Printing & Reprographics

Understanding Paper

 All Your Paper Questions Answered Here


Understanding the Importance of Brightness

Brightness not only determines how vibrant an image is but also determines a paper's color cast.

More details


Thickness Demystified

Paper thickness is determined by the type and weight of the stock

More details

Typical Uses

Ever wonder which stock you should specify for which type of project?

More details


Glossary of Terms

Here's the key to keeping up when inundated with paper jargon.

More details

Coated Stock and Brightness 

The brightness of a given paper has an enormous influence on the vividness of images and illustrations. The brighter the paper, the more light is reflected from the white stock up through the transparent inks that make up the artwork and to your eyes. Luckily, it is easy to identify a paper's relative brightness: Just refer to the paper's grade. Paper grades are standards-based, and a key factor that determines the grade of the paper is it's brightness, or ability to reflect light.
Paper is graded into five levels and described by six different characteristics. The five paper grades are 1 through 5 depending on brightness, and the six characteristics are brightness, whiteness, holdout, opacity, smoothness and finish.
Brightness is the ability of the paper to reflect light. Some light is always absorbed, but the more light that is reflected, the brighter the paper. We used Photoshop's Brightness-Contrast feature to emulate the effect of a paper's brightness on image reproduction:
In our example, a color original image gets progressively duller and less bright as it is printed on a lower grade paper. The tables below detail brightness and opacity by paper type and grade.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Printing & Reprographics
900 University Ave.
Printing Modular Building

Tel: (951) 827-4443
Fax: (951) 827-3686
E-mail: printingrequest@ucr.edu