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Choosing the Right Paper for the Job

Posted 23rd February 2015

Choosing the Right Paper for the Job

One of the main benefits of choosing to produce your company report, brochure or promotional booklet in a printed rather than a digital format is being able to take advantage of print’s tactile nature.

Although print and digital formats can contain the same images, text and aesthetics, physical objects are more personal, more striking and more memorable.

In order to make sure a printed product looks and feels as good as possible, companies need to ensure that they select the right paper for the job. Making an instant impression on anyone who handles it, the paper you select for your product can really help it to stand out from the crowd.

Picking the correct weight of paper

The weight, or thickness, of the paper you select will have a dramatic and instant impact on the look and feel of your finished product. Paper weight is measured in grams per square metre and ranges from thin, newspaper style material at 35-55gsm to thin card at 400gsm. For example a simple flyer will be 90-115gsm, a newsletter or magazine 115-135gsm and a business card 400gsm.

In general, the thicker the paper is, the more permanent and luxurious the product will feel, with thin paper more suited to flyers and promotional products that are only intended for short term use.

To decide which weight of paper is right for your project, think about how durable you want the printed product to be, how much it will be handled and the impression you want the recipient to have of your business and your product.

Another consideration, when choosing a weight of paper, is that as well size weight can have a big impact on the cost of postage. So if you are sending a monthly magazine, regularly sending out flyers or even a one-off product catalogue, this is something that you should think about if you plan to post them. We can always guide you on the weight of the finished printed item and can recommend a suitable weight of stock to save on costs but without compromising print quality.

The types of paper finishes

The most popular finishes are uncoated, matt, silk or gloss and machine glazed.

As the name suggests uncoated has no coating and therefore has a rougher feel compared to coated paper stock. It is more absorbent and subsequently printed material will have a duller overall look to them.

Coated paper stock have a thin coating applied to them which gives a smooth surface and are often referred to as matt art or gloss art. This surface has a good ink holding capability creating much sharper and more colourful print. Most magazines and good quality leaflets use one of these materials. They will either have a low reflective finish such as matt, silk or a highly smooth and shining gloss finish.

Machined glazed paper basically has one smooth side and is uncoated on the other. It is ideal for postcards and greetings card which are written on one side.

All well-known paper manufactures have a range of paper than include these finishes with slightly different levels of brightness (shades of white). They have various names for them so it is best to speak to us for our recommendations.

Paper samples

If you’re unsure what type of paper or finish is right for your project, we should be able to supply you with a few example paper swatches. That way you can get a good idea of the tactile quality of each of your options and select the product that’s right for you.

Environmental friendly options

We recognise our responsibility towards the protection of the environment and we take steps to minimise our usage of natural resources. We offer our customers a range of sustainable options for their printed products.

See our December news article for more details about using FSC approved materials.

Give us a call

Choosing the right paper can really make a difference. We can advise you on the various options available and their suitability so you end up with right paper for your product.