No, we’re not talking about changing your life; we’re talking about paper! That’s right, paper. Believe it or not, the type of paper you choose for your print projects has an impact on your organization’s image. Whether it’s a brochure, postcard, or stationery, the right paper makes all the difference.
Here are some of the basics just to get you started:
Weight – Paper is weighed in pounds (#) per ream (500 sheets), and is typically referred to as either text weight (also called book weight) or cover weight. Text weight is typically thinner and is good for letterhead, stationery, magazines, and the insides of books. Cover weight, on the other hand, is slightly thicker, has more rigidity and is typically used for applications such as door hangers, signs, brochures and postcards.
Coating – The most obvious thing you might notice about a particular paper is the coating. It could be uncoated/offset, gloss, matte, U/V or laminate, or aqueous.
- Uncoated/offset paper soaks up more ink, so colors appear muted. It is the easiest to write on, and it is cheaper because it requires no treatment.
- Gloss is currently the cheapest paper on the market because it’s highest in demand. It’s finish is smooth; it may have a sheen to it; and it gives a professional feel to your printing. It is, however, very difficult to write on, so is better put to use for flyers, postcards, magazines than for any forms or handouts.
- Matte is coated but doesn’t shine. It still gives a professional feel but can also be written on. Matte has gained some popularity in recent years and is now seen as a classy style of paper coating.
- U/V and laminate are both ultra-glossy coatings. They really make colors stand out with their sheen, but they are also the most expensive due to the special treatment required to create the finish, and they can not be written on.
- Aqueous is another coating that brings out the color, but gives it a unique texture similar to a matte.
Sizing – When you think about doing a project, the most economical sizing is going to be based on the 8 1/2 X 11 sheet. Sheets or rolls are sized in measurements easily divided into 8 1/2 X 11 sheets, so you might consider making your poster 17 X 22 rather than 18 X 20. Or you might make a 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 postcard.
For more help with printing projects, call The Winn Group. We’re happy to help!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: The Winn Group has not received any compensation for writing this post. We have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that we have mentioned. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”