“I’ll take your recommendation on the paper weight”. Probably the phrase I hear most often when working with customers on a new project. I agree, it can be challenging to get your head around, especially when there are so many things to consider. So here are my top recommendations and tips for picking the right paper weight for the job.
1. MAGAZINES & CATALOGUES Magazines and catalogues generally want to look as upmarket as possible, while still being conscious of production and distribution costs. Most opt for a heavier cover on a 250gsm satin or gloss, with the text around a 115gsm or 130gsm. Lighter weights on the text will increase the show through. To understand more about Show Through and how to combat it, see our article How Do I Reduce Show Through.
2. LANDSCAPE VS PORTRAIT Not something you’d considered? Then grab a sample of each and hold it where most people will – at the spine. See what I mean? The same paper weights in a portrait magazine will be nowhere near as substantial in a landscape version, simply because of the orientation. Consider taking your cover weight up a notch to create some more bulk.
3. PRESENTATION FOLDERS Presentation folders should be sturdy and rigid enough to hold the documents inside, so the minimum is a 300gsm gloss or satin stock. If you’re wanting to amp it up, try using a 400gsm artboard. This product is bulky and ‘made’ for applications like this. Add a gloss or matt laminate to give the product protection and a better finish.
4. BUSINESS CARDS Another stationery piece needing bulk and rigidity is the humble business card. My suggestion is a 300gsm gloss or satin, or again the artboard if you want some real ‘grunt’. Often there is a perception that laminating the stock will ‘bulk it up’, which is not correct. Lamination film is about the same thickness as cling wrap and adds very little substance to the paper. It is purely to add protection or enhance the design. Check out our recent article on laminates and varnishes.
5. COATED VS UNCOATED PAPER Uncoated paper bulks up more than coated paper. If you’re keen to know why the nuts and bolts are covered in our article on paper stocks. With that being said, if you’re printing on uncoated paper it’s often wise to step DOWN in the paper weight. A 90gsm uncoated paper is probably equivalent to a 113gsm gloss or satin. Ask your Printcraft Account Manager to organise samples to compare.
6. FLYERS AND FOLDED BROCHURES If you’re only producing a double-sided flyer or even a brochure with a single fold, why not step up the paper weight so it doesn’t flop over in the stand. Start with a 150gsm gloss or satin. If you opt to go 200gsm or heavier you’ll most likely add the cost of scoring to your quote.
7. MAPS The one exception when it’s often better to go down in paper weight is when the product must be folded multiple times, from large down to small. Here, lighter stocks will minimise the problems of cracking and ‘crows feet’. To find out more about cracking and how to reduce or eliminate the problem altogether, read our recent article here.
Printcraft is Queensland’s largest privately-owned printing company. We specialise in the design, print, mail and logistics. For more information on on our services, or to request a quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.