Paper: Coated Finish

Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Most coated papers are available in shades of white only.

  • C1S: Paper coated on one side; typically cover stock. Postcards are frequently printed on C1S with color advertising on the coated side, and often black only on the uncoated side for return address, sender address, permit, etc.
  • C2S: Paper coated on both sides; typically coverstock.
  • Cast-Coated (Mirror Coat or Art Coat): High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet. Varnish or aqueous coating are recommended to help reduce scuffing, an inherent problem with super smooth finishes. The smoother and harder the finish, the more likely it is to scuff or scratch when handled. Kromekote is a cast coated paper.
  • Dull: Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte and has a heavier clay coating. Also called silk, suede, velour, velvet or satin. Less bulk (thinner caliper) than matte, but more bulk (thicker caliper) than gloss.
  • Enamel: Initially specified coated per with a finished high gloss surface. Enamel is often used to describe any coated paper surface regardless of gloss.
  • Film (or Wash) Coated: The least expensive coated paper, with just enough coating to yield a decent photograph; uses are economically produced newsletters, catalogs, or directories.
  • Gloss: Coating has the same amount of clay as dull coat, but sheets are more highly calendered and polished. Less bulk (thinner caliper) than either matte or dull.
  • Matte: More coating than film- or wash-coated but not enough to produce a shine. Matte paper is not supercalendered by the paper mill. May not be optimum for critical color photos; heavy ink coverage could appear mottled. More bulk (thicker caliper) than either dull or gloss. Matte-coated papers are less glossy than other coated papers, allowing for higher text legibility. The matte coating also provides a smooth, consistent surface for color reproduction that is superior to uncoated sheets for contrast and clarity. Poor rub resistance unless overprinted with varnish or aqueous; the rough, soft, uncalendered surface of matte paper is very susceptible to scuffing and marking. This marking problem is enhanced when screen tints are printed on the matte sheet. A matte paper can be "burnished" by rubbing a fingernail repeatedly over the same spot until a gloss area appears.
  • Silk or Velvet: Alternate term for dull; also used to indicate a slightly better finish than dull.