Pulp Fundamentals (1,669 words)
Finishes can add to the beauty and interest of a direct mail piece. We spoke before of coated vs. uncoated paper and various coatings. Uncoated text papers have many finishes available. They include Laid, Basket Weave, Linen and many more. They will affect the appearance of your printed piece so be sure to discuss these implications with your printer.
The smoothness of the surface of the paper is known as surface integrity. Think of it as the surface of a lake in which you can see the reflection of the trees. If the lake is smooth, you can see a perfect mirror image. If the wind blows and there are ripples on the water, the image will be distorted. The same is true with the images on the surface of paper. The dots that are being printed will be greatly affected by the smoothness of the surface. The smoother the surface, the nicer the reproduction, the more expensive the paper.
A paper's brightness is important because when you look at something printed, you're seeing light go through the ink and reflecting back from the paper. The brighter the paper, the brighter the printing will look.
We know what four-color reproduction will look like on white paper. If we printed on yellow paper, the colors would look different to us. That can make a very nice effect if your designer knows what he/she is doing. We can certainly use colored papers when we are printing type. It can be a very inexpensive way to make your package stand out. As mentioned previously, colored wove papers for envelopes can be very effective.
Now that we've discussed all these different characteristics, let's look at what options are available. When ordering paper, the first thing you usually think of is its intended purpose. Will it be an envelope, letter, order card or brochure?