Choosing The Right Paper For Your Photo Book

Printing a photo book is a great way to display your memories. With online photo book printing services you can create books any size and style. If you would like smaller books, consider creating one book for each month. Or, if you want a larger book, print a book at the end of every year. After you arrange your photos and decide on a book size, you will need to decide what type of paper to use.

What Is Paper Weight?

Paper weight refers to the weight of 500 sheets of a specific type of paper. For example, standard 20 lb. text paper means that 500 sheets (uncut) weigh 20 pounds. Paper weight is based on the basic ream of paper before it is cut. Instead of displaying 20 lbs, the paper weight is usually written 20#.  Some papers have the same weight measurement, but they don't necessarily have the same thickness (they have different density that determines the weight).

Which Weight to Choose

The most common weight for quality photo book pages is 80# text paper. This is the paper quality of a nice magazine. You can choose 100# text for a similar paper that is 25% thicker.

Glossy, Satin or Matte?

The three most common coated papers are matte, satin, and gloss. 

Glossy paper produces the sharpest and most color accurate photos. This is because the coating on the paper prevents the ink from soaking into the fibers of the paper and loosing detail. Glossy paper makes the colors brighter and it protects the pages from the natural oil on your hands.

Satin finish is a duller version of gloss paper, but it still has more shine than matte paper. It can also produce sharp, detailed images without the shine of gloss. The benefit of satin is that it is less reflective than gloss, so text is easier to read. This is the best option if you are going to mix photos and text in your photo book. 

Matte is the option to choose if you aren't concerned with crisp detail and want a more natural look. However, it is the best option for a book with a lot of text. The dull surface picks up dirt easier and can become stained after years of use. 

Make a final decision considering the  options you have in paper weight and finish. Once you have decided, you will be able to create coordinating photo books to capture all of your memories. For more information, talk to a professional digital book printing service like Dazzle Printing.