Collection: Print Shop Virginia Beach, VA

Print Shop Virginia Beach, VA Printer


Top quality wholesale printing with lower prices than other printers with custom graphic design included in every printing order!
 
 
ABOUT PAPER STOCK CHOICES

 

What is Paper Thickness?

Paper thickness is usually mentioned when talking about cover stock, and it's simply a measurement of how many hundredths of an inch thick a single sheet of the paper is. The thickness of a paper is expressed by points, where a point is equal to one thousandth or .001 inches. Paper that is 10pt is 0.01 inches thick, 20pt is 0.02 inches thick, etc.

Business cards are great examples of different paper thicknesses. Most business cards are printed on 12 or 14pt cover stock, while extra thick cards are printed on 18pt or 24pt (or thicker) stock.

Other products usually printed on thick papers include hang tags, door hangers, bookmarks, packaging, and table tents.


 

What is Paper Weight?

Paper weight is harder to define. Depending on what country you're in, the weight of paper can be specified differently. The measurement comes from how much a ream of paper of a particular size weighs.

Paper is weighed in stacks of 500 sheets, and the resulting weight in pounds is the weight designation for that paper. If 500 sheets of text weight paper weighs 60 pounds, the paper is called "60# text." If the sheets are cover stock that weighs 120 pounds, the paper is called "120# cover."

In most cases, the greater the weight the thicker the paper. Could you have a thin paper that is also higher weight? Sure, it would be very dense. But the inverse, a thick paper that isn't a higher weight, is uncommon. Here are some examples:
  • 60# text: copy or printer paper, like the paper used for legal documents
  • 80# text: heavier paper used for flyers, posters, or brochures
  • 120# cover: basically thin cardboard, great for postcards, business cards, and note cards


14pt Cardstock

First, let’s look at 14pt cardstock. 14pt cardstock is the more common option due to the fact that it is cheaper than 16pt cardstock. Although it is not as stiff as 16pt, it still has a rigid feel to it and will not flop/bend on its own. 14pt also has the same printing quality as 16pt. Because it is more cost-effective, 14pt is a great option if you are looking to do large quantities. 

 

16pt Cardstock

The second option is 16pt cardstock. 16pt cardstock is thicker than 14pt, and as a result, has a higher quality feel. The added thickness also makes it more durable and longer lasting than 14pt. This is a better option for business cards if you are going to carry them with you in your wallet or purse, as they are less likely to bend, crease or get damaged corners.

 

100lb Glossbook

The third and final option is 100lb gloss book paper (sometimes written as 100# paper). 100lb paper is more commonly used for things like brochures and flyers–things that will be handed out in large quantities. It is both thinner and cheaper than 14pt and 16pt cardstock. 100lb glossbook paper has a similar feel to regular printing paper, but is slightly thicker. It is very flexible. It can be bent and folded, making it a great option for folded brochures like bifolds, trifolds, and z-folds. 

 

14pt Vs 16pt 

14pt and 16pt are the most common thicknesses for business cards. Visually, there isn’t much of a difference between the two. 14pt cardstock and 16pt cardstock look very similar side-by-side, but when multiple are stacked together, the difference becomes so apparent that the 16 pt stack is noticeably 1/3 thicker than the 14 pt stack!
Although they may look similar, the real difference is in the feel: 16pt cardstock is noticeably stiffer than 14pt cardstock.

 

GSM

In reference to paper, GSM stands for grams per square meter. GSM is a common measurement used to better understand the quality of paper: the higher the GSM, the heavier the paper. See the table below for a GSM comparison:
GSM Use
35gsm – 55gsm Newspaper
90gsm – 100gsm Common printing paper
120gsm – 140gsm Brochures, flyers, 
210gsm – 300gsm Magazine covers and Light Cardstock
350gsm – 400gsm Thick cardstock

Thickness

14pt cardstock and 16pt cardstock both get their names from their thickness. Each ‘point’ is equal to .001 of an inch. For example, a 10pt cardstock would be .01 inches thick. 14pt cardstock is .014 inches thick, 16pt cardstock is .016 inches thick, and so on.

