Paper Pointers

Paper comes in all sorts of colors, weights and finishes. At CardsDirect we give you the opportunity to select the paper stock you prefer when ordering many of our Photo Cards, Invitations and Digitally printed card designs. Not sure what the different terminology means when it comes to paper weights and finishes? Here are some pointers.

Recycled Matte White Paper Stock

Paper is often described by its weight. The most popular sheet of paper used in a copier or computer printer is 20 pound paper. The weight is determined by weighing 500 sheets (a ream) of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper. For greeting cards the paper is quite a bit thicker in order to fold nicely and feel sturdy, as well as accept ink cleanly. For card stocks, weight is based on 1,000 sheets of the parent stock standard manufactured sheet size. From the more affordable 70 lb. coated photo paper that is great for one-sided photo cards to the extra heavy 150 lb. premium coated matte, you can’t make a bad choice, as all of our stocks offer great print quality.

Paper “opacity” or show-through is also an important factor as you wouldn’t want the printing from one side of a page or sheet to be seen on the other side. Opacity is the percentage of light that passes through a sheet of paper. The amount of fibers and/or fillers determines a paper’s opacity. Thin sheets can be just as opaque as thicker sheets if they have more fiber in their composition. We have taken opacity into account when selecting the papers we offer as we know greeting cards inside and out!

The “finish” refers to the characteristics of the paper, such as the varying degrees of smoothness. Some finishes are incorporated into the manufacturing process while others are added separately or off-line when the paper is made. When selecting a paper for your greeting cards, your personal taste comes into play. Maybe you prefer a glossy finish as opposed to a matte or textured appearance. We offer textured felt for an artsy look and linen-look for a softer feel, among other choices. We even offer an excellent recycled paper option.

Here is a list of the papers CardsDirect offers on many of our card and invitation designs. You will also want to look for the “Designer Recommended” selection offered under each card design.

70 lb. Coated Photo Paper– Our 70 lb. coated
photo paper is an economical alternative to our heavier card stocks, custom made especially for CardsDirect. It has a smooth satin finish. Printing is not available on the back of the card when selecting this paper type.

110 lb. Value Satin Finish– Our 110 lb. value satin finish is a lighter version of our standard 130 lb. paper. It has a smooth coated satin finish on the outside, and is uncoated on the inside, making it ideal for signing with a felt tip or ink pen.

130 lb. Premium Satin Finish– The CardsDirect standard, our 130 lb. premium satin finish is an exceptionally heavy stock ideal for any type of card. It has a smooth coated satin finish on the outside, and is uncoated on the inside, making it ideal for signing with a felt tip or ink pen.

100 lb. Recycled Matte White– Our 100 lb. white recycled card stock is made from 100% post-consumer fibers. We carefully tested dozens of papers to find a recycled card stock that contains the fewest visible impurities while producing clean, crisp images. We are happy to be able to offer this recycled option.

130 lb. Premium High-Gloss Finish– Our 130 lb. high gloss finish is ideal when you require a smooth high-gloss finish. This is an exceptional heavy card stock and is uncoated on the inside and ideal for signing with a felt tip or ink pen.

90 lb. Premium Textured Linen– Our 90 lb. white linen is a premium card stock and features the rich, distinctive look and feel of natural linen. This fine linen paper is uncoated on both sides, adding a subtle elegance to any card.

150 lb. Premium Matte Coated– Our flagship card stock, this 150 lb. premium paper is extraordinarily heavy and exceeds the quality standards of many of our competitors. It features a silky smooth finish and is ideal for photo cards and stationery when you demand the very best.

100 lb. Premium Textured Felt– Our 100 lb. white textured felt is a premium stock with the vintage look and feel of textured fabric. This exquisite card stock is often preferred by professional photographers for photo cards to replicate the look of canvas.

110 lb. Ice Pearl Metallic– Our 110 lb. ice pearl card stock is a premium specialty paper that features a distinctive metallic shimmer. This heavy card stock adds a dramatic luminous effect to any card. It is coated on both sides so please note that felt-tip or similar pens may smudge when signing.

If you are ever in doubt on what paper to use, we will be glad to send a sample for you to preview. And remember to select envelopes to match!