Paper choice is often subjective. Designers find the right paper through aesthetic qualities which include look and feel. However, a familiarity with terms that describe paper should help designers communicate their preferences to suppliers and printers.
As mills turn pulp into paper, they adjust the surface for look, feel and printability. There is no authoritative vocabulary to describe different surfaces; each grade of paper has its own set of terms to describe the various surfaces for that grade.
A paper's surface will affect such factors as how it accepts ink, how fast the presses can process the paper, and how well it maintains ink uniformity. If your printer comments on the poor surface of your paper...consider a change.
Color may be the most important quality of your paper. Most printing papers come in shades of white. The subtle differences in paper color (especially shades of white) mean that color selection should be done carefully. For instance, your favorite gray may be lighter in 24# bond for letterhead than 80# cover stock for business cards. Or your mill may have changed its stock, making the August run slightly different than the December run.
In business since 1928, Beehive Press is a commercial printing company offering a wide array of services. All projects and customer service are overseen by one of the two owners. That kind of personal attention to each project contributes to our reputation as a customer service driven business.