When making an order with a print company, they will need to know details about the desired paper quality before they can produce your product. The paper you chose for your brochure can impact your brand image so it’s important to make the right decisions. There are two main things to consider before looking further into brochure printing, both which will affect how your brand comes across.

01. Paper density

Paper density refers to the thickness of the paper and is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). A higher GSM equates to a thicker paper which may give a more professional look, but it won’t be appropriate for every task. There are no specific rules for paper density, but some types will be more suitable than others.

  • 35-55 GSM is typically used for newspapers. The paper is thin and so effective for lots of pages which are low cost and don’t need to last long.
  • 90 GSM is a typical paper for inner magazine pages.
  • 130-170 GSM is a standard weight for a good quality poster.
  • 170-300 GSM would be suitable for most corporate brochure printing. You might need to compromise GSM slightly if you have a large number of pages to ensure the brochure lays flat and is not excessively bulky.
  • 350-400 GSM is thin card, so probably what your business cards are made from. If you chose too low a GSM for your business cards they will be flimsy and may give the wrong impression of your business.

 02. Finishes

Once you’ve chosen a paper thickness you can consider which finish would be most appropriate for your brochure.

Coated paper is treated to give it a glossy or matte finish. A product on coated paper (whether it’s matte or glossy) will end up looking more expensive.

Posters and photographs can be printed on paper which is only coated on one side.

Untreated paper has an unreflective surface suitable for everyday printing. There are several types, each with unique qualities which may make it more or less appropriate for specific tasks.

If you’re a charity it would be inappropriate to produce brochures which explain your campaigns and call for donations to be coated 250 GSM paper because it will give the wrong impression. Equally a company which is attempting to give a luxurious feel to their marketing might benefit from coated paper brochures.

While glossy coated paper tends to look best for brochures, it is more important that the appearance of your product fits with your brand image.

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