Choosing the Right Paper for the Job

You’ve designed the perfect flyer (or letterhead or business card, etc.) and now just need to get your design from program to paper.  Which do you choose?  A lot of different types exist and knowing the right choice can be a little overwhelming.  Here’s a quick and easy guide for you. . . .

Weight/Type of Paper:

  • Business Cards: 
    80-100 lb cardstock
  • Letterhead, Newsletters: 
    24 lb paper
  • Presentations, Flyers, Brochures: 
    28-32 lb paper
  • Postcards: 
    75-100 lb cardstock (post office requires a minimum of 75 lb)
  • Trifold Mailer: 
    40 lb (post office requirement)
  • Event Invitations: 
    80-100 lb cardstock

A few other considerations . . .

The most common finishes are matte, gloss, and silk, and the choice is mostly a matter of taste.  You won’t have glare or fingerprints with matte paper, but the colors won’t appear as rich or vibrant as on gloss.  Silk is a middle ground between the two.

Brighter paper creates more contrast.  Standard brightness is 92; if you’re using a lot of full-color images, a minimum of 96 is preferable.

Balanced white, warm white, and blue white are the most common types of paper whiteness.  You can use balanced white for the vast majority of your projects.  Warm white can enhance the look of photography while blue white can enrich product images and black and white pictures.

Hope that helps!  Let us know of any questions or comments in the “Leave a Reply” section below.


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