feeling paper, choosing paper for your design


In a world saturated by digital and social media, there is something quite satisfying about holding print collateral in your hands and reading on paper rather than a screen. Choosing the right paper for your design (or stock) can help add to the experience, conveying quality and feeling.

It might seem like such a small thing, but your paper choice can make or break your design and it also needs to support the message you are portraying.  

So how do you go about choosing your stock? Read on!

Before you dive in

Think about your project and what it will be used for. Does it need to be durable enough to last a few years? What feeling does it need to convey, classy or inexpensive? Will it be showcasing beautiful images, or will it be text based? All of these will impact on what stock you need to choose. If your job is urgent, chat to your printer as early as you can, as sometimes it can take some time to order the paper in, depending on where it is coming from.

Fat vs Skinny

Printing on a heavier stock will definitely give you more durability and can also give that impression of an expensive piece. So something that will need to withhold a lot of activity (such as a cover of a book) or showcase a product or service (think a postcard mailout) a sturdier stock should be favoured. However, if you are mailing out your project you will need consider postage costs. If you are set on using a heavier stock, perhaps reduce the finished size of your design to reduce overall weight. Lighter stocks are more suited for multi-page projects such as brochures or books, as they can bulk up too much when folded. If you are embossing a part of your artwork you will need to choose a weightier stock to bring out the layers. If you are designing business cards, read our blog on ways to make them stand out!

Coat or no coat?

There are two types of coated stocks – gloss has a high sheen and satin is in between a gloss and matt. A coated stock can give more of an opulent feeling, and can make your colours more vibrant and sharp. This is due to the coating stopping the ink from being soaked into the stock, allowing the colours to pop more. Alternatively, the ink soaks into a Matt stock, and as a result, colours are duller. However, matt stocks can really give an earthy feel which can be perfect for a environmental project. Matt stocks are also bulkier than their coated counterparts.

We are green

As you might already know, we are big on sustainability (you know, solar and all) so we love to recommend recycled paper. Recycled stocks have come a long way and there is a lot more to choose from than ever before, so you are bound to find something to suit. The other option is stocks that are FSC-Certified, which means that the fibres used in the paper come from plantations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainable forestry practices. So if you want to care for the environment, you know what to do! For more information on our sustainability practices, click here.

I bet you never thought choosing paper would be so important to your project? Still not sure what to choose? Give us a shout and we can assist you!