Choosing the Right Thickness & Weight

Paper weight and thickness have a huge impact on your final piece and it can be confusing. You should talk to a printing professional before you choose a critical stock, but here are some things to keep in mind when you're picking paper thickness and weight.
  • Thicker paper produces better results for die-cutting, embossing and foil stamping.
  • Paper that's being mailed as a self-mailer may have to be a certain thickness to pass US postal regulations (the final thickness has to be at least 7 or 9 point, depending on the size).
  • You pay to mail paper by weight so keep paper that will be mailed the right weight for the size of the mailing piece.
  • Thinner paper is usually cheaper and uses less material, making it more environmentally friendly.
  • If you're printing a catalog or magazine-style piece, make sure the cover and interior paper stocks are the right thickness for your project, as there can be binding issues with some combinations and configurations.
  • Thicker paper is more rugged and can typically hold up to a beating better than thinner paper.
  • SmartFlex is a plastic paper that looks, feels, and acts just like paper but is water resistant and tear resistant.
 

How does Matte compare to Uncoated stock?

A matte coating is still a coating on your paper. It may look matte, but it will resist smudges; and printing, especially images, will look sharper and more vibrant. Matte coated paper is usually ok to write on, but lacks the tactile feel of uncoated paper. Uncoated stock is naked paper - it's perfect for writing.  

I need to know more about weight versus thickness / pound versus point size.

Thickness indicates how thick the paper is and is usually referred to in point sizes or thousandths of an inch. The smaller the point, the thinner the paper. Some synthetic papers like our SmartFlex material, are sold in a 'mil' designation, also equal to one thousandth - these are all interchanged measurements.

Weight is how much the paper weighs, usually measured in pounds. In some cases, paper can be thin and heavy, or thick and light - but usually thicker paper weighs more.  

What is the lightest stock you carry?

60# uncoated text is the lightest and thinnest we carry in an uncoated sheet, and 80# gloss text is the lightest coated sheet. Both are approximately 3.5 points thick.  

What's a good paper stock to write on?

Any uncoated stock is best for writing. It's naked paper, and it lets you write with ink or pencil without a problem. It also soaks up water and other liquids so it's not a great choice if you're printing underwater post-it notes. If you have to have a coated stock for better print quality, matte stocks can sometimes be used with certain types of pens. You'll want to do testing to make sure you use a combination that works for you.  

What kinds of paper are the most durable?

Generally speaking, the thicker the paper the more durable it is, but this can change quickly depending on how it is coated. Thick, heavy uncoated paper will turn into sludge if you drop it in water. Thin paper covered in a UV coating will brush the water right off. If you want the most durable paper of all, use the plastic-based SmartFlex. It feels like paper, acts like paper, and prints like paper but it is water resistant and tear-proof.  

Decoding Points and Pounds

Paper measurements can be tough to figure out. With stocks labeled with both points and pounds and so many different types to choose from, it can be tricky to decode what these labels mean. Luckily, we’re here to help! Here’s your quick guide to points, pounds, and a little advice on how to decode them.  

What’s the Difference?

The big difference between point and pound measurements is what they are actually measuring. When you see a paper labeled with points, you’re actually seeing a measurement of the thickness. The higher the pt. value, the thicker the paper is. Each pt. is equal to .001 inch, so 14 pt. paper measures in at .014 inches thick. Pound measurements, on the other hand, are used to measure the physical weight of the paper in pounds. Weights range from 20 to 80 pounds for bond paper and 50 to 140 pounds for card stock. They calculate this by weighing one ream of a given stock. With both of these measurements, you can be sure of one very important thing: the bigger the number, the more heft the stock will have.  

How Do These Stocks Measure Up? It can be hard to match up thicknesses and weights because the measurements simply aren’t easy to translate. For example, 12 pt. card stock weighs in at approximately 100 lb., but that’s not a precise equivalent. Your best bet is to focus on the type of paper first and the weight or thickness afterward. This confusing set of measurements also means that your customers might have a hard time visualizing the stock thickness when they’re just reading numbers. Want to make that better?

What does 16pt paper mean?

To get the obvious out of the way, 16pt card stock is thicker than its 14pt counterpart, giving it a higher quality feel. The added weight makes it extra durable, meaning your business card investment should last longer, and survive the perils of being squished into your recipients' wallets.

 
What Pound is normal paper?

