A printed booklet or brochure is a fantastic marketing tool and can act as a beautiful showcase for your business. Creating a stylish design with functional content will ensure your brochure grabs attention and engages with your customers. Whilst the design and imagery is certainly essential for a successful booklet, it is also vital to consider the look and feel of the paper you choose to print on. Not only do you want to choose the paper to give your brochure the biggest impact, but you also need to take in to account a number of other considerations.
We know it can be a little daunting with all the choice availabel, so we have put to together 5 helpful tips using our vast experience in producing brochures to make understanding and choosing paper types simpler to follow:
1. Consider the cost
Cost is of course an important consideration when printing your booklet – make sure you understand the different costs associated with various paper weights and finishes, but also think about the weight and size of the final brochure and how you are planning to distribute them and this could also become costly with a heavy finished brochure.
2. Make sure it suits your brand
When a potential customer picks up your booklet it needs convey an accurate first impression of your business. The design and messaging will certainly be part of this, but it is also important to choose a suitable paper weight and consider the tactile elements of your brochure. If you are trying to give the impression of a high-end luxury brand you may opt for a heavier paper weight on a silk stock which portrays this quality. You could even look at a bespoke finish for your brochure such as a matt laminate or spot UV to give it a premium feel. On the other hand if you are an eco-friendly charity, you are likely to want give the impression that you have not spent too much and are being environmentally friendly, so choosing a no-fuss light weight brochure using an uncoated recyclable paper would be perfect. Essentially think about your brand before choosing the stock for your brochure.
3. Consider your design and content
Different paper types are better at enhancing some design features than others. An uncoated stock for your brochure can give a nice rustic, organic feel to your brochure showing up grainy textures very effectively, however it can also dull down bright colours and photographs. Whereas a silk or gloss finish can enhance colours and bring these photos to life. You also get what you pay for, so whilst choosing a very thin and low quality stock for your booklet is likely to be cheaper it may not hold the print as well as could cause see-through between the content on the front and back of your brochure pages.
4. How durable does it need to be?
If you are looking to produce a generic brochure which needs last you for years to come, you will want to choose a high quality paper thickness and binding. However if your brochure is likely to be seasonal and need updating with new content in the future you may feel you can get away with a simpler finish. You may also need to consider what they will need to ensure during distribution, whether they will simply sit on a stand in a showroom, or be moved around externally from event to event. Make sure your brochure is durable enough for your particular requirements.
5. Understand what you’re ordering
A paper weight is defined by gsm and this is how a brochure will often be quoted by a printer. So here is a quick guide to gsm:
- 80-100gsm: You will standardly come across this paper weight in an office printer and is generally too thin to be used in a brochure.
- 110-120gsm: Slightly thicker than office paper and often chosen for business stationery such as letterheads and compliment slips.
- 130-170gsm: At this weight the paper is more durable and perfect for the inner pages of a brochure, where on the scale you go may be dependent on the pagination of your brochure.
- 170-200gsm: This paper weight is somewhere between a paper and a card and often used for simple leaflets as well as thinner brochure covers.
- 200-250gsm: Moving on to a 200-250gsm weight enters card territory and this is a great choice as a high quality brochure cover.
- 300-400gsm: 300gsm+ paper weights fall in to the category of a heavy card board stock and is the starting weight for your average business card. This stock can alsobe used for a brochure cover and may be chosen because of the premium feel. However it will add to the overall weight and cost, so this should be considered in your choice.
Usually a mixture of paper weights are used within a single brochure with a heavier cover and lighter inner pages. You can also choose specific paper for individual sections, divider pages or inserts within your brochure, or look at adding a special finish to your cover. Giving some thought to your paper choices can ensure your booklet has the desired impact and really stands out for your company.
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