Pulp Fundamentals (1,669 words)
Text papers are used for letters, brochures and order forms. Text papers come with different finishes. They can be coated or uncoated. The usual coatings are gloss (typically used for brochures), matte and dull coat. These coatings allow the ink to sit on top of the paper and not get absorbed by it. This helps keep the dots sharp so that the images will not look fuzzy.
Gloss coating is the slickest and shiniest. Matte and dull coat are also coated but not as slick. This makes them great for pieces you want to print with four-color pictures when the recipient has to write on them. It's easier to write on paper when the coating is not so slick. It's also better to use when you are marketing to seniors. The reduced glare makes it easier to read.
Uncoated text papers are used for letters, order forms, buck slips, etc.—pieces that should be easy to read and write on and do not have to show four color art. That is not to say they can't be used for four-color printing. Many printers can print four-color process on uncoated papers very beautifully. Fancy brochures are often printed on textured uncoated stock and, many magazine insert cards are too. We just don't see it as often. When the paper is uncoated, the ink can be absorbed and the dots will spread. They won't be as sharp as on coated paper. This dot spread is not a problem when you're printing type or simple photos, charts and so on.
The weight of the paper you use also has great effect on your direct mail piece. First of all, there are some postal regulations you must be aware of. The minimum weight of stock for a postcard is 75-pound text weight. The paper must also bulk to .007˝ if your mail piece is no larger than 41⁄4˝ x 6˝. If it is, it must be .009˝ thick.