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Our stock options

Think we just use white copy paper?  Think again…

Sometimes the choice of stock makes all the difference to your design.  However, it’s not as simple as choosing white or cream.

 

Colour

Probably the first consideration is the most obvious one: colour.  Sometimes white is just the thing and sometimes a little colour in the stock can add a touch of tradition or class to the design.  In the same way that colour is so important in the design itself, the colour of the paper can set off the whole thing perfectly.

The colours we offer at FirstpointPrint are ‘white’, ‘brilliant white’, ‘high white’, ‘oyster’ and ‘cream’.

image for stock colour options

A very important technical consideration must be addressed here.  People are sometimes disappointed when their photos come out off-colour when printed on off-white stock.  This is most noticeable when there is pure white in the photo or design.  White in photos is not printed using white ink or toner: it is merely provided by the stock on which the design is printed.  Therefore, when the image is printed on, say, cream stock, any white in the image will come out cream.  likewise, all the other colours will be offset by the colour of the stock.  The deeper the colour, the greater the discoloration.

example of discoloration due to stock

The only way to resolve this is to print the desired background colour onto white (or nearly white) stock, rather than print onto coloured stock.

example of discoloration fixed

Checklist:

  • Colours available: ‘white’, ‘brilliant white’, ‘high white’, ‘oyster’ and ‘cream’
  • Printed image is discoloured according to the colour of the stock
  • White images can be retained by printing the background colour onto white stock

 

Texture

The other primary consideration is the texture of the stock.  Digital printing tends to require a smooth finish, whereas litho work can be printed onto a more textured surface.  Digital printing onto textured stock tends to result in a mottled, broken finish.  Text alone is OK, but images or solid colour are not particularly suitable.  Litho printing does not suffer from this limitation.

Textured or recycled stock can give a rustic or unusual finish to a design which makes it stand out from regular materials.  The recycled finish can be useful for promoting the green credentials of modern, environmentally-aware companies.  However, sometimes a smooth finish is more appropriate to the desired look, with more striking, distinctive solids.

We also use ‘satin’ stocks for an even more silky finish, which really brings out vibrancy and shine in images and solid colour.

Checklist:

  • Smooth stock for digital printing (apart from simple text)
  • Smooth or textured stock for litho
  • Recycled stocks for ‘green’ companies
  • Satin stock for extra punch

 

Weight

The ‘weight’ of the stock refers to its density, measured in grammes per square metre (gm2), usually written as ‘gsm’.  This should not be confused with thickness, measured in microns.  A more dense stock, such as satin, may be thinner than normal paper and yet have a higher gsm.

The choice of weight depends on the thing being printed and also partly on cost and preference.  A postcard is usually printed onto 300gsm, whereas a business card would be heavier at 350 or 400gsm.  Letterheads and comp slips are usually printed onto 100 or 120gsm.

When the document is to be folded, it is best not to print it onto too thick a stock as the ‘spine’ may crack, especially if there is something printed on it.  This is not such a problem with litho, as the ink soaks into the stock, as opposed to digital toner, which sits on the surface.  However, the stock itself is still susceptible to cracking, even if the ink is not.  It is more common to use a heavier stock for the cover and lighter for the inner pages.  A booklet with the same weight inside and out is called ‘self-covered’.

Care also must be taken when printing something like a brochure, as too heavy a stock will make the document too thick and it will not bind (stapled or otherwise) properly.

Checklist:

  • Weight measured in grammes per square meter (gm2) or ‘gsm’
  • Satin and silk stock usually more dense but thinner
  • Letterheads onto 100 or 120gsm
  • Business cards onto 350 or 400gsm
  • Folded stock may crack if too thick
  • Booklets and brochures should not be too thick

 

Options:

  • 100gsm matt
  • 120gsm matt
  • 160gsm matt
  • 200gsm matt
  • 300gsm matt
  • 350gsm matt
  • 130gsm satin
  • 150gsm satin
  • 200gsm satin
  • 300gsm satin
  • 350gsm satin
  • 100gsm offset recycled
  • 120gsm offset recycled
  • 140gsm offset recycled
  • 160gsm offset recycled
  • 200gsm offset recycled
  • 250gsm offset recycled
  • 300gsm offset recycled
  • Matt laminate
  • Gloss laminate
  • Ask about coloured, smooth/textured Conqueror stocks