At the end of the day, all of the meticulous file creation and prepress preparation we undergo during a project wont matter unless you have factored in BOTH the press, and the paper you are printing on. The presses are a much bigger and technical story, so let’s talk about the paper!
Without a doubt, paper is part of the design process, and should be picked and client approved (if needed) at the earliest stages of design. If you don’t know your options, speak with your printer or call your local paper merchant to help. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the selection process that will help you narrow down your choices…
• What is the the print going to be used for?
• How long will it be around for?
• What printing process are you using?
• What is your quantity?
• Do you require recycled or FSC certified paper?
• What color do you need? If white – how white?
• Will the same paper be needed for multiple projects over time?
• Is your file image heavy?
• Do you need to protect it with a coating?
• Do you require special effects or special finishing?
• Will the weight of the paper impact postage or shipping costs?
• Can you get matching off-the-shelf envelopes, or do you need to convert them if needed?
• Do you have time in your schedule for specialty paper, or to wait for a mill item if necessary?