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Four Tips for Better Ink Coverage on Uncoated Paper

Let’s face it, uncoated paper is en vogue. A variety of businesses, from fashion designers to large corporations, are choosing uncoated paper to give their important projects a more tactile look and feel. However, there are a few things designers need to know in order to achieve great ink coverage on uncoated paper.

But for designers and print professionals who are new to working with uncoated paper, getting a smooth even look in areas that contain large solid coverage can initially seem like a daunting task. The most important first step to combat a “mottled” or “galvanized” appearance during the printing process is to pick a high-quality uncoated paper.

Cougar® has earned a stellar reputation for dependable performance and is widely trusted by a variety of businesses to provide consistent, optimal results for your most important print projects. Lynx® Opaque Ultra is also a great choice for your more budget-conscience projects.

Once you have a high-quality uncoated paper selected, there are several techniques for getting a smooth, rich coverage.

Here are our top 4 suggestions for better ink coverage on uncoated paper:

  1. Ink Sequence Variation While CMYK is the most common ink sequence, sometimes altering the order of ink can increase contrast or otherwise improve images.
  1. Single Black Apply as heavy a film of ink as conditions allow for even coverage in dark solid areas. Use a coat of dull varnish to smooth over dense areas.
  1. Double Black Two hits of black on a large solid area ensure dark, even coverage. Using two blacks to print greyscale (halftone) images adds contrast and makes shadows more striking.
  1. Rich Black Mix 100% black with process colors or improve ink density and coverage, or use CMYK quadtones to “warm up” a black-and-white image.


For some inspiration, check out our gallery to see what brands and agencies are doing with uncoated paper.  Request a print promo or two from our resources and explore the possibilities for your own brand.

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