When you first sit down to write a letter, you may reach for a plain piece of notebook paper. If you’re a more savvy letter writer, however, you might have something more suited for this specific task, like personalized stationery. The paper weight and texture you choose usually depends on the type of message you want to create. If you’ve ever wondered how paper thickness and texture can affect your message, here are a few examples of why paper type is important:
The flowing ink and various nibs you use for calligraphy can be very sensitive to the paper you’re using. If you’re working on a final draft for a project, you want to make sure you’re using the correct paper so your end product will look its best.
When it comes to practicing, copy paper works just fine. You don’t want a rough material because the nib of your pen will catch on the uneven surface, leaving blobs of ink and inconsistencies across the page. That’s why plain copy paper is the perfect practice material – it’s cheap and smooth, so you can work on your lines without worrying about the grain.
Once you’re happy with your design, ditch the copy paper for something more substantial. Choose a heavier weight and use something like archival paper. The thicker material will feel more professional to your reader and will also reduce the risk of bleeding ink, so the letters of your message will be crisp and clear. Water color paper can also work, but test out a few different types until you find one you like.
Card stock paper
If you don’t plan to add any decorative embellishments with pen, ink or paint to your cards, then a simple card stock will suffice. This type of material is better than plain notebook or printer paper because it is thicker, yet still flexible. The heavier weight will help the message last longer and will lend itself well to years of handling or scrapbooking.
Card stock is useful because you can find it in a variety of colors, sizes and designs, as well. So, even if you plan to do more crafty messages, having some plain card stock on hand won’t hurt.
Other paper types
Most of the time, specific art projects require a certain type of paper. For instance, if you like water colors, then make sure you use a water color paper for your final letter paper. This material is made specifically for absorbing moisture and will not bleed or warp like normal printer paper would. The paper you use for these projects will help you achieve your desired look.
The same can be said for other art forms, like drawing. Yes, you can create a clear picture using plain materials, but the image may be more clear and easier to create on specific sketch paper.
Aside from stocking up on materials that work for your design purposes, consider the feel of the paper, as well. If you’re sending an invitation, thicker paper with a smooth texture will look professional and be more impressive than if you were to print off an invite on normal paper. The same goes for professional correspondences. You can easily make your cover letter or resume stand out from the rest by printing out a copy on a thicker material. It will feel more substantial in an employer’s hands, and they’ll be sure to take notice of the difference.
So, the next time you sit down to write a letter or other message, consider what impact you’re trying to make and how your designs will work on the paper. You’ll be surprised how changing your stationery can affect the overall look and feel of your letter.