17 Most Popular Notebook Paper Types

When choosing a notebook, the type of paper is crucial and often depends on personal preference and intended use, such as writing, drawing, or painting. Cover material for notebooks made of paper is typically more substantial and rigid. The notebook's thin design makes it convenient to carry around. Common ways of bookbinding for such a notebook include saddle stitching and sewing stitching.

Numerous specialized papers make it difficult to classify the complete range of available options. The most popular types and classifications are briefly discussed here.

What to look for in notebook papers?

It’s important to evaluate the paper quality before purchasing a notebook. Here are some things that can affect your notebook-buying experience:

The gsm (grams per square meter): Refers to the paper's weight. Good notebooks usually have 80-120 gsm. Light to medium papers (60-90 gsm) are flexible yet durable. For context, Japan's standard is 70–90 gsm, while many Western countries prefer a light-medium weight.
The finish. Determine if it has a smooth, glossy, or matte finish; different textures work well with different images.
Is it coated or uncoated?
Printing method. The quality of a printed notebook might vary depending on the method used to create it. Offset printing is used exclusively on our notebooks because of the superior quality of the finish it produces.
FSC Certified Manufactured. This ensures that the materials for production are obtained in an environmentally responsible manner and are recyclable.
notebook collection

Selecting the Right Notebook Paper

The notebook's quality hinges on the paper stock. Below are characteristics of popular papers to guide your decision. Consider factors like product type, printing process, weight, and texture. Interwell is here to assist you in choosing the best option.

1. Coated Paper

There are two types: matte and glossy. Because of its mineral covering, this paper is smooth and absorbent, with less ink than standard ones. Catalogs, brochures, flyers, and periodicals benefit greatly from their utilization. Photos and images can be printed in great resolution on it.


The coated papers available at Interwell range in weight from 60 to 400 gsm. According to the specifics of your project, we will help you decide the desired printing result.

Volume and thickness of coatings

One can get the impression of higher density from a larger volume of the same paperweight. Lighter Paper with the same amount of text is a suitable choice to cut costs. If you want to see how these coated papers stack up against other options, feel free to request some samples.

coated paper

2. Offset Papers

One of the most popular types of printing paper is this. It is known as “uncoated paper.” Printing on black-and-white and color paper is common for publications like pamphlets, brochures, documents, books, calendars, and more. Although its great whiteness is an advantage, it is not ideal for printing high-definition photographs because it is not laminated.

When comparing two offset papers of the same weight (80 gsm), it’s helpful to look at how their whiteness and volume (both of which affect cost) differ.
Offset paper may be tailored to your needs and budget, as its weights range from 40 to 350 gsm. If you’re going to print flyers, it’s best to use thicker paper (more than 100 gsm) so that they don’t appear transparent.

offset papers

3. Luxury Paper

Designer and luxury papers have a distinct look and feel, making your message stand out.

There is a wide range of choices, from transparent to glossy to colored to metallic to coarse-grained, all of which give a significant dose of originality to the final product.

Covers like this are perfect for graphic designs, artistic images.

luxury paper

4. Wood-free Paper

Tree-free paper isn’t wood-free, despite what the name might imply. Although it is not physically pumped like traditional paper, it is nevertheless considered “tree-free” because it is created from chemical pulp rather than wood.

Although the chemical pulp is produced from pulpwood, the absence of lignin in its structure disqualifies it as wood. Because a chemical treatment removes the combustible lignins from the wood, this paper won’t turn yellow over time.

wood free paper

5. Wove Paper

Wove paper formed by weaving brass (or other) wires together in a mold, hiding any discernible design or pattern. Sometimes a watermark is included in the paper by inserting a piece of wire with a logo or pattern into the mold before the pulp is added. Wove paper doesn’t have any patterns or chain lines.

99% of all paper is woven, a method popularized globally by innovators like James Whatman.

Whatman paper, the best quality of this type, has an interesting grain pattern without any lines.

wove paper

6. Card

A card is a thicker form of paper. If the weight is over 170gsm, it is considered a card.

Greeting cards and packaging are two common cards, but they are also suitable for use as a cover, an index, and endpapers in notebooks. Cards are available in a wide range of colors and textures.

card paper

7. Munken Papers

The fine uncoated paper known as Munken is of exceptionally high quality. This paper mill and surrounding neighborhood take their monastic namesake from Munkedal, Sweden, where it was founded.

The Munken line-up has evolved to accommodate a wide variety of applications; for example, the design-oriented Munken Pure and Polar, as well as the book-centric Premium White and Premium Cream, both of which are made from 100% recycled fiber and include no wood pulp.

The Munken cover is certified by the FSC and the PEFC as being of excellent quality and having a low environmental impact.

