The power of paper. 5 questions to consider when choosing a paper stock for your printed material.

choosing paper for graphic design work

The Power of Paper

5 questions to consider when choosing a paper stock for your printed material.

Paper has a rich, colourful history which has spanned the world’s geography and its cultures. To trace its development offers us insight into humanity’s relentless imagination, creativity and sometimes folly. Thanks to the wonderful creation of paper many descriptions of our world have been stored so that we may share and learn from them.

In our modern age, paper still has so much to offer, with multiple choice. Consider the following when choosing the right paper for your printed project.

1. What durability is required of the printed media?

Consider the life-span of your printed project. If the handling is going to be repetitious, for example a brochure or a manual you will need to choose a stock that is less likely to tear, mark and crease.

If your project is more of a show piece and requires diecutting, embossing or other speciality treatments, you will want to go for a thicker more robust stock for longevity and to get the best result from your specialty effect.

If it’s one time use only – then choose a budget paper that will be recycled easily.

2. Is the paper stock sending the right message?

We like to consider coated or uncoated stocks, brightness and texture, and consider how photography, graphics and text will display on your chosen paper. We look at the personality of the company, the individual, print media and overall affect of the message. Break it down into terms such as luxury or stylish, and consider environmentally-friendly with an alternative feel.

There are a high range of specialty paper with textures, such as linen, canvas, parchment, rustic, suede, metallic, leather and many versions of recycled textures and pigments. When considering texture and paper finish it is a question of what kind of message you would like to portray. Linen, leather, suede and metallic may express ‘professional, expensive or luxurious’ compared to parchment, rustic or recycled papers that can portray ‘environmentally-friendly, relaxed or an alternative perspective’ and personality.

3. Is the paper from a sustainable source?

More than ever we need to ask where our materials are being sourced, and paper is no exception. Choose a 100% recycled stock where possible, the quality of the recycled paper has improved over time and are now used for a variety of printed projects.

4. How much do I want to spend?

Weighing up all the above factors we also have to look at the expense. Do you need to produce great quantities and be economical? Or is it a quality media that can know no bounds for exploring what is available?

5. Can I see some paper samples?

Don’t be afraid to ask for samples from your graphic designer or printer. Most paper suppliers are happy to send samples to you for consideration and testing. It certainly helps to see the paper, feel the texture and thickness to make sure it will suit your project.

As designers, we consider these factors and encompass it into the end composition of each and every design that we create. What we produce as a creative piece, breathes life into the simple but humble piece of paper.

Contact us if you’d like help choosing some paper for your next print job. As you can see, we love to talk about it.