Let’s talk paper stock. It’s what makes the difference between “Oooh!” and “Oh” with any type of printed communication. One of the first things a customer subconsciously notices about the print in their hands is how it feels on the fingertips.

Turns out there is a bit more to how a piece feels than you may have thought. It is worth the extra moments to consider what options best serve both the design and the print’s function.

Uncoated Vs. Coated

First there’s the choice of uncoated and a variety of coatings. Even within uncoated stocks there are options for how smooth and rigid your stock feels. Specialty uncoated stocks include brown kraft for a more homemade, natural look, and pearlized for a reflective look. Be sure to select from an uncoated stock for all projects that need to be written on.

For coated stocks, you may like a matte coating, satin coating, silk lamination, or full-on UV gloss coating. Coatings often change the way light hits the colors on a piece, and often are pleasant to the touch.

Get Down With the Thickness

As far as text weight stock (this is thinner stock) goes, our main tip is to make sure that the paper is thick enough to prevent bleed-through, especially when it’s printed double sided. Bleed-through is simply when the ink saturates through your paper and is visible on the other side. When you need to print color rich or photo heavy documents, it’s a good idea to pick a more opaque stock. For example, text weight stocks that are 80lb or thicker help your piece to appear more opaque when held against the light.

For cover weight stocks (these are thicker stocks), there is much fun to be had. Though most thicker stock is single-ply, print can also be carried on multi-ply stock. These multi-ply options can feel as thick as matte-board, and are available with colored cores and painted edges. Letterpress, die-cuts, embossing and debossing can all be applied to thicker cover stocks for incredible texture options.

On Top of All This

Yes, yes there is more! Regardless of your coating and thickness, most stocks can have added effects, such as foil, raised foil, spot gloss, raised spot gloss, and more. These effects sit on top of the stock and often give a printed piece an added layer of interest for the eyes and for the fingers. Chances are you’ve come across a sample like this, and perhaps even remember it among other print materials.

Sure there are standard stocks, but let’s be real, everyone wants to be special! So, show ‘em what you’re made of!

Most of these options can get pretty fancy, and of course are best experienced in person. If you have a project in mind, we would love to share our printed samples with you.  Call 630.293.0500 or stop in at 131 Fremont Street, West Chicago, Il. We look forward to working with you.