The most common paper weight today is 20 lb. One rule of thumb to follow is: The heavier the basic weight, the thicker the sheet.
 
 
What is the heaviest card stock weight?

The 80 lb card stock is the most common weight of card stock, and is used for DIY invitations, card making, scrapbooking, flyers, post cards, die-cutting, menus, craft projects, program, and business cards. If you are needing to fold the 80 lb cardstock, we would recommending scoring the stock before folding it.

 
What is the thickest card stock?

The thickest of thick, 110lb and up extra heavy card stock is anything ≥ 110lb Cover. Perfect for high end, statement making invitations, packaging & marketing collateral.
 
     

 
ABOUT COATING OPTIONS
UV coating is an excellent way to make your print marketing materials stand out: UV coating provides a brilliant glossy sheen to your business cards, postcards, flyers and other materials. Having your print marketing materials UV coated also provides a thick layer of protection for long-lasting durability that gives you the greatest bang for your marketing buck. What does UV coating mean, how does it work, what are the advantages and benefits of UV coating on your print job? The follow details what UV coating is and why you need it for your print marketing materials.
 
What is UV coating?
UV coating is a clear compound that is applied to paper wet, then instantly dried by ultraviolet light (UV coating is short for ultraviolet coating). Several types of compounds are used to coat paper; UV coating chemicals include polyethylene, calcium carbonate and kaolinite. These compounds are refined and mixed with viscosifiers that help them adhere to paper. A UV coating machine is used to apply the coating after printing.
UV coatings can vary in reflectivity and thickness, depending on the application, though a high-gloss or subtle matte UV coating are typically used for premium printing applications.
UV coating can be applied to your entire product, both front and back, or just on one side. You can also opt for spot UV coating, in which an ultraviolet coat is applied only to certain spots on your design (a great way to make logos or photos stand out).  
Aqueous vs. UV vs. Lamination
Is UV coating waterproof? No, UV coating is not waterproof, but it is water resistant.
UV coating shouldn’t be confused with other types of paper finishing processes, such as aqueous coating and lamination.
Aqueous coating vs. UV coating: Aqueous coating is water-based, and though it can be a good coating option for paper, UV coating offers greater gloss and better protection.
UV coating vs. lamination: Lamination offers good protection, but the lamination process requires edge trimming – which can increase production costs. Lamination can offer waterproofing, where UV coating does not
As you can see, the UV coating process differs from other types of paper finishes and offers its own distinct advantages.  

What are the advantages and benefits of UV coating?

There are two primary advantages to UV coating:
1. UV coating offers a beautiful glossy sheen that makes your marketing tools stand out. A UV coating on business cards, for example, will make them more attractive than uncoated business cards. UV coating is also smooth to the touch, which means it offers a pleasant tactile experience that customers notice

2. UV coating protects your print marketing tools. The coating helps resist abrasions, scratches, rubbing and ink smudging. That means your marketing tools look great, longer and stretch your marketing dollars farther. This is particularly important if you need to protect direct-mailers such as postcards, which get shuffled in with other mailers, and when you’re placing posters, brochures, and other marketing tools in high-traffic public locations where they’re likely to be handled. Both benefits mean UV coating offers a competitive advantage that can enhance your brand image and maximize your return on investment. UV coating is also eco-friendly, since it releases no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) once cured.  

Why you should have your print marketing materials UV coated

There are three great reasons to apply UV coating to your marketing materials. First, a UV coating will enrich your design and enhance your colors. A bright, glossy sheen lends itself to vibrant colors that pop off the paper, so your artwork stands out and attracts attention. For example, printing UV coated business cards will be more attractive than uncoated business cards – plus, they won’t scuff in people’s wallets. Second, a UV coating suggests premium products and services. You’re a first-class brand, and looking the part inspires customer confidence. When you print premium marketing tools with UV coating, it lends the impression that your company is successful – and if you are successful, you likely have a great track record of satisfied customers. The bottom line: People will feel more comfortable doing business with you. Finally, UV coating protects your marketing materials so they last longer – and the longer they last, the more they can work to earn response. Longevity means you can increase your return on investment and get more mileage out of each dollar invested. For example, if you print UV coated vinyl stickers, they’ll last much longer than uncoated stickers.
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