What kind of paper do I need?

Whether you’re a student printing out your dissertation or an amateur photographer showing off holiday snaps you’re proud of, you’ll need the right type of paper for the job…

26 Apr 2018


Different paper types suit different situations. With our handy guide, you can print projects that look even better on paper than they do on screen.


Photographer printing holiday snaps

In a nutshell: You want to print keepsakes of favourite holiday moments and cherished family get-togethers

Photographer parent

Love taking photos but reluctant to fork out to get them professionally printed? Why not try printing at home with premium photo paper specially made for your printer and ink cartridges? The paper you choose can make as big an impact as the photo itself. Epson, HP and Canon all have their own premium photo paper that produces flawless ink.

Look out for:

  • Weight of at least 200gsm
  • Smudge and water-resistant paper
  • High gloss finish for vibrant colour photos
  • Matte finish for moody black and white photos

Try: Essentials A4 Photo Paper - 30 Sheets


Student printing dissertation

In a nutshell: You want to present professional-looking essays, reports and your final year project

student printing dissertation

You’re looking for something a bit posher than standard copy paper to showcase your hard work. While you won’t be assessed on the quality of the paper, your dissertation and other important presentations will look more professional if you use a bright white A4 paper. The brighter the paper, the more vivid and crisp the text and images appear.

Look out for:

  • A mid-weight paper of between 80 and 120gsm
  • Acid-free paper so pages won’t get yellow and brittle over time
  • Whiteness rating of around 170 CIE

Try: Canon Top Colour Zero A4 Paper


Busy family printing household documents

In a nutshell: You want an all-round paper for printing everything from school assignments to household chore rotas

Family printing household

If you mainly use your printer for everyday printing such as school essays, emails and sports schedules, a cheaper paper will suffice. Saying that, you don’t want any old paper that’s so cheap it causes paper jams and gives you streaky print. The best all-round paper is A4 copy paper, also called copier and multipurpose paper.

Look out for:

  • Weight of 80gsm for one-sided printing or 90gsm for two-sided printing
  • Whiteness rating of over 145 CIE
  • High-volume, multipurpose use paper


Event organiser printing flyers and leaflets

In a nutshell: You’re looking for a quick-drying paper to make brochures and flyers stand out from the crowdLaser printer

Got a big community event coming up that you need to promote? Whiz off copies of your design with a quality glossy photo paper that produces sharp print and crisp images. A cheaper paper will only end up giving you blurred and lacklustre colours. A high-quality print job suggests you’re promoting a high-quality event. 

Look out for:

  • Weight of 140-170gsm
  • Quick-drying and fade resistant paper
  • Light gloss coating to give your flyers a professional finish

If you're planning on printing a lot of high-quality pieces, you may want to weigh up your options between a laser or inkjet printer


Crafter printing handmade cards and invitations

In a nutshell: You’re looking for premium paper or cardstock to bring your designs to life

Canon printer

If you enjoy getting creative at home, it’s easier than ever to make professional-looking greetings cards that you can personalise to make them extra special. You can also design wedding, birthday and anniversary invitations on your computer. You’ll need a premium paper or cardstock that produces clear text and vibrant images. A branded inkjet printer with a rear paper feed should have no problem accommodating thick card.

Look out for:

  • Premium super smooth or linen card
  • Heavyweight card of 250-300gsm
  • Acid-free paper or card


Choose from our selection of paper