Per the last post, I put together the following on how Epson names its papers. In the spirit of brevity, most of the information is in glossary form. Some of this may sound very basic, but due to the colloquial nature of photography, the same term can have multiple meanings so thought it best to include some of the basics. Please note that some of the information may be slightly different outside of North America.
There are also 2 attachments
-My ongoing Glossary of Fine Art Terms, which may be a helpful reference.
-The Epson Star System chart showing previous and current names of cut sheet papers.
If there is interest, I would be happy to provide more details/insight into the naming of the latest Professional Papers as I was on the core team that developed those names.
Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
Marketing Manager, Professional Imaging
Epson America, Inc.
Any product with an ink jet coating that transports through an ink jet printer.
Any paper with an inkjet coating. All Paper is Media but not all Media is a Paper, e.g., vinyls.
Any paper with an inkjet coating designed for pre-press/contract proofing. These papers are NOT designed for original photography.
Reflective and backlit media designed for signage applications. Most signage media is designed for solvent based printers.
Coated Matte Paper
Any paper with a matte surface that has an inkjet coating.
Coated Gloss Paper
Any paper with a gloss surface that has an inkjet coating.
Any resin coated (RC) paper that has an inkjet coating. RC papers are microporous type papers that encapsulate the paper base between two layers of polyethylene. Photo Black ink is used to maximize print quality.
Fine Art Paper
Any cotton fiber paper with an inkjet coating. Matte Black ink is used to maximize print quality. The term “fine art” has evolved into several meanings but started in the early days of ink jet where one for the first time could use papers from the fine art world. It is a naming category only, since many valuable fine art photographs are created on Coated and Photo Papers.
A legacy term that described a paper type made in the past. “Rags” have not been used in papers for decades, so technically cotton rag no longer exists but the term remains in circulation such as in Giclée, which does not have a technical meaning.
Any Epson media found on the Professional Imaging website and designed for use by Creative Professionals.
Signature Worthy Papers
Epson’s best papers for photographers (mix of Photo and Fine Art).
Does not contain OBAs
Defines the opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.
Parentheses are only used with roll paper, and the number represents gsm, which is an abbreviation for grams per meter squared. It provides a basis weight and does not describe paper thickness or caliper.
Equals one thousandth of an inch in thickness; not to be confused with millimeters (mm).
Prefix used with cut sheet versions of Professional Papers to differentiate from non-Professional papers in the Epson Star System.
Epson Star System
A Good (3-Stars), Better (4-Stars), Best (5-Stars) system designed to help consumers/hobbyists in a retail environment choose the best cut sheet paper for their needs. Some Professional Papers are sold in this environment and always carry 5 Stars. The names of some cut sheet papers were changed with the implementation of this system and the same Professional Paper in roll format may carry its original name. 3 and 4 Star papers are not considered Professional Papers, which is why profiles for 3 and 4 star papers may not be available for Stylus Pro and Stylus Photo Printers.