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Tips on How to Choose the Right Paper Stock for Your Business Cards

Teaching you some simple tips on how to select the right paper stock for your business cards.

Tips on How to Choose the Right Paper Stock for Your Business Cards
I must admit I friggin’ love paper! I guess you could say I’m a paper geek. Paper wholeheartedly astounds me because there’s so much to select from with endless paper selections.

There are so many types of papers you can choose from:

  • various textures
  • colours
  • weights

Picking the right stock can be intricate and perplexing because of the endless options, and how to use the paper. So how do you pick the right stock for you? Here’s some handy dandy tips.

Getting started on the Path to the Best Paper for Your Business Cards

The first place you want to start is ask your local printer to see the different paper options they carry. Don’t be too surprised when they start pulling a variety of different paper stock options from their library. Don’t set your eyes just yet on that paper you instantly started to dote on. Consider your budget (if you have one) because high quality paper does cost a pretty ‘lil’ penny. Paper stock goes up in price as thickness increases.

If you’re a graphic designer looking to build your own library collection of paper stock options here’s some ways to get your hand on your own paper stock books:

  1. Contact paper companies online and ask request samples. Cascades, Domtar, Kallima, or Neenah are a few. Some companies do charge a fee and some will be completely free.
  2. Attend Graphic Design trade shows and hit up the paper company booths. We scored a beautiful Neenah package at the last trade show we attended. The creative design, paper and ink is stunning with outstanding application. It’s a perfect example of how to paper selection presents a true kinship to design.

When to Choose Coated Paper

Silk or gloss stocks have a coating on them (silky feeling) and are better used for printing visual art or portfolio examples like photographs, art, or illustrations. Colours look brighter on silk or gloss stock versus matte stocks. This is because the ink doesn’t absorb into the fibers of the stock the ink stays on top of the fibers, protecting the brightness of the colour.


Neenah Paper Package

Neenah Paper Package

Neenah Paper Package - Inside

Neenah Paper Package – Inside

When to Use Uncoated Paper

Uncoated paper has a natural raw texture. It’s best used for businesses that want to have a sustainable organic finishing. I’m a fan of uncoated papers, because I love the feeling of basic and organic paper fibers and texture. Uncoated paper is also best suited for layouts that have a lot of text. Type is easier to read and won’t reflect light like a gloss paper will.

Paper Stock Thickness and Weight

The typical paper stock used for business cards is 80 to 100lbs. This is because you wouldn’t want to hand someone a card that is floppy or easily bent, would you? I prefer a card that is difficult to bend because the cards are more durable in pockets – holding up to prolonged use. Choose a stock that has a good dense weight and it will get noticed by people you pass it on to, with a likely comment of how solid the card is.

Well I hope you make use of these tips on how to select the right paper stock for your business card next time you’re designing your business card. Consider the need of your card, whether gloss or matte finish will do, and the best weight of the paper stock for your brand. Exploring different paper because the options are endless.

Tell us about a business card design or any tips you may have for selecting the right paper stock. We’d love to hear them! Leave your comments below.

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