How to Choose the Right Paper for Printing

Posted: July 7, 2017 by Lydia Erickson

After days of planning, designing, and adjusting, you finally have your perfect branded communication piece. It looks great on the screen, you have printed color proofs, and now you are ready to print the real thing. Then you realize you’ve forgotten one of the most important parts: the paper.

The text and images being printed are important, but what many businesses fail to realize is that paper sends a message by itself. Paper can help determine the formality and professionalism of your document. For example, standard photocopy paper used for your desktop printer is informal and cheap, but proper coated, writing, or text papers set a tone of professionalism and quality. 

Using less expensive photocopy paper isn’t necessarily a bad thing, depending on what the message is and who the audience is. If this is a letter, brochure, or any type of marketing vehicle representing your company, the look and feel of the paper alone positions your company in a subtle way. 

Questions to Consider: 

What is my product?

  • Brochures: Choose a paper with coated gloss text or cover to make your work jump.
  • Invitations: For high quality professional invitations, choose uncoated cover stock paper.  
  • Business Cards: Business cards are best with thicker, strong paper, so choose heavy card stock paper.
  • Magazines: To produce the best magazine, choose either coated or uncoated text weight stock paper.

How much am I willing to spend?

The term paper is very broad because it includes multiple categories and types that vary in price. Before your production run, be sure to get estimates on what types of paper appeal to you.  A higher quality paper may not significantly increase the total cost of the project and provide a much greater return on investment.

What weight and thickness of paper would I like?

Adjust the weight and thickness of your paper according to the item you are printing. Consider where your document will be displayed after printing as a factor in how sturdy the material should be. Another consideration is a mailing. Before to figure the total weight of the mailed piece and how it may affect your postage cost.

How can I protect the environment while printing?

Even while printing, you can still make environmentally conscious decisions. Using recycled paper is an excellent option, and be sure to recycle your own materials after they have been used. Choose a company that follows the Green Initiative to better reduce, reuse, and recycle.

General Tips: 

  • Do your research. Educate yourself on the types of paper and what is considered appropriate and professional for your intended purposes.
  • Consider other elements of paper such as brightness, opacity, weight, and texture, and adjust accordingly to meet your goals.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Printing companies have experts that are happy to assist you and work with you until you are completely satisfied with your product.


Looking to start printing now? Contact The Homer Group and request a quote here.

Wondering if printing can really make a difference for your company? Read more here.

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