8. Recyclable Paper

You can find recycled paper in various places, but it’s often made from previously used paper. The National Association of paper merchants (NAPM) originally established recycled types. At least 50%, 75%, or 100% of the paper must be made from recycled materials. As the recycling paper classification system requires, these materials must come from somewhere other than mill break, virgin wood fiber, or virgin non-wood fiber.

  • Domestic waste: waste material from homes and offices, whether printed or unprinted.
  • Throwaway Converters: Expended processing materials from a cutting or slitting operation.
  • Printers Waste: any scraps, offcuts, or rejects from the printing process, whether printed or not.
  • Other manufactured waste

Unfortunately, producing ‘good quality’ paper with 100% recycled content is challenging because fibers become shorter as more and more of the paper is recycled.

Paper that has been recycled does not necessarily have to be brown; instead, it can be any shade of the rainbow and any thickness you like.

High-quality text and images work beautifully on recycled papers because of their high level of opacity and their matte lamination that eliminates distracting reflections.

recyclable paper

9. Bond Paper

Bond paper, originally used for government bonds and legal documents, is a high-quality, durable paper that sometimes includes cotton. Today, it's widely used for letters, written communications, and various creative applications.

Besides its use in notebooks, bond paper is also a key material in producing drawing pads and easel paper, which may be used with everything from crayons and pencils to paint and markers. Its versatility for cutting and pasting projects like Christmas ornaments and cut-out snowflake decorations is enhanced by its availability in white and pastel and bright colors like blue, buff, canary, lemon yellow, red, salmon, and watermelon.

bond paper

10. Cartridge Paper

Cartridge paper is now typically between 100 and 200 gsm in weight. It is commonly used for sketching and drawing and is thick and textured to help artists add dimension to their works and to permit erasing without tearing.

To prevent the water from distorting the paints and to add texture, watercolor paper is typically significantly thicker, weighing in at roughly 300gsm, and constructed of either partially or totally cotton.

cartridge paper

11. Rag Paper

Rag paper, often called cotton paper, is a type of paper valued for its longevity and archival quality, which can make it persist for hundreds of years without deteriorating.

Cotton paper comes in a variety of grades, often ranging from 25% to 100%. Rag paper is used to print U.S. dollars so that they will not be damaged if they are accidentally washed.

rag paper

12. Newsprint

The paper used for newsprint is the cheapest type that can withstand the printing process; it is typically made from ground wood pulp and has a short lifespan that is appropriate for its intended use; hence, it is not durable.

The low tear resistance and yellowing nature of this paper may be a dealbreaker for some, but when considering the limited lifespan of the end product, it is not.

It is estimated that daily newspaper printing accounts for around 80% of all newsprint paper consumed and that approximately 70% of this paper is recovered from the trash and put back into circulation.

There are, however, varying quality levels of this paper type, with the best level being used for printing high-quality color photographs, ads, etc.


13. Laid Paper

To create laid paper, wire cylinders imprint the paper with parallel lines in vertical and horizontal directions.

It appears substantial and aged, and its texture is similar to that of hand-made paper. Use this if your product comes across as high-end and sophisticated or on formal letterheads.

laid paper

14. Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is most appropriate for use in formal contexts, such as writing letters or making hand-made greeting cards for special occasions.

It has the appearance of classic century-old paper. Parchment comes in brown and white varieties; the latter has had its natural color chemically removed to make it look more like copy paper.

It is also commonly known as baking or greaseproof paper.

parchment paper

15. Transparent Paper

Transparent paper, also known as tracing paper, was first designed for use in the diazo copying process, which architects commonly use to make precise replicas of original designs.

The substance blocking it must be removed using a specialized method to allow light to enter the paper. You’ll want to leave out whatever was used to keep the paper opaque and printable for tracing purposes. You can get different levels of transparency in tracing paper to suit your needs. It functions similarly to opaque paper and can be used for direct printing.

transparent paper

16. Special Papers

Many documents exist that don’t fit well into any category yet serve certain needs.

Stone paper, for instance, is made from a polymer, is resistant to ripping, and may be used in wet environments.

Everything you can imagine, from hand-printed to glow-in-the-dark, probably already exists somewhere.

stone paper

17. End Papers

Notebook endpapers can be found at the front and back of the book. Choose any color or texture you like for this.

The notebook’s endpapers are a great place to express its personality through art, graphics.

Printed on heavyweight paper (often over 110gsm) and adhered to the inside of the cover, they keep the book block in place and add visual appeal.

end papers
Jerome Wu

Jerome Wu

About the Author

Jerome Wu, a renowned expert in the stationery field, crafts insightful content for Interwell Stationery. With over a decade of industry experience, Jerome brings a deep understanding of stationery trends and innovation.

Connect with Jerome for blog collaborations or inquiries at jerome@interwell.cn.

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