Paper tells about the function of the product, it’s quality and feeling. Therefore it’s a major part of the overall experience of your finalized product. It is even sometimes best to keep in mind what kind of paper you want to use for your final product before you start designing to optimize your printing issues and costs.
Choosing a paper that’s cheap, but still good for your product, can be tricky. It’s therefore recommended that in the beginning of your project, you take your time and think though a few issues. What is your final product? It can be a book, poster, flyer, business card, etc. How long would you like the durability of the product to last? A book that will be read throughout the years should definitely be planned for a longer durability than a one day flyer. What feeling do you want your product to give the receiver? Should it be fancy? Cheap? Solid? Traditional? What kind of material will the product be handling? Will it be spread after spread with large photos? Or a textbook? After you’ve answered these questions you can take a look at the different elements that can be crucial for your paper choice.
The decision to use either coated or uncoated paper is probably the one choice that will affect the overall feeling of your product the most.
A paper’s opacity describes the amount of light which is transmitted through it. This determines how much printing will be seen through the reverse side of a sheet. Complete opacity is 100% which means that no light can pass through, while a lower percentage lets more light through. Opacity is important to have in mind when printing booklets, as a sheet with good opacity will prevent text showing through when printing on both sides. A paper’s opacity can increase or decrease depending on the use of different fillers, but also by its weight, whiteness or coating.
The brightness measures the percentage of a wavelength of blue light that a sheet reflects. Most papers reflect 60-90% of light. The brightness of a paper can effect readability, the perception of ink color and the contrast between light and dark hues.
The next step is to choose the function and quality you want your paper to have. Take your time to think through if you want coated or uncoated paper, what weight and opacity you wish to use.
One last tip is to always check with PrintBurner. Ask us what paper we recommend and what we have in stock at the moment. This can, in some cases, help you out getting away with a better result and a much cheaper paper.