Thursday, 28 February 2008

Hints on Paper Use


1. For smaller leaflets, eg A4 or less, or for short runs, increasing the weight of your paper can be an inexpensive way of improving the quality of your print. Going from 115gsm to 135gsm might add less than £30 to the cost of 10,000 1/3 A4 leaflets.

nb these are bulk purchase prices obtained from a printer who buys £15,000 of the same brand paper each month. Recommended retail prices are up to 4 times higher!


1000 SRA2 sheets of matt Art paper:
115gsm 1000 sheets £28
130gsm 1000 sheets £32
150gsm 1000 sheets £37
170gsm 1000 sheets £42
250gsm card 1000 sheets £64
400gsm card 1000 sheets £78

From 1 sheet of SRA2 paper you can print:

1 x A2 poster or
2 x A3 posters
4 x A4 leaflets
6 x 2/3 A4 leaflets
8 x A5 leaflets
12 x 1/3 A4 leaflets
16 x A6 cards
1 x 24 page 1/3 A4 stitched booklet
1 x 16 page A5 stitched programme

1. If you were printing 100,000 24 page 1/3 A4 booklets, 115gsm would be thick enough paper for the job because the fold and bulk of the 24 pages adds strength. However, the cost of increasing to 135gsm would be £38.50 - £30 = £8 (cost difference per 1000 sheets) X 100 = £800. You should talk to your printer about possible paper cost increases and take advice about saving money by ordering your paper in bulk.

2. Specifying a particular brand (e.g.'Conqueror') usually costs you more than any equivalent that the printer has in stock. Ordering small quantities of special papers is often not possible.

3. When you are next at your Printer, see if he/she has any special papers in stock you might have at a discount. There may even be occasional opportunities for you to print small leaflets or cards on the same plate as a larger job.

4. If printing a single sheet A5 or even 2/3 A4 leaflet folded to 1/3 A4, be wary of using paper lighter than 115gsm. 135gsm - 150gsm is best if the leaflet needs to stand up in leaflet racks. Conversely, a stapled ("stitched") 1/3 A4 brochure has enough strength through the folding to allow you to use 115gsm or even 100 gsm paper.

7. Recycled paper is improving in quality all the time and getting cheaper. Why not ask your printer about recycled paper? Better still, give me a call on 01432 870528 and I can send samples on request. For coated papers, 9Lives is a good choice, as is Revive, which is however more expensive.

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