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Article :: Exploring Paper Stock

Standard paper stock is divided into Text weight and Cover Stock. Of the two, Text weight is thinner and is generally used for letterhead, brochures, inserts and flyers. Cover Stock is used for business cards, rack cards, door hangers, hang tags and heavy-weight brochures. Both types of paper stock come in different paper weights. Examples of Text weights are 20#, 24#, 28# (generally laser and color copier stock) but are also found in 70#, 80#, 100# etc. Cover Stock examples are 80#, 100#, 120# and 12 pt, 14 pt, 16 pt, 18 pt, 32 pt, the latter of which is double-thick and can have effects like colored edges added.

Within the varying paper weights for both Text and Cover Stock are a variety of coatings including dull/matte, uncoated, C1S or C2S gloss, UV coated, Spot UV, Raised Spot UV, aqueous, satin aqueous. Gloss stock provides a shiny finish but still allows it to be written upon whereas you cannot write on stock that is UV coating (a notable exception is having portions of the stock coated with Spot UV or Raised Spot UV. Those areas cannot be written upon but the rest of the page can). Aqueous coating provides a dull sheen that repels the look of fingerprints and is an excellent choice for brochures or dark colored printing where fingerprints would be obvious.

Spot UV adds UV shine to certain areas on a printed piece and is excellent for highlighting logos or other graphics that would benefit from a high shine while allowing the other surfaces to be written upon, if desired. Raised Spot UV provides high gloss to certain areas but adds a slightly raised dimension where the UV coating is applied.

Other options are foil, raised foil, Akufoil (a layer of silver ink is applied under regular colors), embossing/debossing.


In addition to standard white stock, printing can be done on a variety of unique paper stocks. Some examples are as follows:

Ask to see samples of available paper stocks and coatings and discuss ways to stand out from the ordinary. In a sea of generic papers, having something that stands out will get you noticed - and remembered - in a positive way.

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