paperqualityWhen it comes to marketing, companies have to be aware of every subconscious aspect of their presentation. In social media, things like timeliness and tone are crucial to brand image. In print marketing, the paper itself sends its own message to the consumer. What do you need to know about paper to ensure you’ve got the right one for your campaign?

There are a shockingly great number of choices to make when it comes to paper. Here are a few of the main considerations that will affect the quality of your final product and how it affects your brand image.


If your paper is too flimsy, it can appear cheap and it won’t be very durable. If it’s too dense, you won’t be able to fold or roll it. Paper weight is either measured in pounds or grams per square metre (GSM). The proper thickness for your project will depend on its purpose. Here are some general guidelines to paper thickness:


20-24 = standard paper
24-28 = ordinary posters
80-100 = most business cards


35 – 55 = most newspapers
90 = most magazine pages
130 – 170 = quality, long-lasting poster
170 – 300 = corporate brochures
350 – 400 = business cards

Before you decide on density, you want to know how the material will be used, how it will be handled, and how long it needs to last. If you have a central packet of materials, you can always use thinner paper in a vinyl sheet protector to keep costs low and quality high.


Your paper will either be coated or untreated. Every day printing paper requires no treatment. Coated paper looks more expensive and therefore can give your business the appearance of quality. Most people are familiar with glossy and matte finishes, especially when it comes to photographs. To distinguish the right finish for your brand, you need to examine the product or service you’re selling. A glossy finish tends to be “flashier,” so if you’re a charity, that finish may be counter-productive to your cause. Matte finishes still look expensive, but they give the appearance of being more grounded.


This is a measure of how much blue light a sheet reflects. It’s why the color white can come in so many varieties, from warm to cool. How bright you need your paper will depend on the print. If you’re printing warmer images, like skin tone, you would want a warmer white. A bluer white will make the skin look gray. The brighter the paper, the more chemicals have been added, too. This can degrade paper faster, so it may not be the best choice for something that needs to last years.

Heavy Coverage

This is when a large volume of ink or toner is printed in a single area. Heavy coverage on the wrong paper is vulnerable to chipping, fingerprints, and other compromises to quality appearance. Communicate with your printer if you have heavy coverage.


If you’ve ever seen cracked or ragged edges along a brochure, it’s because the folds went with the grain. If you’re printing a brochure, the folds need to go against the grain. There is long and short grain; make sure your printer knows how the paper will be used so he or she can advise you on the appropriate length.

Ultimately, it is best to outline the intention of the paper before getting it printed. Identify how the paper will be used, how long it needs to keep, whether it will be touched a lot, if it needs to be folded or rolled, and what kind of message it needs to reflect about your company. If you need quality vinyl sheet protectors, display holders, or adhesive paper pockets, you’ll get the highest quality product from Vinyl Art. We make the most professional, custom, and eco-friendly products on the market. Contact us today at 800-569-1304 or