Paper Choices

There are many different things to consider when deciding which type of paper to print on. Everything from color brightness and image clarity are affected by the kind of paper you use.

Coated vs. Uncoated

Coated papers provide excellent color, smoothness, opacity and print definition. They are ideal for printing projects such as photographs and brochures. Coated papers come in a variety of finishes, the two most common being glossy and matte. Glossy paper reflects light creating a shiny appearance. Matte paper absorbs light creating a non-reflective surface that is easier to read.

Uncoated papers come in a variety of textures and finishes. They have a more natural look and work great for invitations, stationery and business cards. Uncoated papers can have a smooth finish or one that’s more textural like linen and felt. Choosing the right finish for your printed project is important to give it the best overall look and feel.

It is important to know what the final finished application of your printed project will be when choosing a paper. Ask yourself the following questions:

Will the project be mailed?

If so, you may want to add a coating or a varnish to protect your project from damage in the mail. You may also want to choose a lighter weight substrate that will pass easily through postal sorting machines.

Are there many photos?

If you have bright colored photos in your design. Gloss coated paper is better suited for photos while uncoated or matte coated paper is ideal for readability.

Opacity

A paper’s opacity describes the amount of light which is transmitted through it. This determines how much printing will be seen through the reverse side of a sheet. Complete opacity is 100% which means that no light can pass through, while a lower percentage lets more light through. Opacity is important to have in mind when printing booklets, as a sheet with good opacity will prevent ”show through text” when printing on both sides. A paper’s opacity can increase or decrease depending on the use of different fillers, but also by its weight, whiteness or coating.

Brightness

The brightness measures the percentage of a wavelength of blue light that a sheet reflects. It’s typically expressed on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the brightest. Most papers reflect 60-90% of light. The brightness of a paper can effect readability, the perception of ink color and the contrast between light and dark hues.

How is the weight of paper measured?

Paper weight is an important component to consider when printing. Heavier media often conveys quality and provides durability. Unfortunately, sorting through the various methods of labeling a paper’s weight is not always straightforward. First, there are three common methods for specifying paper weight and thickness: U.S. Basis Weight (Bond, Book, Index, Cover, Tag, Points, Offset ), Metric weight (GSM or G/m2) and, often interchangeable, Points or Mils (an actual Caliper reading of the paper thickness).

The U.S. Basis (not basic) Weights, are the most confusing, simply because the same paper can yield different values based on the “Basis Weight” applied while manufacturing the paper. And higher values don’t always equate to heavier/thicker print media. For example, a sheet of 100lb Text paper is actually much thinner than an 80lb Cover stock.

The “Basis Weight” is defined as the weight of 500 sheets of paper in its basic unit uncut size, which means before being cut to Letter size or Legal size, the paper is weighed and categorized. The most common sizes, some of which you may recognize, are Bond, Text, Book, Cover, Index and Tag. An uncut sheet of Bond paper is 17 x 22 inches, while an uncut sheet of Cover paper is 20 x 26 inches. If 500 sheets of Bond paper (17 x 22 inches) weigh 20 lbs, then a ream of paper cut to Letter size will be labeled as 20 lb. And if 500 sheets of Cover paper (20 x 26 inches) weigh 65 lbs, then a ream of this paper trimmed to tabloid size would be marked as 65lb. This may be a lot to grasp, but don’t feel overwhelmed! Often professional printers don’t keep track of all the permutations. Based on experience from using a small subset, they have a pretty good idea of what to expect when reaching for a 24lb Bond versus a 60lb Cover versus a 110lb Index.

Print Checklist

Here’s a Quick Checklist of Info we will Need

Quantity: number of finished pieces. Account for the offset printer’s industry standard that dictates a window of 5% overs or unders.

Page Count

Stock: choose from various weights and finishes of offset, text or cover weight paper.

Color: the number of colors to be printed (full color is CMYK, or 4). Common colors combinations include 4/4, 4/0, 2/2 and 2/0. Be sure to indicate if your margins bleed or not, as well as any special coatings you require.

Coatings: Gloss, Dull, Satin, UV.

Flat Size: width x height. The size of your piece before bindery.

Bindery: folding, collating, binding, die-cutting, finishing, 3-hole drill, shrink wrapping etc. Include instructions or a PDF of your file for more complex projects.

Finished Size: the size of your piece after bindery.

Artwork: let us know how you’ll be providing your native or high-resolution PDF files: via email, FTP site.

