Choosing the Right Paper

One of the most important details in a printing project, and the one that gets discounted the most, is selecting the appropriate paper. Whether you are printing business cards, brochures, or even a newsletter. Your printer, and your clients, will appreciate your having done a little homework.

In selecting paper there are two things you will need to consider:

  • What types of paper is available.
  • Which paper is best for the job.

Simple, isn’t it.

Basic Grades of Paper

  • Newsprint grade
  • Text grade – This is what you normally find between the gloss covers on a brochure.
  • Bond grade – Used for stationary.
  • Cover grade – A heavier paper, usualy gloss, used for the covers on brochures.
  • Bristol grade – These range from your index card stock to heavier cardboards and velums.
  • Index grade – Typically used for business reply cards.

Paper Weight

Paper is usually measured by the pound, it is also sometimes measured in thickness or points. Coated papers gain much of their weight from theier coating ie. a coated stock weighing rated at the same weight as an uncoated stock will be flimsier.

Paper Quality

  • ¬†Brightness – How bright the paper is. (Compare two sheets of difering brightness, you’ll see the difference immediately.)
  • Opacity – How well you can see through the paper, including the text on the other side.
  • Finish – How rough or smooth the papers texture is.
  • Ppi – Refers to how thick the paper is.

Paper Finish

Here are some of the common paper finishes:

  • Smooth paper
  • Glossy paper
  • Felt paper
  • Linen paper
  • Laid pape
  • Dull-coated paper
  • Matte-coated paper
  • Antique paper
  • Vellum paper
  • Wove paper
  • Parchment paper

Things to consider when choosing:

  • The method of printing you are using: offset, web, or digital laser
  • Any postal requirements of a minimum paper grade thickness for mailing.
  • How much the item will be handled.
  • Acid content of the paper affects how long it will last before yellowing.
  • How classy is your document supposed to feel.

Remember, your printer has years of experience in in choosing the right paper for the job. Use it, and you and your customers will be pleased with the results.

Written by Glenn Cummins

Great customer service, friendly, easy to work with. The quality of the work is excellent. I recommend EBA Printing all the time.

Moshe R., Mequon, WI

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