Paper Selection

The goal or purpose of the printed piece will determine the type and thickness of paper to choose. Most printing projects are generally printed on paper that is smooth. Textured paper would not be recommended for pieces with heavy ink coverage, but it is quite suitable for business cards and business stationery.

Printing paper can also be pre-coated and have a gloss, matte or dull finish. Printing on glossy paper will make colors more vivid, whereas printing on matte or dull paper will make the colors more subdued.

The thickness of printing paper is generally referred to as its pound weight (#) such as 70# or 100#. Generally, the higher the # number, the thicker the paper. There are also different classifications of paper such as Text (also called Book) or Cover. Because they have different raw sheet sizes, 100# Text is not as thick as 100# Cover. Paper thicknesses can get somewhat confusing so let us know if you need any help in this regard.

If you want to project a quality image on a brochure or business card, you might select a thicker paper. Thicker paper is also used on two-sided printed pieces to prevent the ink from showing through to the other side. Also, if the printed piece is to be folded and/or mailed you may select a lighter weight of paper.

Card stock (also called cover stock) is thicker and more durable than normal printing paper. Card stock is often used for business cards, postcards, folders, door hangers, catalog covers and any other project that requires more durability than regular paper.

Card stock thickness is usually measured in points, which gives the thickness of the sheet in thousandths of an inch. For example, a 16 pt card is 0.016” thick, a 14 pt card is 0.014” thick, a 12 pt card is 0.012" thick, etc. The more points, the thicker the card stock.

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