How to Choose Your Paper Type

Your beautiful book, comic book, or magazine already exists in your head, but ensuring that vision comes to life on the page involves an important choice about the type of paper you use. When you make your own book there are many things to consider.  Do you want your images to have texture on the page? Glossy pages or more of a matte feel? Do you want your book to stand out on the bookshelves or to fit in? These are just some of the questions customers ask when trying to decide which different types of paper are right for their project. But have no fear, we’ve simplified your paper choices below to make the selection process easy and straightforward.

Types of Paper for Photo Books

Standard Printing Paper

  • Semi-matte, 80# (118 GSM)
  • Smooth semi-matte finish
  • Manufactured by Verso, a company devoted to quality and sustainability
  • This paper stock comes standard in books with more than 240 pages

Great for: All kinds of photo books or art books where price is a concern.

Premium Lustre Paper

  • Hint of gloss, 100# (148 GSM)
  • Around 35% heavier and slightly more opaque than our Standard Paper
  • Great tonal range and contrast, and prints with deeper blacks than our Premium Matte paper
  • This paper type is only available for books with 20-240 pages

Great for: Photo books that will benefit a little bit more gloss and a heftier page.

Premium Matte Paper

  • Matte, 100# (148 GSM)
  • Slight sheen to paper, which adds richness to its finish feel
  • 35% heavier and more opaque than our Standard Paper
  • This paper type is only available for books with 20-240 pages

Great for: Photo books and art books with a more subdued feel. Paintings and drawings, in particular, are better presented in Matte than Lustre. But if fine art is your thing, also check out the different paper types below.

Mohawk Superfine Eggshell

  • Uncoated, 100# (148 GSM)
  • Archival-quality paper with an eggshell-textured uncoated finish
  • Ultrabright white, high opacity
  • Manufactured by Mohawk Fine Papers, one of the most respected makers of paper for use in photography and design books
  • This paper type is only available for books with 20-240 pages
  • FSC Certified

Great for: Illustration, printmaking, collage, watercolor painting—this is a marvelous paper for fine art projects. It’s also a great choice for photo books, particularly where you want a more artisan look. It will magnify grain.

Mohawk proPhoto Pearl

  • Pearl texture, lustre finish 140# (190 GSM)
  • Made for use in high-end photo books
  • Slightly glossier finish than our Premium Lustre paper, and slightly heavier than our other papers
  • Archival-quality with exceptional 4-color reproduction
  • This paper type is only available for books with 20-240 pages

Great for: Photo books with bright colors, warm skin tones, deep blacks, silvery grays. It has the look of a traditional photo paper.

Premium Lustre – Layflat 

  • Premium Lustre paper
  • Ultra-thick, 295# (432 gsm) text stock
  • Pages lay flat with no center gutter break between pages.
  • This paper stock type is available for books with up to 110 pages

Mohawk Superfine Eggshell – Layflat

  • Ultra-premium uncoated matte finish, 300# (622 GSM)
  • Lush, tactile eggshell texture
  • Archival-quality with rich color reproduction
  • Artistic look and feel
  • Pages lay flat with no center gutter break between pages
  • This paper stock type is available for books with up to 110 pages

Mohawk proPhoto Pearl – Layflat

  • Pearl texture, lustre finish, 300# (650 GSM)
  • High-end photographic paper with superb vibrancy and color
  • Soft pearlescent texture
  • Archival-quality with high age resistance (200+ years)
  • Heaviest Layflat paper option
  • Pages lay flat with no center gutter break between pages
  • This paper stock type is available for books with up to 110 pages

Trade Book Printing Options

Economy, Black and White Printing

  • White uncoated, 50# (75 GSM) or Cream uncoated, 50# (80 GSM)

Great for: Books that contain mostly text. Large areas of black will likely show some banding. 

Standard, Black and White Printing

  • White uncoated, 50# (75 GSM)

Great for: Books that don’t require color but that have lots of illustrations, graphics, or line art.

Economy, Color Printing

  • White uncoated, 70# (105 GSM)

Great for: Books that have graphics, vector art, or little pops of text color, at a low price point. Photography does work too, but keep your images small and expect a slightly lo-fi look.

Standard, Color Printing

  • White uncoated, 70# (105 GSM)
  • Printing features rich, black ink and deep colors (great for page backgrounds, for example).

Great for: Books with any kind of photos, paintings, collage, illustrations, or graphics.


Magazine Paper Types

Economy Magazine Paper

  • Gloss, 60# paper
  • On par with magazines you’d find at your local newsstand.
  • Can accommodate page counts from 20 to 240.

Great for: Publications with graphics, illustrations, and text. Photos work too, but if your publication is primarily photo-driven, consider Premium.

Premium Magazine Paper

  • Matte, 80# paper
  • Photographs, drawings, and designs are beautifully rendered on the matte, velvet-finish paper.
  • Can accommodate page counts from 20 to 240.

Great for: Fine art magazines, photography journals, fashion, comic books.

Paper Type

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