Different types of paper and their uses

The types of paper can be defined by usage and manufacturing process. Paper for different purposes usually has different physical properties. By the same token, papers made by different manufacturing processes have great differences in look and feel. Below are the paper types by characteristics and uses.

Types of paper
Types of paper

Types of paper in Terms of Characteristics

1. Coated Paper / Art Paper


Coated paper, also named Art Paper, refers to paper that has a layer of coating or varnish applied to one or both sides of the sheet. This coating creates a smooth and glossy finish that enhances the appearance of printed images.


Coated paper is suitable for printing high-quality images, such as photographs, illustrations, and design projects.

LWC (Lightweight coated paper)

One kind of Printing Paper. High smoothness, high brightness, anti-moisture, anti-abrasion, anti-leakage, good evenness, can print single color and multi-color images of art, propaganda poster, labeling and high-end newspapers.

Single Coated Paper

Single-coated paper has a coating on one side.

Double Coated Paper

Double coated paper has a coating on both sides.

Weight Range

Coated paper is available in a range of weights, typically ranging from 80 GSM (grams per square meter) to 350 GSM. The weight of the coating can affect the overall thickness and stiffness of the paper. The lighter weights, such as 80 GSM to 120 GSM, are often used for brochures, flyers, and magazines, while the heavier weights, such as 250 GSM to 350 GSM, are suitable for postcards, business cards, and packaging materials.

2. Offset Paper


Offset paper is an uncoated paper that is designed for offset lithography printing, which is a popular commercial printing technique.


Offset paper is used for printing a range of materials, including books, newspapers, business stationery, and flyers. It is available in different weights, sizes, and finishes.

Weight Range

Offset paper is generally available in a wide range of weights, with the most common being 60 GSM to 120 GSM. Lighter weights are often used for books, newspapers, and business stationery, while heavier weights can be used for packaging inserts and promotional materials.

3. Kraft Paper


Kraft paper is a strong and durable type of paper that is made from wood or bamboo pulp, it has much longer fibers which give it a character of durable and strongness. It is commonly used for packaging, as it can withstand significant wear and tear during transportation. Kraft paper is available in different grades and weights, depending on the intended use. It is also available in different colors and finishes, including plain, embossed, and printed.


Kraft paper is a strong and durable type of paper that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, like Packaging, Wrapping Paper, Craft Projects, Agricultural Applications, Industrial Applications, and Food Wrap.

Weight Range

Kraft paper is available in varying weights, typically ranging from 40 GSM to 200 GSM or more. The weight chosen depends on the specific application. Lighter weights (40-80 GSM) are often used for wrapping paper, while heavier weights (100-200 GSM) are preferred for packaging boxes, bags, and other protective materials.

4. Cardboard Paper


Cardboard paper, also known as paperboard, is a thick and heavy type of paper that is used for packaging and printing. It is thicker and stronger than standard paper. Cardboard paper is available in different weights, sizes, and textures.


Cardboard paper is commonly used for making boxes, business cards, retail displays, and packaging materials.

Two popular types of cardboard paper are white cardboard and black cardboard.

  • White cardboard is used for printing high-quality images
  • Black cardboard is used for luxury packaging and high-end products.

Weight Range

Cardboard paper is heavier and thicker than standard paper. The weight for cardboard paper typically ranges from 200 GSM to 400 GSM. The specific weight chosen depends on the desired durability and stiffness of the final product. Heavier weights are commonly used for packaging boxes, displays, and other structural applications.

5. Handmade Papers

Handmade papers are usually decorative or made specifically for special uses, and derive their texture and character out of the manual manufacturing process. These papers can come in many colors, textures, and shapes, and are ideal for art projects, greeting cards, and invitations. However, due to the decline of traditional craftsmanship, there are not many types of handmade paper left today.

6. Blotting Papers

Blotting papers are another type of drawing paper that comes in handy for designers, artists, and animators. They are uncoated, and are designed specifically to absorb excess ink and prevent smudging. These papers usually contain little or no sizing, which makes them highly porous.

7. Specialty Papers

Specialty papers are custom-made papers that are designed to fit certain niches. They include a wide range of products, from cigarette papers to tissue paper and other industrial use papers. Other examples of specialty papers include heat transfer paper, security paper, and thermal paper.

Types of Paper in Terms of Uses

The different types of paper are manufactured to cater for specific uses, and typically, some papers are more suitable for certain applications than others. Here is a brief overview of the various types of paper that are available, based on their main uses:

  • Printing Papers: These papers are developed for a wide range of printing processes, such as offset, letterpress, digital, and gravure, as well as various end-uses, such as magazines, books, flyers, posters, and more. They come in different weights, coatings, brightness levels, and finishes to match the printing requirements of the job.
  • Offset Paper
    One kind of Printing Paper. The both sides of the Offset paper are coated with glue material in the production process to improve the surface properties. Offset paper mainly used for offset printing or other printing presses that for higher level color printing, and suitable for printing cover of single or multi-color publications, magazines, text, inserts, maps, color marks, posters, and various packaging materials.
    General weight: 60 – 120 grams/m2,
    There are also 150 grams, 180 grams, and even 300g of high weight offset paper.
    Color: There are not only beige, ivory white, but also color offset paper.
  • Writing paper
    Mainly used in exercise book, records and other writing purpose, also this paper can be used for printing books, magazines and so on.
    Weight: 45, 50, 60, 70, 80grams/m2
    Paper Roll Width: 787mm, 1092mm
  • Copy Paper
    Normally means Static Copy Paper and most widely used in office work. There are Pure wood pulp copy paper and recycled copy paper.
  • Printer Paper
    Normally same as Copy Paper.
  • Writing Paper: Writing paper is purpose-built for writing purposes and comes in a range of styles such as ledger, bank, and bond paper. These papers are designed specifically to give a smooth, even writing surface, and are of archive quality to ensure that the documents remain legible and durable over a long time.
  • Wrapping Papers: These papers are used mainly to protect goods during transport and storage, and include various types such as wax, kraft, greaseproof, and so on. Wax papers are water-resistant and have a thin layer of wax on one side to repel moisture. Kraft papers, on the other hand, are tough and durable and are used for wrapping heavy items, while greaseproof papers are mainly for wrapping food products.
  • Drawing Papers: Drawing papers are thick, heavyweight papers that are perfect for artistic or design purposes. These papers tend to have a coarse surface to grip ink or pencil, and are capable of absorbing large amounts of ink or paint without bleeding.
  • Liner Board
    Mainly used in processing packaging cartons, and yarn tube.
  • Yellow anti-sticking base paper
    Transfer paper for self-adhesive labels


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