The paper you choose for a project goes hand-in-hand with your design, bringing your marketing piece to life! Whether you’re printing a direct mail piece or publishing a new magazine edition, the type of paper used affects your printing costs, mailing rate, and how your product stands up to handling.
Ready to make better paper choices? Check out these 8 things to know about paper from Kingston Printing:
- PAPER TYPES
There are two main types of paper: coated and uncoated. Coated paper is comparable to very fine, smooth white clay that fills in the tiny pours and crevices of the paper, and creates a much smoother finish. This coating adds qualities to paper including:
- surface gloss
- reduced ink absorbency
When paper is coated, it absorbs less moisture, and inks sit on the surface, rather than sinking in. Although coated paper can be slower to dry, it also means the paper gives a clear, defined and glossy finish for your printing. Coated paper can be specified as a glossy or matte, dull, silk, or velvet finish.
Uncoated paper, also known as offset paper, has a rougher finish. Using uncoated paper results in higher absorption of ink, less definition and less of a glossy finish. Your standard copier/desktop printer paper is typically uncoated 50 lb. offset paper.
- BOOK/TEXT WEIGHT PAPER vs. COVER WEIGHT PAPER
Book/Text Weight Sheets are flexible, thin sheets similar to standard office or magazine paper. Book weight paper is thinner, coated paper. Cover paper is thicker, and often referred to as card stock. Cover stock is available both coated and uncoated.
- PAPER FOR DIRECT MAIL PIECES
Postcards and brochures have a higher impact when printed on 80 lb. coated cover paper, 100 lb. coated cover, 10 pt. cover, or 12 pt. cover. The thickness of the paper helps to maintain appearance of the piece, as well as withstand handling throughout the mailing process.Note: Postcards must be minimum thicknesses to meet postal regulations. For example, 4.25 x 6 or smaller needs to be at least 7 points thick (80# gloss cover). Bigger than 4.25 x 6 needs to be 9 points thick, or 100# gloss cover.Looking to print a catalog or booklet? We recommend using 60 – 80 lb. coated book weight or 100 lb. coated book.
- PAPER FOR PUBLICATIONS?
Printing publications are considered in two ways: self cover or plus cover.Self cover publications are generally more economical for printing. Generally, a self cover publication will use a lighter weight paper stock for the entire booklet and can be produced in a single production run. Self cover booklets are perfect for publications that don’t have a long shelf life, such as a store catalog.Plus cover publications are usually a little more expensive as the production typically requires two runs on two different types/weights of paper. The cover is produced on a heavier stock than the inside pages, making it a little stronger and able to stand up to ongoing handling.
Self cover paper options include 60 – 80 lb. matte/gloss book, 100 lb. matte/gloss book or 60 lb. uncoated text paper.
- WHAT TYPE OF PAPER IS BEST FOR MY PROJECT?
A great place to start is with your Kingston account executive! With decades of experience, we have seen it all and can recommend a practical, cost effective option for you. We’ll even provide you with a nice set of samples to review. And of course, always think about the end user!
- PRINTING DIGITALLY RATHER THAN OFFSET
Digital presses, like our Kodak Nexpress, work differently than traditional presses. They require “digital compliant” papers that work with the technology of the equipment and the ink. We offer most of the same weights and coated/uncoated options for digital as we do with our offset presses on hand.
- SIZE LIMITATIONS
For a sheetfed printer like Modern Litho, the largest press sheet we run is 28 in x 40 in. On the digital press, the biggest sheet we can run is 12 in x 18 in., with a maximum image area of 11 x 17.
- WHAT ABOUT TEXTURED PAPERS?
Textured papers have special finishes on them like linen, metallic, foil, translucent, ribbed, woven and more. These are high-end specialty papers that can make a huge impact on your printed piece!
Now that you’ve learned about the basics of paper for printing, contact us to get started on your masterpiece!