types:


This is one of the most frequently used, since this can be used in everyday printing tasks. It is finished with a white coating, helping the ink to dry faster, which is why this is suitable for any urgent documents.

Bright White

This is much smoother, and non-textured, making it perfect for presentable double-sided printing. Its brightness ensures that both sides of the paper are reproduced on without messier effect on each side of the paper.


This is usually used in printing photographs instead of texts because it can produce vivid colors and sharp images. Its surface is ink-absorber, producing higher image clarity than from matte paper.

Card Stock

A sturdy paper type, this is often used in scrapbooks and in business cards and postcards. It is much thicker than the other printer paper types, that is why this is tougher and can be carried without becoming dilapidated.


This type is somewhat heavier than traditional papers, and because of its off-white look, this is unique from printer papers. It has an ivory or cream tone and commonly used for CVs and other important documents, providing high importance look on the document.

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