Should I Worry About My Choice of Paper Stock?

If you’re publishing for the first time (perhaps you’re in the process of creating print marketing material for your company, for example), it pays to be particular about your choice of paper.

A high quality design job might be diminished by certain paper grades, undermining the time and effort spent by your editorial team, and also potentially leaving those who read (or perhaps purchase) your publication with a negative or otherwise undesired image of your company.

Alternatively, you may find the cost of your chosen paper is eating into your company profits, when in fact there may be an alternative product which offers the same quality for a cheaper price.

How Should I Decide Which Paper to Use?

Firstly, determine exactly what you’re going to print. The context of your print job will help you identify what properties your ideal paper grade will have.

There are many questions you can ask to help you decide; here are just a few…

  • Will your publication be in the hands of the reader for seconds, minutes, hours or days? Generally speaking, a publication with a longer lifespan will need a more durable paper grade.
  • Will it be read and reread several times?
  • Will you be releasing an updated issue of the publication (ie a catalogue with new products) in the near future? It may be more economical to choose a cheaper paper grade if you'll be frequently publishing new editions.
  • Are you looking to create a publication with a high quality finish to impress potential clients, or mass direct-mail material which doesn’t demand superior paper quality? Choosing a premium paper product with a heavier weight for the latter printing project will see you losing more money on postage costs.

Once you’ve narrowed down which paper products will meet your requirements, you can gather a general idea of the costs involved and compare them to find the best one for your print job. Don’t be tempted to just go for the most expensive product; carefully consider your choice with your budget and your reader’s experience in mind.

If this all sounds like a lot to wrap your head around, don’t worry. The experts at Gould Publication Papers can help you make your choice, guiding you on the properties each product provides and supplying you with samples and trial print runs on one or several different paper grades.

Read more about how to pick the right paper, or use our Paper Professors wizard to receive impartial advice free of charge.