What’s the difference between coated and uncoated papers?

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Coated papers are papers that are coated with glossy, semi-gloss, or matte finishes. All Blurb photo book and both magazine papers are coated, except our Mohawk Superfine Eggshell photo book paper (formerly called Proline Uncoated). A paper does not have to be “glossy” to be considered coated.

Coated paper has an agent added to its surface in order to improve brightness, smoothness, or other printing properties. Once coating is applied to the paper, rollers help to “polish” the paper.  It fills in the tiny pits and spaces between the fibers, giving it a smooth, flat surface.

What does this coating do for the printed book?  First, it makes the printed material more shiny and bright, which is why it is typically used for brochures, glossy photos, booklets, and more. Second, the coating restricts how the paper absorbs ink, helping to prevent the ink from bleeding. This is a desirable trait for complex designs or images that must be sharp. Finally, coated paper is more resistant to dirt, moisture, and wear, which will help it to last longer.

Uncoated paper does not have a coating to fill in between the fibers. It is generally rougher than coated paper and tends to be more porous, which makes it very absorbent.  Images printed on uncoated paper will be softer and less crisp. Uncoated papers are great options for novels or books that you will be writing in. All of Blurb’s Trade Books are printed on uncoated paper.

The rough texture of uncoated paper is a great option for some art books too. Our beautiful Mohawk Superfine Eggshell paper (formerly called Proline Uncoated) is our one uncoated photo book paper, which will make for a stunning presentation of artwork.

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