The Ultimate Guide to Papers for Printing

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With so many different types of printing paper to choose from, how can you know which paper is best for your project’s needs?

At Avenue Printing, we’ve got 30 years of experience helping our clients create the highest-quality printed products. When it comes to printing paper, we know our stuff.

To help you out, we’ve created the ultimate guide to papers for printing – from paper size to paper weight, we’ve covered everything you need to know.

So, let’s take a look.

Paper Sizes

First thing’s first – paper size. When using a printer service like ours, the sky is *almost* the limit. You can choose from the following official printing sizes for your project:

A1: 594×841 mm
A2: 420×594 mm
A3: 297×420 mm
A4: 210×297 mm
A5: 148×210 mm
A6: 105×148 mm
A7: 74×105 mm
A8: 52×74 mm
A9: 37×52 mm
A10: 26×37 mm



A0 is the biggest official paper size, and is typically used to create things like large advertisements and posters.


A1 sizing can also be used for window marketing and large advertisements.


Many artists use A2 paper to display their artwork, although A2 can also be used to create posters and displays in shop windows.


A3 paper can be used for anything from posters to fold-out newspapers.

A4 is the most commonly used printing paper size, and is used for brochures, catalogues, letters and stationery.

A5 is another popular option, typically used for leaflets, marketing flyers and small menus. A5 paper can also be used for books, planners and notebooks.

Paper Weight

Paper weight is going to be an important factor when it comes to the cost, quality and overall feel of your finished printed product.

The thicker a piece of paper is, the more durable, sturdy and high quality the finished item will be. If you’re looking to create a printed product that can be re-used or go the distance, paper weight is going to play an important role.

If you’re looking to bulk order items (such as leaflets, throwaway menus or throwaway printing) , decreasing the weight of the paper is one of the easiest ways to cut costs. It’s much easier to decrease the weight of your chosen paper than to reduce the paper size; this way, you don’t have to compromise when it comes to design.

You have the option of choosing the following paper weights:


This paper weight is the heaviest, and is typically used when creating printed items of a high quality. 300GSM+ is best used to create items such as greetings cards, or high quality brochure, catalogue or book covers.

This is the second heaviest paper weight that you can use for printed products, and is typically used for magazine covers, brochure covers and book covers.

130GSM – 170GSM
Ideal for posters, leaflets or other promotional point-of-sale items.


80GSM is your typical standard-form white paper; you’ll find this in notebooks, printing paper and writing pads.

35GSM – 55GSM

This is the usual paper weight used for traditional newspapers.

Paper Types

When it comes to creating a high-quality printed product, your paper type is going to be your bread and butter. Here are some of the most common paper types you can choose from:


Inkjet paper is the bog-standard paper that you can find down in WHSmiths to put in your home printer. It’s smooth, fairly sturdy, and can be used for letters, leaflets, menus, and more.

Bright white

Bright white paper is a slightly more dazzling version of inkjet paper, and is typically used when the printed product will include images. Bright white paper amplifies images and helps to create a more high-definition finish.


Cardstock paper is fairly sturdy and often used for artistic purposes; it’s also great for business cards, invitations, postcards and playing cards.

Silk paper

Silk paper is ideal for writing on: it’s pretty smudge-resistant while suitable for use with a pen or pencil. It’s not got a particularly long lifespan, but this lack of longevity is reflected in its relatively low price.

Glossy paper

Glossy paper is more difficult to write on, but offers a more luxe and elegant finish. Ideal for creating leaflets and posters, although it is slightly more expensive than traditional matte paper.

Paper Coatings

Adding a paper coating is a great way to increase the longevity of your product, enhance the printed images or add an extra touch of elegance. Here are the main paper coatings you can select for your project:


Varnish coatings offer tinting options and can enhance both the colour and images on your printed items. However, varnish coatings don’t offer a lot of protection when it comes to spillages or fingerprints. For this reason, a UV coating is one of the cheapest coating options available.


For an enhanced final look, UV coating can amplify the appearance of the colours on your printed product, while offering higher levels of protection than a varnish coating.


Aqueous coatings are designed to offer long-term durable protection to printed items against all forms of damage. If you’ve got food fingers or are going to be creating items that will be used and reused often, Aqueous coatings can significantly increase the durability of the final printed product.

Why Work With Avenue Printing

We know our paper for printing! With over 30 years working in the printing business, we know how to create high-quality printed products that satisfy our clients. You don’t need to take our word for it, our endless 5-star reviews on Google speak for themselves. Why not be the next satisfied Avenue customer?

If you’re looking for a customer-focused printing experience, forget about the insta-printing systems. For a seamless, expert-driven printing experience, give us a shout at Avenue Printing. We’ll take care of your order from start to finish – literally.

Do you have an idea for your next printing project and a need for a printing partner to fulfil the project? Get in touch with Avenue Printing today. As print brokers, we provide our clients with reliable commercial printing services. To reach out about creating an order with us, you can phone us at our office at 01732 742397, or fill in our online form here.