Need advice on which paper is right for your print job?
Brochures typically get printed on lightweight stocks. Look for papers with a gsm rating of less than 150. Best sellers include our 28# White Digital Color Copy and 80# White Gloss Text.
Flyers usually are printed on lightweight paper to save on cost. If printing in color, we recommend our 28# Digital White Color Copy. If you're printing in black, make your flyer stand out with one of our bright colors such as 24# Solar Yellow or pick 24# Re-Entry Red to show school spirit!
Lamination does not work well with coated paper stocks, so stay away from stocks with Gloss in its name. We recommend any of our Digital Color Copy stocks for laminated print jobs.
Postcards need to be on thicker paper. Select a stock with a gsm rating above 150. If your postcards will go through bulk mail, choose a paper with a gsm above 199. Our best sellers are the 100# Digital Color Copy Cover and the 100# Gloss Cover.
Posters can be printed on lightweight or heavyweight paper, however ones on heavier paper tend to last longer. Our best sellers are the 60# Digital Color Copy Cover and the 100# Gloss Text.
Two-Sided Printing can be an issue if the paper is so thin that the backside image can be seen from the front. If your document is all text, you can probably pick any stock you want. But if your document has lots of ink coverage, you'll want to steer away from our 20# bond and 24# Digital. If you want the best quality, we recommend our 28# Digital Color Copy. If you are on a budget, you'll be perfectly satisfied with our 60# Digital Opaque.
Bond, Text, and Writing - lightweight papers
20# White Bond: standard multi-purpose copy paper, 97 bright, 75 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 8.5x14, 11x17
60# White Cougar Opaque: official UA stationary paper, 98 bright, 89 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
24# White Digital Color Copy: high quality, smooth finish, 98 bright, 90 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 8.5x14, 11x17
28# White Digital Color Copy: high quality, smooth finish, 98 bright, 105 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18
24# White Thesis Archival Bond: acid-free, 25% cotton, watermarked, 92 bright, 90 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11
24# Brilliant White Classic Crest Writing: high quality, watermarked, 93 bright, 90 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11
20# White 30% Recycled White Bond: 30% PCF content, 92 bright, 75 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
28# White 100% Recycled White Bond: 100% PCF content, 96 bright, 105 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 8.5x14, 11x17
80# White Gloss Text: gloss coated, 91 bright, 118 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18
100# White Gloss Text: gloss coated, 91 bright, 148 gsm, sizes: 12x18
Index & Cover - heavyweight papers
60# White Hammermill Cover: high quality, smooth finish, 100 bright, 163 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 8.5x14, 11x17
90# White Index Cover: economical cardstock, 92 bright, 163 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
80# White Cougar Opaque Cover: official UA stationary paper, 98 bright, 216 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
80# White Hammermill Cover: high quality, smooth finish, 100 bright, 216 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18
110# White Index: economical cardstock, 92 bright, 199 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
12pt White Photo Paper: gloss coated on 1 side, 91 bright, 250 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17
100# White Gloss Cover: gloss coated, 91 bright, 270 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18
100# White Hammermill Cover: high quality, smooth finish, 100 bright, 271 gsm, sizes: 8.5x11, 11x17, 12x18
10mil Synthetic Polyester: water, heat, chemical, and tear-resistant, sizes: 12x18
Adhesive White Vinyl: , sizes: 8.5x11, 12x18
Matte vs Gloss Paper Not sure which paper stock to choose?
Matte Paper has a non-coated surface looks dull and lusterless. It is used in industry to produce good quality prints but it doesn't have a vibrant color finish. Matte paper is not glossy and therefore finger marks or glare from the sun are not a problem. A good use of matte paper would be indoors in which the lighting might cause reflections. Due to the non-reflective nature of this paper, it would be ideal. Disadvantages of matte papers include the fact they soak more ink into the paper, this will affect the sharpness of the image. When printing macro shots, portraits or other images that rely in small details, you may be better off using glossy paper.
