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Choosing Printing Paper: Paper Stock Considerations!

There are many factors to consider when choosing what kind of paper a project should be printed on. Many designers don't give this area much thought but should as it can greatly contribute to the overall look of a printed piece. Things that should be taken into consideration when choosing a paper are:

Opacity refers to how much you can see through the paper. If printing a magazine or book with a lot of text, one will want a good amount of opacity in the paper that is chosen. Otherwise, the reader may be bothered by printed material showing through from the other side of the page.

Thickness refers to how thick a page is. Sometimes, a paper that doesn't weigh much can still very thick. Books and magazines printed on thick pages appear to have more pages than they do. Thicker papers can cost more to mail but may be necessary as in the case of postcards.

Brightness refers to how much light is reflected off the paper. Coated stocks reflect much more light than uncoated stocks do. Though some brightness is preferable, be sure to get a paper that will not reflect too much and prevent the reader from seeing what's on the page.

Strength refers to how durable and strong a paper is. Paper bags need to be strong to be able to hold up under the stress of holding heavy items while other projects don't require as much.

Paper is often the most expensive part of a printing job and should be chosen accordingly. A local paper supplier or your printer should be able to supply you and your designer with books and books of paper samples to choose from.

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