Choosing Paper & Picking Colors

Paper Stock

  • The intended use of the piece determines what paper quality is acceptable.
  • Performance varies greatly. Select stock that meets the technical production requirements of the job.
  • Jobs printed on matte or dull coated stocks may need to be sealed with a varnish or aqueous coating.
  • Availability may be an issue for specialty or mill items and minimum order quantities may apply.
  • The "feel" of the paper is often very important. Remember, stock samples are free.
  • Paper is classified (according to the American Forest & Paper Association) by its brightness, #1 being the brightest, and #5, the least bright. Within each grade, papers are offered in virgin or recycled, sheet or web (referring to the type of press on which the sheet will be printed).

Grade Classification

Quality

Super Whites

No. 1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

No. 5

Brightness

98 to 99

85.0 to 87.9

83.0 to 84.9

79.0 to 82.9

73.0 to 78.9

72.9 and below

Color

  • White is not always just white. Consider your colors and choose blue white or warmer neutral white paper to best enhance what you're printing.
  • The same color will look very different on coated and uncoated stocks - use the right PMS chart.
  • For added punch when printing 4-color process on uncoated stock, substituting florescent yellow and magenta for conventional inks may be effective.
  • Metallic inks will lose some of their sparkle and look flat on uncoated stocks.
    If critical color match is required, get an ink draw down, laminate or press proof on the stock selected.
  • Rich blacks or heavy coverage of inks may require a double hit.
  • If the finished piece will be used outdoors, let us know. We will use special inks.
  • If you are unsure of the color in the images, put all images on a single test sheet and get one proof.
  • To compare the colors you see on your monitor with what you will get on press, we provide a test file with a printed reference.
 
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