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What is meant by a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, etc. paper?

Question: What is meant by a No. 1, No. 2, No.3, etc. paper?
Coated papers are classified within a set of grade levels (Premium to No. 5) based on paper brightness. This classification, established by the American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA), defines the grade levels as follows:

Grade LevelBrightness
Premium88 and above
No. 185 - 87.9
No. 283 - 84.9
No. 379 - 82.9
No. 473 - 78.9
No. 572.9 and below

The AFPA allows a paper manufacturer to classify a coated brand at the highest grade level that its brightness meets or at any level below. In today's market, most grades exceed the brightness range specified for the category; e.g. at 87 brightness, International Paper's Savvy grade qualifies as a No. 1 paper; however, it is sold as a No. 2.

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