It may not be readily apparent, but the perception of any printed message is influenced not only by its words and pictures, but also by its appearance. This is why the paper used in printed marketing messages is an essential element in creating the most visually appealing materials, for the most positive impact.
It is always a good idea to start by knowing the kind of paper the project will be printed on during the planning stages. That way, the design may be tailored specifically, with the right match of ink to paper and finish. For example, smooth paper may be best to present a sleek design. Matte paper could be better for more subdued, elegant or professional themes. Examine the paper stock samples prior to making a decision. The best paper stocks should feel stable and strong, lending their attributes to the message you wish to convey about your products and services.
Understanding what a high-quality stock is will help you determine which type to use. Often, the paper used will depend upon what type of piece is being created. For example, brochures do well with 100 pound gloss text. Letterhead might be better printed on 24 pound bond. The following are some of the conventions generally followed in selecting from the many paper options available.
General high-quality white paper is used for many applications since colour can be easily printed on it. However, for two-sided jobs, ensure that the paper is thick enough so that ink will not show through and be visible on the opposite side. To make colours pop, consider a bright, white-toned paper.
For more prominent messages, thicker paper is best. While a cardboard-like heft is not required, keep in mind that adding thickness to the paper lends itself to esteem and credibility. Postcards are usually best printed on 13 and 14 point paper. Brochures are typically printed on 70 to 100 pound text or cover stock.
Matte stocks suggest a level of exclusivity and tend to be more subdued and subtle. However, there are special coatings such as UV and aqueous that can further enhance any printed promotion by adding a brilliant layer of protection.
High-gloss coated paper is usually best for high impact, photo-quality projects. However, there are many matte stocks that can still be used to great advantage. It all depends upon the purpose and nature of the project.
Environmentally responsible and eco-friendly companies will appreciate the newer 100 percent recycled matte stock papers available. Remember that this could also be of great concern to your existing customers and prospective clientele and can even be used as a marketing advantage. An added bonus is that this type of paper is generally very successfully used for producing large runs.
Printing experts usually have a very good idea of how to guide you in the process of choosing the right type of paper to use. Regardless of what you may be printing or what the design is, there is no way to get past the bad impression made from a poorly constructed marketing piece. Therefore, take the time to review all of the many options available prior to making a decision on what type of paper will be used for your marketing or event piece.
Your local TPH® professionals can help you choose the right type of paper/stock for your project. Check out our locations page to find a TPH® office near you.
Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.