Choosing the Best Paper Stock for Your Printed Marketing Pieces


From brochures and business cards to posters and postcards, making a positive impact with your printed piece starts with choosing the best paper stock for your marketing messages. There’s many options available. And making the right choice is difficult, unless you know the basics and some of the industry terminology. Here are some of the characteristics of paper stock.

Weight and Thickness

The term stock refers to weight or thickness of paper. Thickness and weight is measured in points. If paper is 0.02 inches thick, it’s 20 points. Two categories of stock are text and cover. Text stock is thinner and easier to fold. It’s used for fliers, letters, and pages of books. Business cards, report covers, and postcards benefit from thicker cover stock, because heavier paper stocks stand up to more handling. But if you are mailing the printed piece, however, consider a lighter weight for less cost. Finally, both text and cover stock come in a variety of finishes or coatings, textures, and colors.

Brightness and Opacity

Paper brightness refers to how much light the paper reflects. This characteristic affects contrast and readability of your material. Measured on a scale of zero to 100, the brightest paper has the highest numbers. If you want your text or design to really pop, go for the higher end of the scale.

Opacity describes how much light shows through the paper. While paper with high opacity prevents texts or designs from showing through to the other side, paper with less opacity is considered more translucent.

Coated Versus Uncoated

Paper stock comes coated or uncoated. Uncoated paper has no glare and absorbs ink well. Use it for pieces to write on, like stationary. And it’s a good choice for newsletters and flyers.

There are several types of coatings used in the printing industry. Ranging from matte to very glossy, coatings protect the paper and provide visual appeal. Coated pieces usually include postcards and brochures. There are many coatings on the market that offer a variety of effects and protection. For example, aqueous coating, UV coating, and varnish are popular choices.

In choosing the best paper stock for your printing project, there are many things to consider. However, a professional can help you pick the right kind to suit your needs. Call Disc Hounds at 610-696-8668 for more information about our printing services and how we can help you.

Special Offer

10% off your next print order of $100 or more

Hurry! Offer Expires May 31, 2019