Product Knowledge

What are the three main types of paper? Those new to the packaging industry should take a look.

 

There are actually quite a lot of paper types, but if you’ve just entered the packaging industry, it’s recommended to first understand the three main categories of paper by their thickness: regular paper, paperboard and cardboard.

 

Regular paper is relatively thin, mainly used for making colored pages, books, brochures etc. paperboard is relatively thicker, often used for printing business cards, menus, invitations, book covers and packaging boxes etc. cardboard is the thickest, generally used for making gift boxes, backboards, jigsaw puzzles etc.

 

Commonly regular papers include book paper and art paper.

book paper
book paper

Book Paper
Book paper is conventional printing paper, usually with basis weights between 60-120g/m2. It belongs to low density fiber paper, generally made from pulp and other low value materials. The density is relatively low and feels rougher. When tearing it, you can feel it’s crispier.

Books and textbooks we commonly see are mostly printed on book paper.

art paper
art paper

Art Paper

Compared with book paper, art paper is relatively more high-end. The basis weight choices are more abundant too. This type of paper belongs to high density paper, made from cotton, bark and other high value materials, thus having higher density and toughness.

Art paper feels smoother because it has a layer of white coating and is super calendered. Compared to book paper, images printed art paper have better quality, hence it’s widely used for picture albums, posters, covers, postcards etc.

 

Commonly paperboard includes grayback paperboard and whiteback paperboard.

paper board
paper board

Whiteback has white color on both sides, while grayback has white front and gray back.

Paperboard generally requires smooth and clean surface, not allowing stripes, stains etc. The common thickness is above 200g/m2, suitable for making cards, certificates, calendars etc.

cardboard
cardboard

Cardboard is thicker than paperboard. Paperboard only has one layer, but cardboard has multiple layers, usually with a top layer and multiple bottom layers. The fiber ratio of each layer is different, so there is an obvious layered texture.

Also, paperboard made from pure pulp, cardboard is generally made from waste paper pulp, thus having poorer physical performance. It’s mainly used for packaging boxes after one-side colorful printing.