Text vs. Cover Paper: Which Is Best?

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When deciding what type of paper to use for your printing project, it’s essential to understand the differences between text paper and cover paper. While they are both cut sheets of paper commonly used in office printers, there are some definite differences between them.

Text paper is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for general printed documents, proposals and other presentations.

In contrast, cover paper, or cardstock, is thicker and more rigid, perfect for creating covers, business cards and invitations.

In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

By understanding the variables in common office printer paper choices, you can make an informed decision based on the specific requirements of your project. 

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Differences Between Text Paper and Cover Paper

Text paper and cover paper are two common types of paper used in printing projects. While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between them.

Text paper is a lightweight paper that is commonly used for printing documents, book pages and brochures. It is thinner and more flexible than cover paper.

On the other hand, cover paper is a thicker and heavier paper that is often used for creating booklet covers, postcards and invitations. It provides more durability and stiffness compared to text paper.

When choosing between text paper and cover paper, it is important to consider the purpose and requirements of your printing project. If you need a paper that is lightweight and flexible, text paper would be a good choice. It is ideal for projects that involve a lot of pages. On the other hand, if you need a paper that is more durable and has a professional look, cover paper is the better option due to its sturdiness and heavier weight.

When to Use Text Paper vs Cover Paper

The choice between text paper and cover paper depends on the specific requirements of your printing project. Here are some guidelines to help you determine when to use each type.

Use text paper when:

  • You have a project with a lot of pages, such as a book or lengthy printed presentation
  • Flexibility is important, such as when folding or binding the printed materials
  • You need a lightweight paper that is easy to handle and transport

Use cover paper when:

  • You need a more durable and rigid paper, such as for creating covers or business cards
  • The printed materials require a heavier weight to convey a sense of quality or professionalism
  • You want to add a luxurious and premium feel to your printed materials

By considering these factors, the decision on whether to use text paper or cover paper for your printing project will be simplified.

The Debate: Gloss vs. Matte Paper

When it comes to selecting the finish of your paper, gloss and matte are two popular options. The choice between them depends on the desired look and feel of your printed materials.

Gloss paper has a shiny and reflective surface, which enhances the colors and makes them appear more vibrant. It’s often used for printing photographs, brochures and promotional materials that require a high-quality and glossy finish. Gloss paper is also more resistant to smudges and fingerprints, making it ideal for materials that will be handled frequently.

On the other hand, matte paper has a non-reflective surface, which gives it a more subdued and sophisticated look. It is commonly used for printing documents, presentations and fine art prints. Matte paper reduces glare and provides a smooth texture, making it easier to read and handle. It is also less prone to scratches and scuffs.

The choice between gloss and matte paper depends on the purpose and design of your printed materials. If you want to showcase vibrant colors and high-quality images, gloss paper is the better option. However, if you prefer a more elegant and professional look with reduced glare, matte paper is a better choice.

Optimal Paper Weights for Printing Projects

The weight of paper used in office printers is typically measured in pounds (lb) or grams per square meter (gsm). When selecting the optimal paper weight for your printing project, consider the following:

1. Text Paper:
  • For regular documents and copies, 20 lb or 75 gsm text paper is most commonly used
  • For brochures and flyers, a slightly heavier weight of 24 to 28 lb or 90 to 105 gsm text paper provides more durability
2. Cover Paper:
  • For business cards, covers and invitations, a heavier weight of 80 to 100 lb or 216 to 270 gsm cover paper is recommended
  • If you need even more sturdiness, consider using 110 lb or 300 gsm cover paper

By choosing the appropriate paper weight, you can ensure that your printed materials have the desired thickness and durability.

Paper Tips for Avoiding Jams in Office Printers

To prevent paper jams and maintain the efficiency of your office printers, it’s important to choose the right type and weight of paper.

In addition, here are five tips to help avoid paper jams:

  1. Avoid using heavyweight or thick paper that exceeds the recommended specifications of your printer. This can strain the printer's mechanisms and increase the likelihood of paper jams.
  2. Use paper that is specifically designed for printers. This ensures proper feeding and reduces the chances of paper jams.
  3. Check for any damaged or bent paper before loading it into the printer. These imperfections can cause paper jams.
  4. Fan the paper stack before loading it into the printer. This helps separate the sheets and prevents multiple pages from feeding at once.
  5. Store the paper in a cool and dry environment to prevent moisture absorption, which can cause paper jams.

By following these tips, you can minimize the occurrence of paper jams and maintain the smooth operation of your office printers.

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