11 Things to Consider When You Choose the Right Paper for a Printed Piece

11 things to consider when choosing the right paper for a printed piece: Life-span, quality, printing method, green certifications, availability, budget

1 - What is the use of the final piece? You are printing paper: How long should it last?
2 - Is perception of quality important to the audience of the piece?
Use uncoated #24 grades or opaque grades. Thicker stocks look the best
  • Cotton bond papers
  • Textured papers such as Classic Linen or Columns
  • Thick stock is always preferred
  • The finishing is critical: satin or glossy coatings, Spot UV, Soft touch Finishing
Any paper will do its job
3 - What printing process will be used? Offset? Digital? Letterpress? Large Format?
4 - Which finish produces the desired effect on the piece?
5 - About the images to print: How accurate and contrasted are they? More contrast means brighter paper is needed
6 - Will your project need a piece and a matching envelopes? Envelopes are not available in all stocks?
7 - Does your piece print front and back? How concerned are you about seeing what's printed on the other side (known as see-through)?
8 - Is your piece being mailed? USPS, United States Postal Services has requirements or minimum thickness of the pieces of mail. Heavy pieces of mail could pay higher postage.
9 - Do you want to have post consumer content in your paper? Do you want to show concern for nature? use FSC paper. It is paper with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for responsibly grown paper or green paper?
Read more about FSC certification
10 - Availability of paper can put a constraint to your project. Some papers come from overseas or are manufactured by special order
11 - Budget: Specialty papers can be very expensive when compared to commodity grades