Glossy Paper is the most common paper for printing photos. It produces a sharp and vibrant image. Glossy paper is also very smooth to touch. Disadvantages include the fact it is easy to mark them with fingerprints or dust. Glossy photos are best framed so that no dirt or fingerprints can touch the image. Glossy paper is also more reflective and shiny which is a problem if you plan to view the image in a sunny area. If you need your images to be as sharp as possible then you might want to think about using glossy paper.
All Fast Copy papers are considered to be matte finish unless specified as gloss.
DIGITAL PRINTING VS. OFFSET PRINTING
Fast Copy is a digital printer, meaning all of our printing is done on digital presses and devices. We often get the question - "What's better, offset or digital printing?" And our answer is always - "Well it depends!" So here is what it depends on, and here are the advantages and disadvantages of both.
First, some print definitions:
Digital Printing - Images are digitally transferred to paper using lasers, positive and negative static charges and either dry toner or liquid suspended toner particles. No plates need to be created and varying images can be transferred to paper quickly and efficiently. Digital presses differ from standard laser printers in the tight tolerances they are kept in, technologies developed in the offset world, and the graphics arts software that controls them. They also offer sheet sizes up to 13"x19" and up the 350GSM in weight.
Offset Printing - An image is transferred, or "offset," from a plate, to a rubber blanket, to the sheet of paper where the ink is applied. Those inks can be a four color process (CMYK) or a combination of Pantone (SPOT) colors. The plate is created (using computer-to-plate technology) prior to printing and contains the printed image. Plates are created in separations for the colors being used. For example, if a 4 Color CMYK press is being used, four plates, one for each color is created. Because of set up, offset printing is intended for larger runs, with longer turnarounds.
Benefits of Digital Printing:
- Fast Turnaround to meet tight deadlines
- Fast Set Up and no Plate Creation
- Less waste
- Variable Data (VDP) is available
- Because there is no costly set up, digital printing is cheaper for shorter runs (less than 5,000)
- On Demand Printing is available
- Sheet sizes up to 13" x 19"
Benefits of Offset Printing:
- Slightly better image quality (although that is becoming more debatable as digital press technology advances)
- Larger range of Media Handling (some offset presses can print on wood, plastic, cardboard, metal, and leather)
- The higher the volume, the less expensive it is to print
- Larger sheet size possible on larger presses
So how do you choose?
- Quantity - If this is a long run print job with a very high quantity, than offset may be cheaper than digital. Small and medium runs may benefit from digital as there is no set up.
- Turnaround - Digital will always be faster, and can help you meet deadlines. Offset printing will take longer, mainly because of press set up and plate creation.
- Proofing - Because of setup an actual proof off an offset press is very expensive. With a digital press, a single sheet can be printed prior to the run, and then easily repeated once approved. If a proof is required, and the job can be run on a digital press, proofing would not be an issue.
- Customization - VDP, On Demand and quick file changes are all possible using Digital Presses. These are either not available or as easy to accomplish on an offset press.
- Color Matching - When using CMYK, Offset and Digital presses both produce similar results. When using pantone or SPOT colors, offset presses offer more accurate matching as the actual liquid color ink is used. However, digital presses can match a large number of Pantone colors by mixing CMYK. We offer color matching services to get an accurate match on a digital press. Documents designed using an RGB color space (such as office documents) will match better on a digital press as software controlling color matching accurately converts RGB to CMYK.
- Paper Selection - Digital presses max out at 350GSM, while offset can go with heavier stock. Offset presses also offer larger sheet sizes and more substrates.
Whenever the answer is digital, be sure to use Fast Copy! We use high-end digital presses at Fast Copy, and our team would be more than happy to give you a cost estimate and a proof of your file. We can turn around the print job quickly and help you meet your deadline, and the best part is your money stays on UA campus to support student jobs, programs, and services!