Paper Matters

It’s common knowledge that this decade has brought many changes to the printing community. There have been remarkable changes in the way we print, the materials that we use, and how society values and uses printed materials. In most instances, the result of these changes is a more accurate printed project, at a better cost, and with a faster production time. However, with the current need to shrink printing budgets, one trend is becoming overwhelming apparent with the planning of printing projects. It’s the lost art of paper stock selection.

In years past, paper was just as important as the ink colors you used, the message that was being delivered, and the cost of the project. It was a marriage of ideas and materials that were well thought out and were specifically designed  to convey a particular message. Special finishes, textures, weights and colors were all chosen to communicate a cohesive message.

Today’s market finds us with a very different approach to stock selection. It seems that today’s market is primary concerned with a stock that is immediately available at the lowest possible cost. While this approach can be very effective for certain types of projects, I believe other types of projects would benefit from a little additional planning and thought. Projects that rely heavily upon the tactile experience such as invitations, collateral material, and even basic stationary items, can receive special notice when special consideration is made to paper stock selection. And while it’s true that some special stocks require additional cost and additional production time,  if done properly, it will result in a greater return on your print investment. I commonly find instances that when the right paper stock is selected, the need for additional printing colors and processes can be eliminated, thus offsetting some or all of the additional cost.

With the exception of book printing, most printing projects are printed on 80# or 100# text and cover weights. Most of those projects are printed on uncoated, gloss, or matte finishes. If your project deserves special attention, and needs to break away from the majority of printing projects, I highly suggest a creative stock solution. There are endless choices of finishes, colors, and weights out there to make sure your project gets noticed. Do you have concerns on the environmental impact of your paper selection? There are lots of viable and responsible options available.

For creative printing solutions, including paper stock selection, please contact me at or at 317.225.8115.

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