You've designed the perfect printed piece. But now you need to put it on paper. Which paper? Hopefully you considered the kind of paper you needed before even starting your design project. If not, or if you are just getting started, here's a look at your primary paper options, regardless of the color, size, or finish for your printed masterpiece.
Unless you are really into paper, a recitation of the various paper grades won't be nearly as helpful to you as choosing a paper based on the project. Find your project (or the closest match) from the list below to see what grade of paper is usually used for that type of document. Then go to the page describing the recommended paper grade to learn more about it.
Of course, you are always free to be different and choose another kind of paper but these are generally safe choices. Always discuss your paper needs with your paper supplier and your printer as early in the project as possible. Paper grade is only the first step in narrowing down your specific paper needs. You'll also want to explore paper finishes and colors.
This chart applies primarily to projects for commercial not desktop printing although some of these papers are available in inkjet/laser safe versions.
|Project||Suggested Paper Grade|
|Book or Manual||Book|
|Book/Catalog Cover||Cover | Bristol|
|Business Reply Card||Index|
|Certificate||Parchment | Book|
|Diploma||Parchment | Book|
|Directory||Newsprint | Catalog|
|Fine Art Print||Acid Free | Archival|
|Greeting Card||Papeterie | Cover|
|Limited Edition Print||Acid Free | Archival|
|Newsletter or Magazine||Book | Bond|
|Presentation Folder||Bristol | Cover|
|Scrapbook||Acid Free | Archival|
|Stationery||Bond | Book | Papeterie|
|Tag (Hanging)||Tag | Bristol|
|Wedding Invitations||Bristol | Cover|
(buy/sell/trade mags, etc.)
|Newsprint | Catalog|