Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Paper Primer

If you have started looking for personal stationery or for an invitation for your special event you have probably come across some paper terminology. This post is just going to cover the basic terms you might encounter on your paper journey. If you find a term that is not covered here please email us or put your question in the comments of this post.

Your stationer is experienced with different types of papers and their applications across different mediums and printing methods. They will help pick out the best paper stock for your project.

COVER STOCK: cover stock is the weight of paper you will normally be concerned with when dealing with invitations. If a paper is cover stock it means it is thicker and feels more like a card.

TEXT: The other main paper weight category is Text and, as the name implies, text weight is what is mainly used for book pages and computer paper. For example, if you have a magazine or a paperback book the cover is probably cover weight and the inside pages are text weight. Envelopes are made out of text weight paper.

PAPER WEIGHT: You probably will not need to know anything other than Cover or Text but there are different weights of paper within both the cover and text categories. The weight of a paper is usually referred to by a number followed by pounds (for example, 110 lb. cover stock or 80 lb. text). The higher the number, the thicker the paper.

STOCK: The word stock is essentially interchangeable with the word paper. You may or may not hear paper referred to as stock.

HANDMADE: Handmade paper is made by hand instead of mass produced with machines.

COTTON: Paper can be made from other materials besides trees. A popular paper for letterpress printing as well as artists is cotton paper. It feels very soft in your hands and has a wonderful texture.

photo credit: shimmer studio

--dana [shimmer studio]

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