Choosing the right paper stocks for printing can be daunting ff you have never printed before or are not familiar with the terminology used when describing paper and card stocks. It can be a headache trying to understand what is right for you. We have put together this little guide to help assist you in understanding papers & card stocks as well as the different coating options available.
Papers typically fall into two categories of ‘coated’ and ‘uncoated’. Coated paper stocks are typically used for flyer and brochure printing with the colors tending to be brighter, sharper and more clear for images and color heavy designs while uncoated papers are commonly used for stationary such as letter heads and envelopes, uncoated paper is often referred to as ‘bond’ paper.
Art gloss – Coated paper is often referred to as ‘art gloss’ , coated papers do not absorb ink the ink sits on the top of the paper and drys with oxidisation instead creating a color popping finish & sheen like coating appearance.
Bond – Uncoated standard paper stocks commonly get described using the term ‘bond’ and are used for standard home or office printing, letter head printing and envelope printing. You will probably see stationary shops selling printer paper in packs saying 70gsm bond, 80gsm bond and so forth. Standard bond is not suitable for full color flyer or brochure printing as the paper absorbs ink creating a soggy wet limp piece of paper as well and a dull unclear finish of images and heavy graphic designs.
GSM – stands for ‘Grams per square meter’. To put it simply the higher the number of grams the thicker the paper or card stock. So for example most home printer paper is 70 or 80gsm, the most most common paper weights for flyer printing are 130 or 160gsm while business cards are typically printed on card stocks starting at 260gsm with our most popular being 300gsm.
Laminating adds an additional layer of protection to a print while at the same time increasing water resistance & overall sturdiness. Laminate coatings also improves the all round feel adding a smooth surface feeling when touched & handled making your print both feel and look of high quality.
Matte laminate – coating gives off a slightly duller appearance than that of gloss laminate and adds a very luxurious, elegant feel & look to the printed product.
Gloss laminate – adds a glossy shine and sharpness & gives the appearance of higher contrast to photos and images.
Spot UV – is a type of varnish which is on paper and card prints then dry cured under a UV light resulting in an additional gloss area on your print, most people only add spot UV to a small area such as their company logo to enhance it both visually and by physical touch as the spot UV applied area results in a slightly raised up from the surface feel.