How to pick the Right Paper - Part 2

Choosing the most suitable capability paper for your project can be a daunting task. Paper has many features to reconsider and new sheets are continually advent into the market. To help you with this complex decision, we've compiled a list of top ten tips to make it easier to choose.

In part 1 of this article, we talked about the economy of the design, style and finish, and here in Part 2, are three more priorities to reconsider when manufacture your selection.


Color and Brightness

There is white, white and white. And let no one tell you anyone different. Papers are available in blue-white, balanced white, natural white, soft white -- you name it.

Blue-whites, which are very beloved at the moment, have a higher-brightness and allow colors to stand out, while warmer whites, which have a lower-brightness, are more comfortable on the eyes for reading or extended viewing.

As you can imagine, not every white fits every purpose. Don't print warmer tones, such as skin tones, on a blue white sheet. It can truly make healthy-looking habitancy look grey. This is what warmer white papers are made for.


Yes, there is a definite hype going on when it comes to brightness. Don't get hung up on finding the brightest paper because even when two sheets are located next to each other, you won't see a two-point discrepancy in brightness.

Originally, Af&Pa standards for paper grades carefully that a No. 2 sheet had a glow of 83-84 and a No. 3 sheet's glow was 80-83.

So, why do we see No. 3 sheets with glow levels of over 90 these days? Let's just say, glow is not the only paper mill concern anymore and a sheet is anyone a builder chooses to call it. In the end, the grade is carefully by marketing.

A good quality, tantalizing sheet is usually a more high-priced sheet to make. Fillers and chemicals, such as fluorescent dyes and optic brighteners, are needed to originate the paper's tantalizing appearance. While they help give the paper a blue-white shade, they also take a toll on the paper's stability and runnability on press.

When it comes to a prime or No. 1 sheet, you pay for great glow and exquisite runnability. But how do you know which sheet/grade is right for you? Once you are inspecting a sheet, ask your provider for a printed sample of the best sheet one grade below and compare.

Mills are known to upgrade the capability of a sheet. Even though a sheet could pass for a No. 1 grade, the mill may have no gift in a No. 2 grade yet, so they sell it as a No. 2 grade to faultless their palette and annoy the competition. It's all about marketing.

As for colored paper, it can heighten a one-color job and serve as a background cover, but it can also sway the appearance of the printed text and images. Blue ink on an ochre-yellow sheet will look green. Some mills have made great promotions available which show exactly what you can expect when you print C, M, Y, or K on a their colored stock.

But there are other options than offset printing on a colored stock. originate an tantalizing cover with blind embossing, foil stamping and/or a die-cut window that reveals a full color image on the inside of the brochure.


Now that we know which desist and color we want for our print job, lets look at weight. We have writing papers for letterheads, text sheets for text pages in a brochure and cover sheets. We all know that these guidelines don't truly have a big impact on your paper choice anymore.

In holding with an wide trend for heavier weights in stocks, a lot of designers spec 80-90 lbs. Text for letterheads and use light cover stocks for faultless brochures inside and out. With an eye on tight budgets, these heavier papers can make up for a lower page count and still give a credible, dependable feel.

If your project will be printed on both sides and especially, if heavy ink coverage is involved, the paper's opacity is crucial. Make sure the paper you pick does not allow any show-through. If in doubt, go one step heavier in weight.

If you are working on a piece that will be mailed, the weight of the accomplished piece is a major consideration. Watch out for postage costs and make sure the accomplished piece is below the Usps requirements. Look at your dummy and don't forget there will be ink added to the weight, as well.

Always stay on the lighter side. I remember a beautiful holiday card I designed for a client that was ready to be mailed and fit the 32-cent postal requirements perfectly. But then, my client decided to add a gift certificate and the postage went up to 55 cents.

There is something else you should remember: if bulk and weight are important, an uncoated sheet will work best for you. Due to the clay coating, a coated paper will weigh more than its same-sized counterpart. Even though it weighs less, the same piece printed on an uncoated sheet will be thicker because uncoated paper simply has a higher bulk.

If your job requires stiffness, such as with a business reply card, make sure the paper is manufactured to calliper and guarantees a definite thickness and stiffness.

Papers are manufactured to either calliper or weight. A paper manufactured to weight has a slightly ranging calliper, as the main concern during the production process is weight. If a paper is called out in "pt," or you see a footnote in your swatch book that states that this definite weight is manufactured to calliper, you are fine.

Recycled Content

Some of you might be very customary with recycled papers. The fact is that government agencies and conservation groups continually improve the issue and put pressure on corporations to "think green." So be prepared.

When it comes to recycled papers, there are still a few misconceptions among designers and print buyers. Some believe that all papers are recycled anyway, and others worry about having itsybitsy paper choices. There is also a perception that recycled papers have a potential for technical problems in the printing process. All these fears are unfounded.

If you think finding for recycled papers will limit your creativity, think again. From a polled 3,500 papers, nearly 60 percent have some recycled content and more than 1,000 meet or exceed the current Environmental safety division requirements.

The Epa standards for printing and writing papers are 30 percent post-consumer waste content for uncoated papers and 10 percent for coated papers. Many mills have created papers with the minimum requirements, while others are continually aiming to furnish papers with higher recycled contents.

It is not only the post-consumer contents you should watch out for, but also the way the paper you pick is bleached.

For years, chlorine gas has been used to bleach paper, which produced cancer-causing dioxins that infiltrate our covering waters. Now most mills in the U.S. Use Ecf, an Elemental Chlorine Free process that reduces these toxins dramatically, but doesn't eliminate them completely.

A more environmentally kindly choice is to look for paper that has not been bleached at all, or substitutes oxygen-based compounds for chlorine compounds.These papers are marked Totally Chlorine Free (Tcf) when talking about virgin fibers, or Processed Chlorine Free (Pcf) for recycled papers. The discrepancy is made because the origin of the content in recycled paper and the way it was bleached is not known and can't claim to be Tcf.

Another choice is to look for paper that is Fsc-certified. This means that the fiber content in this paper, even though virgin, comes from plantations that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainable forestry practices.

But, let's not forget about the paper's on-press performance. Today's recycled papers have come a long way, from what you might have heard about years ago, and run as smoothly on press as any virgin sheet. In addition, they are even known to score, fold and emboss best because recycled fibers are softer and allow these processes to be performed with ease.

A paper's color, brightness, weight and content are considerations when manufacture the best choice of paper. In Part 3, we will talk about the distribution, price, availability and printing process for your project.

Look for Part 1 of "How to pick the Right Paper" in case you missed it and stay tuned for Part 3.

How to pick the Right Paper - Part 2

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