Pulp Fundamentals (1,669 words)
What will you print on it? Type, pictures, heavy ink, light ink? And, what kind of a message are you trying to get across? All of these considerations will affect your decision on what kind of paper to use for each component in your direct mail package.
Outer Envelopes—Usually printed on 24-pound White Wove but remember, wove comes in other colors. Be careful of the barcode reflectance. You can also use Kraft paper, if it's going to be big and heavy, or 70-pound coated one-side paper. This is used when you're going to print a glossy outer envelope. The one-side coating keeps the envelope from slipping around a lot as it's being folded.
Letters—Usually printed on uncoated 50-pound to 70-pound text paper. Sometimes lighter paper, 40-pound opaque or heavier 80-pound text is used. It can be colored and/or textured too. Watch out for opacity. Matte coated paper can be used if you're going to print some four-color process on the letter and want it to jump out from the sheet.
Brochures—Usually printed on coated text. Coated papers are sold by grade, which measure the different characteristics we discussed previously. Premium #1 is the best paper and number #5 is the lowest grade. We usually use between grade #2 and #4 in direct mail depending on your product and your budget and we use between 50-pound and 80-pound weight. Again, some people use as low as 40-pound and as heavy as 100-pound, or more. Again, the heavier weight the "richer" it will look and the more you'll pay for paper.
Order forms—We often print order forms on card stock (uncoated or Matte coated) so they can be mailed as postcards. If the order form must be returned in an envelope, it isn't necessary to use such a heavy paper. Use matte stock if you're printing a nice four-color photo of your product. Otherwise, use uncoated stock.