How to Choose the Best Paper for Your Printing Project
The choice of paper is probably the single most important decision you will make when you have to make a good print. This can have a lot of impact on end products such as ink and design. This affects how, when and where printed parts can be used. This can also have a significant effect on prices in higher amounts.
Choosing the Right Paper
Don't just think about how you want the product to look, think about what you will use for the final product, who will handle it, if it will be delivered (because paper weight can affect your shipping costs), and whether the paper will be exposed to water, material extreme chemistry or temperature.
Choosing the Right Paper Material
Paper is not only made of wood. There is paper made of fabric, synthetic fibers and even plastic. Then this paper serves a special purpose. If you are worried about your impact on the environment, there are special papers made from materials that are more eco-friendly, sourced from sustainable forests, and decompose faster. Although most of our standard papers are sustainably sourced, other options are available.
Choosing the Right Paper for the Project
Most of the print jobs we see are part of marketing campaigns, such as business cards, posters, brochures or postcard shipping campaigns. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the paper you need:
1) Will you use detailed die-cut?
If you use detailed pieces, usually thicker paper will show better details. Thinner paper tends to lose detail or has frayed edges where they are cut. Premium paper papers will also be useful.
2) Will your printed product be sent again?
If you are going to deliver the product, make sure the product weight does not exceed the weight limit because you will pay more for shipping costs.
3) Where will you save it until you use it?
If you think paper might be exposed to extreme temperatures, rain or humidity, you should use paper that is resistant to these things.
4) Will you write on the paper?
Use uncoated paper (or paper vellum) when you are writing on the paper, do not use coated, glossy, or highly textured paper.
5) Will your paper be perforated?
Thin and stiff paper is best suited for perforation.
6) Will the paper be used for a long time?
If the paper might be wet, choose a type that is waterproof or add laminate. Laminates increase the durability of printed materials, allowing them to withstand frequent use. Laminates add protection to fingerprints, stains, spills, wrinkles, abrasions, oil, dirt, moisture and other contaminants.
Choosing Affordable Paper
Paper can have an impact on the price of each printed item. More expensive paper can add a little to the total cost of a printing project, especially if you print in large quantities. In the end you have to choose paper that fits your budget.
Our advice: first select paper for the function - it is useless if your product looks good if it doesn't run its function. The paper available in our inventory is high-quality and good-value paper that is well printed for most projects.
You can also dig deeper into this topic and see how paper choices affect certain printed products. Look here.
Paper Stock: Coated VS Uncoated
Coated paper is paper that has been coated with a mixture of materials or polymers so it will be better to display text and images with sharper details and denser colors. Coatings can be matte / doff or glossy / glossy, covering from non-glossy to super-glossy. Paper can be coated on one or both sides. Paper coated on one side is often used for low-cost postcards or photo paper. Coated paper is more difficult to write, especially with a pencil or pen. Coated paper is generally used for things like:
product packaging postcard brochure that you will not write
Uncoated paper has characteristics of a surface that is not glare and is easy to absorb. Nothing covers natural fibers and easily absorbs ink. Examples of uncoated paper are linen paper, buffalo, white blues or HVS paper. Uncoated paper is the easiest paper to write. Uncoated paper is generally used for things like:
Standard pamphlet stationery and envelopes that are economical final product newsletters that you will write
Special Paper Coatings - Lamination, Varnish & Spot UV
There are also special coatings that can be added after the paper has been printed. This can help protect all parts or can be used to make an interesting effect.
Lamination provides a glossy or doff appearance and provides excellent protection by coating the paper with a plastic coating, this can dramatically change the appearance and touches of the prints.
Varnish is a very shiny or matte coating that offers perfect protection for printed materials. It was added to the ink in the paper stock and made the paper waterproof. Water-based aqueous coating, making it environmentally friendly. If you want your paper to last, varnish is for you. Varnish is very similar to laminate, the difference is that paper will be given a clear ink search coating to seal and protect the ink on the mold surface. Varnished products will look more glossy than laminated ones.
Spot UV can be used to protect parts or be used to highlight certain details of printed works and add luster and depth to certain elements on the page such as logos or images.
Paper Thickness & Weight (Paperweight / gsm)
You have to think about paper thickness and weight simultaneously. Both measure how thick, sturdy, and heavy on the paper. Paper that is heavier and thicker will resist dings than paper that is lighter or thinner.
Stock Cover and Text Stock
When you talk about paper weight and thickness, you can understand the difference in terms of cover stock and text stock. Cover stock is thicker paper that is often used as a book cover. We don't speak hardcover books - but rather like paperback or softcover books, greeting cards and the like. Text stock is the paper that you normally see on a desktop printer. Thinner, looser and more flexible, used as paper in books.
Cover material and text stock really have nothing to do with the book even though they use those terms. Cover stock is great for postcards, bookmarks, hang-tags, and anything that requires thick and rigid paper. Stock text can be made into brochures, leaflets, letters and notes.
Choose the Right Thickness & Weight
Paper weight and thickness have a big impact on your final product and this can be confusing. You should talk to a printing professional before you choose an important stock, but here are some things to keep in mind when you choose paper thickness and weight.
1) Thicker paper produces better results for die-cutting, embossing and foil stamping.
2) You pay to send paper based on weight.
3) Thinner paper is usually cheaper and uses less material, making it more environmentally friendly.
4) If you are printing a catalog or magazine, make sure the cover thickness and interior paper stock are right for your project, because there might be a binding problem with several combinations and configurations.
5) Thick and sturdy paper will be more resilient than thin paper.