Printing How-To: Making Your Next Print Stand Out

When looking for the best printing services in Melbourne, there are several factors to consider. In today’s competitive business environment, image plays a crucial role in the way people perceive your product and their impression of your business. Once you decide to look for the best printing service provider, it will be for material that will be seen by consumers and prospective customers. To attract customers, you must choose the best possible material and print, design, imagery, and other elements like paper quality, and more. 

There are several formats to choose from for printed materials and these may require various printing techniques. These can range from continuous type materials like purchase orders, invoices, books, business cards, pamphlets, and flyers. Many suppliers may specialize in a certain field, and it is vital to gauge the right printer that will best match your needs, offering the best quality at reasonable rates. It is necessary to establish a relationship with your print and check on their references. 

A good service representative will be able to process everything smoothly and will make the best recommendations where ink kind, paper size, and more are of importance. Sticking with one printing service provides you the best possible outcomes and consistent quality for all production requests. Many printer suppliers will accept projects that they are unable to undertake and outsource them to third party suppliers.

Regardless of your printing needs, like brochures, presentations, leaflets, and business cards, the kind, quality, and finish of your paper will make a big impact on how people will ultimately feel about your brand. This GSM paper guideline will assist you in choosing the best kind for your upcoming print projects.

So, what is GSM?

GSM stands for grams per square meter, this is the measure used for paper weight. The value is often referred to as the weight of approximately 1m x 1m sheet such as 40gsm, 60gsm, 150gsm, and the likes. Usually, the higher the GSM number, the stiffer and thicker the paper would be.

How exactly does the GSM quality impact how people see your printed material?

Paper possesses this subdued but highly tactile and discernible quality. How it feels when you touch it, the texture, the thickness, its smell, and how it looks can all have a strong impression on the mind of the recipient. A smooth, thick and fine paper stock will exude professionalism, a luxurious, and premium product or brand. Whereas the thin, uncoated, and rather rough paper stock are most likely associated with cheap brands or products which leaves a negative lasting impression to the public. Of course, there are specialty paper which project an image, like handmade, acid-free paper made by artisanal shops for arts and crafts. These are more expensive than commercially manufactured paper.

The best paperweight for a professional printing job

Not all stock will work equally for every single print product. The heavy paper stock, for instance, can be unfit for use on stationery products or letterbox flyers.

For your guidance, here are some suggestions for appropriate paper stock for your print job:

  • 400 gsm – high quality and premium product tags, business cards, poster boards, and sturdy product packaging.
  • 300-350 gsm – best for regular menus, postcards greeting cards, business cards, or brochures.
  • 200-250 gsm – not thick enough and this is ideal for high-quality brochures, leaflets, and flyers.
  • 170 gsm – corporate brochure, calendar giveaways, high-quality posters that are not too heavy.
  • 150 gsm – brochures, flyers, booklets, and pamphlets. 
  • 115-130 gsm – lightweight paper stock and ideal for short term use products like flyers or leaflets.
  • 80-100 gsm – best for general stationery needs, training materials, and letterheads.

The best paper finish

For the best finishes, you have the coated and uncoated paper. Your choice of paper finish can impact the overall feel, appeal, and the look of your printed material. Here are the basic paper finishes to choose from:

  • Matte

Silk coated paper or matte finish has a high quality feel to it and it is more subtle than gloss which prevents glare in the same way as an uncoated paper finish. This finish in the paper is usually used for flyers, brochures, posters, business cards, postcards, books, and magazines with vivid images.

  • Uncoated

The no coating paper finish has no glare on its surface. This uncoated paper finish is ink absorbent, meaning there is a lesser likelihood of smudging. This is perfect for text-loaded prints like manuals, forms, tickets, plans, memos, and letterheads.

  • Glossy

This kind of paper finish provides perfect material for high contrast and vivid color prints. The shiny surface makes it an all-time favorite for many marketing materials and high-quality marine prints, booklets, brochures, and product catalogs. If readability is a problem, you have to put into consideration the dull coating gloss over a high gloss finish paper for much better reading experience and overall quality.

  • Codex

Although not a coating or paper finish, the codex is a great addition to any of the paper choices mentioned above. It makes for a luxurious feel and is used in a variety of embellishments from textured, gold, silver, to foil blocking and spot UV.

The kind of paper and finish that you ultimately decide on for your next printing job will influence exactly how people see and perceive your brand and message. Before you pick one, consider first your goal, brand identity, and your overall audience.

The Takeaway

Your main criteria for choosing the best print service is efficiency. Printer service efficiency refers to the turnaround times and overall print quality. It is also related to the supplier’s empathy for your needs and preferences. Forging a great relationship with the printer is advantageous for you as it places you in a preferred position to make inquisitions about the overall optimization of your printing campaigns. Also, do not hesitate to seek your printer supplier’s recommendations.

The right printer will always be able and willing to help you find the best ways to go about with your campaign. Eliminating paper waste is a great way to keep your printing costs under control. The paper or material cost often makes up the biggest chunk of your expense. Keeping these things to a minimum will dramatically change the final costs and fees. 

Whenever possible, keep your color designs at a minimum. You will not only save money on ink as well as on the costs of printing plates too. If you must use colors in your designs, consider these alternatives: if you have a 2-toned project, choose colored stock, this will keep ink costs low. Monochrome, or black and white, will be less expensive compared to a full-color print. Print projects which bleed can cost you more. The color bleed is a result of placing several colors of ink next to each other. Designing around color bleed can improve on print quality at the same time save on printing costs. Consult with your printing service regarding improving quality, while decreasing cost. You might be surprised to find out that this will also shorten the production time. 

You can easily have a great idea of the type of customer a printing firm caters by checking on their portfolio. You can check for resources on the web, and it will showcase the printer’s distinct specializations, prices, turnaround times, and project designs.