Flyer Advertising Colour using litho printing

Your best guide to litho

printing paper weights

Fortunately, litho printing in particular lends itself to being able to choose from a surprisingly large range of paper weights and surface textures. When producing a brochure, catalogue, or some other type of litho printing marketing collateral, be sure to choose one of the best printing companies in 2020. The type of paper and its weight that you will use is possibly the last thing on your mind – if, indeed the thought even occurred to you. 

Of course, getting the design right and having a suitable layout is essential. Filling that layout with great content and eye-catching images and graphics; this too will be your focus.

The first time ‘paper’ even comes into your mind will be when you consider the size of your brochure. Who will receive it and what it is for will help you decide the size (A5, A4, A3, or something else outside these standards), and the orientation (portrait or landscape).

At roughly the same point, you will establish the number of pages that the document will be and how many copies of it you need to be printed. This usually is established beforehand, but it may not have been, or the number may change

At some point near completion of the document, you may start to think about printing; litho printing for example. Before you commit to print, however, there are a few things for you to consider:

  • Which are the best printing companies in 2020?
  • Will you use litho printing or some other method?
  • How will your document be bound together?
  • What type of paper will you use?
  • What weight of the paper will you use?
  • Do you want to use coated or uncoated paper?

These questions can often be overlooked or only considered at the last minute when the litho printer is waiting to hit the Run button and you are in no position to make a thought-through decision.

But, these things are important; the weight of paper could have financial consequences in terms of postage costs for a mail campaign. On the other hand, a paper that is too light may not portray the correct level of quality you want it to. Generally speaking, the thicker the paper the heavier it is; unless it is coated paper. Also, lighter paper is much more susceptible to damp and water damage. Choosing one of the top printing companies in 2020 will help you answer any questions you have about paper.

The choice of paper type will also have consequences on the cost and quality of the brochure. So, this is something else that needs to be considered early and decided upon.

Your choices about paper selection will dictate the overall quality of the brochure in terms of its feel. Very often, the first impression someone gets of your business is when they pick up your brochure, catalogue or leaflets. Before even reading one word or seeing one graphic, they may have formed an opinion about the quality of your products or services based on the quality of your documents.

To add a bit more quality, consider laminating your pages or just your cover page is an option. Laminating can be done to give either a matt or gloss effect. There is also the option of choosing more luxurious paper to enhance the look of quality in your brochure. 

Another thing to think about when selecting the paper for your printed brochures and documents is the colour of the text and graphics or images that will be printed on it. Using lighter paper can often cause bold text or bright coloured graphics to show through on the reverse side of pages. So, if you are using a heavy font with bright graphics or images, be sure to select a suitably thick paper. It is a good idea to check this first with one of the good printing companies in 2020.

Having spent time, effort and cash in designing a beautiful brochure, the last thing you want is for its beauty to be detracted from by a poor or unsuitable paper selection. On the other hand, a good quality paper that is suitable for the type of document you are litho printing, will enhance your document and your company’s image.

Here is a simple guide to the various weight options available for your paper selection. The unit-of-measure for the weight of paper is grams-per-square-metre (gsm). The greater the gsm number, the heavier and thicker the paper is.

  • 80–100gsm.In this gsm range you will find paper that is for general office use. A brochure would very rarely have paper with a gsm rating of 80-100.
  • 110–120gsm. Your everyday office paper products such as letterheads and compliment slips will use a gsm rating in this range.
  • 130–170gsm.This range is normal for paper products that need to be a bit more durable and long-lasting such as posters,flyers, leaflets and so on. You might also select a paper within this range for the pages of your brochure.
  • 170–200gsm. Somewhere around this range is the mid-point between paper and card. This range of gsm rating is great for the cover of a brochure, for a high-end poster, or for some good quality flyers.
  • 200 – 250gsm. Heavier card, sometimes referred to as board when thicker, starts at this point. It can give a quality finish to the cover of a brochure or catalogue.
  • 300–400gsm. Ratings of 300gsm and above are classed as board. This is the rating at which business cards start. Board can be suitable for the cover of a brochure, but it is important to consider how the board will perform when it is folded and unfolded continuously.
  • Above 400gsm.Any business card that is printed above 400gsm would be considered to be luxurious; some get printed on board up to 1200 gsm thick. 
Printers eyeglass on a colour guide

The best litho printing companies of 2020 should have a full selection of samples for you to feel and select.

When it comes to finishing off a beautifully designed and prepared brochure or catalogue, make sure that you give due consideration to the weight of both the inside pages and the cover. For a quality finish, the heavier the better; but if your products or services are for a budget market, you may consider a lower gsm rating.

Great in-depth article pertaining to litho printing paper weight.

Often, customers will base their purchasing decision on an unconscious reaction that they have had; this could be caused by something as simple as picking up your brochure and it not having the right ‘feel’ to it. Make sure that when your customers hold your brochure they get the ‘feel’ of your business.

However you plan your brochure to look and feel, be sure to get it printed well; by litho printing or some other method, and by one of the best printing companies of 2020 that you can find.