How To Pick The Right Paper Weight And Finish

 

Once you have an eye-catching flyer design, the paper type can make or break the overall effect that you are trying to achieve. In fact, your selected paper weight and finish sends just a strong a message as the content and flyer design. Done right, you can quickly give prospective customers a high quality impression of your brand. But get it wrong, and all your content writing and design efforts are wasted.

This quick guide helps you to pick the best paper weight for your flyers. We will also summarize the differences in coated papers to help you to choose between a satin, gloss finish or a matte coating.

First, let’s look at the terms for measuring flyers and the range of paper weights and what they are best used for.

 

Flyer Weight

Outside of the US, paper weight is measured in GSM which stands for grams per square metre. However, in the US, paper is measured in pounds and it is determined by measuring 500 sheets (a ream).

Choosing the right paper for your print project can really give it something extra. The weight of paper speaks volumes about your brand and it is one of the most crucial things to get right. Certain weights are better suited to some campaigns than others. For example 8.8pt flyers are harder to fold, which makes them less likely to be put into pockets or bags.

Weight of Paper Range.

What Is It?

Recommended Uses

5.5pt to 6.2pt

This paper type is used for standard office stationery and its used in desktop printers or for a notepad.

It is uncoated paper and it is perfect for writing on.

5.5pt to 6.2pt is ideal for letterhead printing.

 

6.6pt to 7.8pt

It is heavier and more durable than the paper that is used for writing pads or for desktop printers.

 

6.6 7.3 or 7.8pt is the best paper for budget flyers and leaflets.

It is often used for flyers folded into menus such as a takeaway leaflets for door drop marketing.

7.8pt to 8.8pt

This is the midway point between card and paper.

This durable paper makes leaflets thicker and gives them a higher quality feel.  

7.8pt or 8.8pt are the best paper weights for high quality double-sided flyers.

7.8pt is great for printing posters. We wouldn’t recommend anything lighter than this.  

8.8pt to 10pt

This durable paper is the starting point for heavier card that has a more rigid feel.

 

8.8pt and 10pt are used for brochure covers for order of service booklets to provide a more rigid cover for a high quality feel.

16pt to 18pt

This sturdy card lasts in a wallet or pocket.

 

16pt and 18pt are used for business cards. We wouldn't recommend anything less than 16pt for business card printing.

18pt is a popular choice for business card printing and luxury wedding invitations.

Over 18pt

32pt and above is for more impressive cards, such as the luxe 38pt colour core business card range.

 where the coloured edge adds a subtle hint of branding.

We can print Nevertear Flyers up to 14pt. The material is waterproof and tear proof.

Extra thick colour core business cards are 38pt. They have a subtle hint of branding along the edge.

 

Type Of Paper Used For Printing Flyers

The paper finish is another important design consideration for your flyer. You have three choices which depend on whether you want a matt, silk or a glossy finish.

Gloss paper has a very glossy look, and uncoated paper has a matt finish, whereas silk paper is in the middle with a slight sheen.

We have written a guide about Matt Vs Gloss Print which explains the differences between the three paper finishes. Gloss and matt are both used for flyers for different reasons. In a nutshell, a matt finish is better if you have a lot of text, whereas gloss adds vibrancy to images. Most of our customers choose silk paper for flyers. It has a slight sheen without the shine of full gloss.

Read on to see more benefits and choose the paper which is best for your flyer design.

 

Gloss Paper

Glossy paper has a shiny finish and it is a popular paper choice for printing flyers that have intricate designs or lots of visuals.

What Is Gloss Paper Best For?

glossy magazines on shelves

Gloss is sometimes used for low cost flyers and mailers. Years ago, gloss paper was popular, but nowadays it doesn’t tend to be used for digital and litho printing as much as uncoated paper and silk paper.

The most popular use of gloss paper is magazine covers and brochures. The high sheen of gloss paper adds a luxurious flashy look to grab the attention of your customers. Magazine covers are almost always gloss because it makes the printed colours to look more vivid and vibrant. Another advantage of gloss is that it reflects the light to catch the attention of people walking near the shelves in the shop.

Silk Paper

A lady holding a flyer printed on silk paper 

 

Silk paper is the most common paper finish for flyers. It is a great midway ground between full on glossy and very matt. This means that silk gives your flyers some vibrancy but also has some of the easy reading benefits of matt, uncoated paper.

What Is Silk Paper Best For?

It is often said that a silk finish is the best paper for flyers and leaflets due to the mix of imagery and text.

Uncoated Paper

Matte stock is uncoated paper, that has a natural matt finish. It doesn’t reflect the light so it doesn’t cause any glare discomfort for the reader. If you run your fingers over the paper it feels just the same as regular printer paper. It is a coarser slightly fluffier feel than silk paper because you are touching the paper fibres directly.

What Is Uncoated Paper Best For?

A man reading a book printed with a matt finish

Uncoated paper is best for flyers that are heavily text based because the anti-glare makes your message easy to read. This also makes it perfect for internal pages of brochures, booklets and leaflets. Text stock is almost always printed on uncoated paper to make the words easy to read.

At heavier weights of paper stock, it is perfect for business card printing. When used with other high quality printing techniques, it can create a luxurious matt effect that many people tend to prefer.

Fancy Papers For Flyers

 

Colorplan Coloured Paper Types

 

We have a range of coloured papers. However, for flyers you can print a coloured background onto white paper to create your own background colour theme. 

  

 

Lamination Options

 Laminating machine applying soft touch laminate to flyers

 

We have a range of coated stocks including matte, gloss and soft touch laminated flyers. The lamination helps to protect your design from slight bending.

Nevertear Flyers

We can print nevertear flyers on weights ranging from 3.7pt to 14pt. The waterproof flyer material will not rip, flake or tear even when soaking wet.

Specialist Paper Types For Event Invites

We can print flyers using recycled or brown kraft paper for a more eco- friendly option. We have the widest range of paper styles and textures. More specialist types include pearlescent paper and conqueror textured papers which are ideal for event invitations. See our article Printing Onto Textured Paper which shows some of the patterns that can be debossed into your printed materials to create a ridged or sandgrain effect for example.


Conclusion

7.8pt to 8.8pt are the most popular weight choices for high quality flyers. 5.8pt or 7.6pt nevertear flyers are ideal for a durable flyer that cannot be torn. For increased resistance and durability, we offer nevertear flyers up to 14pt.

Silk paper is the most popular paper finish for flyers, but if you want people to look at your images gloss paper will make them more vivid. If you only want people to read your message on your text-heavy leaflet, then Matt is the best choice. If you have both text and visuals, then Silk is usually chosen.