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Picking paper? Pay attention to these details

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There’s a lot to think about when putting together a marketing piece that will be printed. What type of paper should we use? What’s the best paper weight for a business card? Do we go with coated or uncoated stock?

All are valid questions. Here are a few answers: 

When is the best time to pick a paper stock?

Early, during the design process. The type of paper used will have an impact on the piece you produce. Also keep in mind that ongoing supply chain issues are causing delays in paper shipments, so the earlier, the better.

How is paper weight determined?

Paper is weighed in stacks of 500 sheets, and the resulting weight in pounds is the designation for that paper. If 500 sheets of text weight paper weighs 60 pounds, the paper is called 60-pound text. If the sheets are cover stock that weighs 120 pounds, the paper is called 120-pound cover. Examples: 60-pound text is used for copy or printer paper. A bit heavier, 80-pound text is good for flyers and brochures. Business cards and postcards often are printed on 120-pound cover weight.

The piece needs to be mailed. How does that impact paper stock?

Keep the product as light as possible. The heavier the piece, the more you’ll pay. Also, if the mailer isn’t going in an envelope, choose a stock with built-in water resistance or add a coating since it will need to survive the elements.

What if people need to write on the product?

Go with uncoated paper. Writing on coated stock is frustrating and sometimes impossible. Save your customers (or staff) the frustration. Matte paper is also considered to be coated but it’s more conducive to being written on.

What if the final piece needs to be stored?

Use a paper stock that is resistant to the extreme heat and dry conditions that we experience in Southern Arizona. Contact us about our storage capabilities or find a spot that’s as climate-controlled as possible.

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format to website development. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.