Guidelines on Choosing Paper

Choosing a paper that looks and feels good, is appropriate for the tone of your promotional material and has good green credentials, may seem a bit overwhelming! Here is a guideline to decode some of the jargon and help you choose a paper that is environmentally sound as well as meeting the aesthetic demands of your printing. We’ve also included some paper price comparisons* to assist you with your choice of recycled papers.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Whether you choose coated or uncoated, recycled or virgin paper, make sure it has been endorsed with the following certifications:

FSC: Forest Stewardship Council (What is this?)
PEFC: Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes. (What is this?)
Both PEFC and FSC are independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisations.


WHAT IS COATED PAPER?

It is paper that has a thin layer of fine clay on its surface giving it a smooth waxy feel which can be both matt or gloss in appearance. Litho printed colour images reproduce much more vividly on coated paper than on uncoated paper on which the ink is readily absorbed. With digital printing however, the difference is negligible as the toner sits on the surface of each equally well. While coated papers are generally more cost effective, if it’s a really matt finish that you are after then uncoated paper will be the way to go.


RECYCLED OR VIRGIN FIBRE?

Is recycled paper better than non recycled? (detailed answers here). Some recycled papers contain only partially recycled fibres, so do check the percentage. Recycled paper comes from two sources: pre consumer waste – spoilt sheets and trimmings from the paper mill, and post consumer waste – paper that has already been used in the marketplace. Recycled paper varies in look and feel from earthy and natural to corporate and white, depending on what you require. Although they are mostly uncoated, some ranges are available in a coated version too.


IS SYNTHETIC PAPER RECYCLABLE?

PolyArt Laser synthetic paper used at Hot Ink is 100% recyclable. This makes it a great alternative to printing your promo material on paper and laminating it which renders the combined result unrecyclable. Both PolyArt and Rock Paper are waterproof and tear proof, plus Rock Paper is unique in that it uses no water during it’s production and is completely biodegradable.


WHAT IS GRAMMAGE?

Paper weight is listed in grams per square metre. However, some papers may feel thicker than others even though they may ‘weigh’ less. This is due to the production process and the resulting ‘bulkiness’ of the stock. Here’s a rough guide to appropriate weights for basic stationery (which of course may vary depending on your personal choice):

Letterheads: 80-120gsm

Flyers: 115-150gsm

Brochures: 150-250gsm

Business Cards: 300-450gsm


PAPER SIZES MADE SIMPLE

Read our handy guideline on standard paper sizes.


One of the bigest advantages of digital printing is that you only have to print the amount that you need, when you need it, thus saving you on storage space as well as protecting this resource from unnecessary wastage. Feel free to chat to us about choosing the right paper and how to make the numbers work for you.

*This paper price comparison is a rough guideline to the relative cost of recycled papers from the least expensive to the most expensive. It also shows which papers are wholly recycled and those that are only partly recycled – these are generally more affordable.

Nice Things People Say About Us

“The most creative, accomodating, helpful design team around! Just the BEST!!! Thanks Jurgens!”
Alison Geduld

“Just had business cards designed and printed by you guys! Best looking cards I ever had! Can’t WAIT to hand them out!”
Weddings By Nicolette - hair & make-up

“WE have had excellent business cards and display posters printed with Hot Ink, THANKS! Great service.”
The Potter’s Gallery

“Nicola you are a star! I totally love the invitation. The colour, the texture and the bubbles - perfect!
You know where I am coming for my next project :) Thank you again.”
Etienne Kruger

“Once again - just a little note to say thank you for your help on our JSE job. We had such incredible feedback on the quality of the print and the conference went really well.
Thanks for schlepping my stuff up to Joburg!”
Karen de Waal - Fleet Street Communications

“Garth, THANK YOU SO MUCH, this is AWESOME. We really owe you!!
You guys are the best wow.
Thanks again for your GREAT service, you have just made my day.”
Ina Adlem - Graphic Studio, Langebaan

“Once again I came flying into your offices late on Friday and once again Jurgens came to my rescue. I know I keep sounding like a stuck record, but in this industry, it is so refreshing and fantastic to work with personnel and a company like Hot Ink. Thank you once again.”
Chris Verrijdt - The Sanctuary Group

“I am absolutely blown away with what Nadia has produced. I know you assisted her with the photography etc and thank you very much for that - they are beautiful! I am most definitely bringing all my work to her.”
Adele - The Scrapbook

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