Selecting Paper Stock for Printed Pieces: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


Flyers, postcards, brochures, business cards, and other printed promotions play an important role in positively promoting your company. But making printed marketing materials requires some decisions. The first step is to start with the right foundation: selecting paper stock. Check out these answers to frequently asked questions.

Where Do I Start When Selecting Paper Stock?

First, evaluate the printed piece’s use when selecting paper stock. Consider if it is to be mailed, handled often, exposed to moisture, or a surface for writing. To be mailed, paper needs to be a certain thickness per the postal service’s regulations, however, paper that is too thick incurs extra costs. A flyer that hangs outside comes in contact with rain or moisture, so choose a water-resistant stock or a special coating. Lastly, consider how it absorbs ink. If the piece requires writing on, like a form, skip glossy, coated, or textured stock.

Do I Want Coated or Uncoated Paper?

A variety of finishes exist for printed pieces, but most fall under two categories: uncoated and coated. Like the paper you put in your printer, uncoated stock is absorbent and best for writing purposes. Use this non-glare surface for envelopes and stationary, newsletters, and forms. A special finish covers coated paper for protection or to produce high-quality stock. Coatings range from matte to extremely glossy and include aqueous, UV, and varnishes that work well for postcards and high-end brochures.

Will Recycled Paper Work as Well?

Worried how your project affects the environment? Specialty papers exist that are made from environmentally friendly materials, decompose faster, or come from sustainable forests. Recycled paper has come a long way. Today, many options exist for a variety of projects, and although recycled paper sometimes costs more, the prices have come down over the years.

What Do I Need to Know About Weight and Thickness?

Thickness of paper is measured in points. The larger the point size, the thicker the paper. The weight of paper is measured in pounds. Usually, thicker paper weighs more, but not always. That sounds confusing, but think of it this way, heavier, thicker paper is more durable. For example, a business card requires thicker stock because it is handled a lot.

To be sure you present your business in the best light, contact Disc Hounds today. We’ll make selecting paper stock a breeze. Call us at 610-696-8668 for more information about our printing services and how we can help you.

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