5 Things to Consider When Selecting Paper

I can only imagine what a graphic designer must go through when trying to decide what paper to use for showcasing their talent, their design, their gift! Should I use coated or uncoated? What basis weight do I need? Smooth, super smooth, or vellum finish?  What about show-through? Will I print on both sides? And what about thickness of the paper, known as caliper?  Oh and let’s not forget color – do I go with a white, natural, fluorescent or bright color? What about environmental sustainability…do I need a recycled paper, or any third-party certifications, such as FSC, SFI, WWF, or Rainforest Alliance?

I can just picture the poor designer’s drained face, looking cross-eyed thinking “all of this for JUST PAPER? Why does choosing a paper have to be so complicated?”

Yep!  All of this for just paper!  But hold on…it’s not JUST paper! Paper is the canvas that makes your design, your memory, your talents come alive! Choosing the right paper can make or break the job. Here are 5 things to consider when selection paper:

1. Personality
Consider the life span and personality of the final piece. Is it an annual report that will be viewed extensively in the months to come and needs to hold up or a direct mail piece with a life span of less than a few days?

2. Finish
Modern prepress technology has opened up a vast variety of papers for full color printing. Pick a sheet that will allow you to enhance the overall feeling of the message you want to send.

3. Color and Brightness
Think about the images in your printed piece. If there are a lot of skin tones, Cougar’s 98 brightness is a perfect fit!

4. Weight
Typically, you will find Writing grades for letterheads, Text sheets for the inside of brochures and Cover sheets for book covers, folders, greeting cards and postcards.

5. Sustainability
Choosing a paper from a company that values sustainability can be a positive reflection on how your company feels about the subject.

For more information on paper selection, request the B.U.R.T. – Best Uncoated Results Toolkit promotion.