Paper Options for Printing

Regardless of the type of material you want to get printed, choosing the paper stock is a critical aspect of the printing process. Whether you are printing posters, business cards or letterheads, you always get to choose the paper they need to be printed on. Actually, this part of the process is not that complicated, provided that you have a basic idea on your paper options.

There are three paper characteristics that affect the quality of printing on paper – the weight, opacity and finish. Finish has something to do with texture as well as the general physical appearance of a paper. Among the more popular paper finishes are coated (with glossy finish) and uncoated (the sheet’s surface is not shiny). Materials that usually have coated finish are brochures, postcards and flyers. Example of those that have uncoated finish are newsletters, letterheads and book pages.

On the other hand, weight refers to the paper’s thickness. For instance, thick cover stocks, which are sturdy and can’t be folded easily, are heavier in weight than book papers. Generally used for business cards, postcards and covers of publications, they can also be coated or uncoated.

Now, a paper’s opacity is determined by its thickness, elements and capability to absorb ink. This characteristic is very important because it tells you how much print will be visible on the paper’s reverse side. High level of opacity keeps all darker images from showing through the sheet.

Knowing what paper to use is essential in planning your printing project. It allows you to visualize how the final product would look like and let you avoid costly mistakes. Aside from that, you get to plan your budget accordingly.

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