Specialty paper + cover stock: what is best for printing?

Whether you’re the client, the designer or even the account manager, paper stock has likely been mentioned at some time or another. If this is new to you, then there’s no need to worry because we are about to tell you exactly what you need to know when it comes to paper stock and choosing the best paper types for printing.

Pound (lb/#)
This is how we define the bulk, or thickness of paper (grammage), which can range anywhere from 10 to 200+.

Cover and Text
Cover and text tell you how heavy the paper will be (in addition to the paper weight). Cover paper will be thicker and sturdier than text paper. Text is often used in copy machines and laser/ink printing. Simply put, it’s the stuff you use for the printer on your desk!

Coated and Uncoated
If you’re looking for that eye-catching sheen or glossy look, then you will want to choose coated paper. If you would prefer a matted look, be sure to go with uncoated paper.

Specialty
There’s vellum, linen, canvas, parchment, metallic, embossed, and the list goes on! Choosing a specialty paper can make your piece stand out but be sure it works with the design, or it may do more harm than good.

Helpful Hint: When choosing paper, don’t make the mistake of thinking 90lb text is thicker than 80lb cover. In fact, it will be thinner and less sturdy even though it’s a “thicker” weight.

Quick List of Recommended Paper Types for Printing:

Paper choice will vary according to project design and desired look, but below are general guidelines you can reference to make your decision a little easier.

Business Cards – 100# uncoated cover

Letterheads – 70# uncoated text

Brochures – 80# or 100# cover

Postcards (direct mail) – 100# cover

Flyers – 70# text

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