Proofs: go paperless by choosing emailed PDF proofs. Need to verify color before printing? Indicate an assembled color proof in your job quote request.

Delivery: store it, ship it, overnight it or send via direct mail. Plus, take advantage of our Fulfillment Center for your on-demand product shipment needs.

Our Latest Arrival

At Schneider Graphics we are always looking for ways to add more value for our customers…so we are very excited to introduce our new Ryobi 750 Series Offset Press. This press offers state of the art technology and automation leading to faster set ups, greater color consistency and improved overall print quality that is second to none. Combine that with the ability to utilize a larger sheet size which allows for greater flexibility when laying out your projects. What does all this mean to you? Not only will your print projects look great but they will be produced faster with more efficiency… which ultimately leads to lower printing costs.

Whether its brochures and booklets or pocket folders to packaging – this is just another step we at Schneider Graphics have taken in order to make your print projects, and more importantly YOU look great!

Coatings

If your marketing materials are going out on the town, might as well dress them up with a coating…

Why are coatings used on printing?

Print coatings are used on printed products primarily for protection or to achieve certain visual effects. Coatings can provide protection from moisture, scuffing, scratching and finger prints. They can also be applied to one or both sides of a printed piece to create a glossy or dull finish or can be applied selectively to highlight a certain visual element.

Types of print coatings

·     Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coating is a clear, fast-drying water-based coating that is used to protect printed pieces. It provides a high-gloss, satin or dull surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards and other mailed pieces as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they are carried in peoples’ wallets. It also looks beautiful on brochures, catalogs and presentation folders. Aqueous coatings provide more substantial scuff-resistance than varnishes. Aqueous is typically applied to the entire printed piece, usually by the last unit on a printing press. Due to its water base, aqueous coating is more environmentally friendly than varnish or UV coatings.

·      Varnish

Varnish is basically clear ink and can be gloss, satin or dull. A flood varnish covers the entire printed page for protection or sheen. A spot varnish allows you to highlight specific areas of a printed piece and adds shine and depth to specific elements on the page such as a logo or image. Varnishes are also applied on-press, but they are heavier-bodied and can be applied (like inks) to only certain areas (spot varnish). A plate must be created to apply a spot varnish, so artwork is necessary.

·      UV Coating

UV coatings are cured by exposure to ultraviolet light to quickly dry and harden the coating. UV coatings provide the highest gloss versus other coatings but may crack when scored or folded due to the thickness and hardness of the coating. Some find it too shiny for some uses. UV coatings can be applied as a flood (covering the entire printed sheet) or as a spot coating and can be applied on or off press. UV compatible inks must be used on sheets that will be UV coated. UV coated sheets cannot be foil stamped and embossing should be done after the coating.

 

·      Soft Touch Coating

This coating creates a velvety texture. The paper becomes “soft” to the touch and increases the tactile appeal. It creates a softer look and feel on printed materials than either aqueous or UV coating, while creating a barrier which is fingerprint resistant. It dries fast, is non-yellowing, and is eco-friendly. Luxurious and sophisticated are words often used to describe the effect Soft Touch® coating produces.

When should a print coating be used?

In most instances a coating will help protect and enhance your final printed product. They are a must for any piece being mailed, or recommended for any product printed on coated paper that will get handled, such as business cards, brochures, bookmarks, rack cards, catalogs or presentation folders. Your printer can help you decide what type of coating is right for your project.

When should a print coating not be used?

There are certain times when you do want your paper to go naked. It may be difficult to write on coated paper, especially if it has a glossy coating. If you are ordering greeting or note cards and intend to write inscriptions on the inside make sure to specify no coating on the inside of the card. The same goes for the address side of postcards or other mailing panels unless your printer or mailing house assures you they can print addresses on coated paper. If in doubt ask for some samples and run them through your printer or try writing on them.

 

Schneider Graphics offers a variety of coatings. Call us if you’d like to learn more or would like us to send you some samples.

 

 

Submitting files for print

Please remember
.125 bleed
All .jpg, .psd, .tif, .eps are 4c process and 300dpi. (RGB files can color shift)
Include all links used
Include all fonts used. (including fonts used in any AI links)
If using pms colors please specify
If pms colors are converting to 4c process all should match the
pantone swatch book colors (including AI links)
All art should be submitted head to head with both sides vertically or horizontly

Digital Printing with Offset Quality Comes to Schneider Graphics

Recently, we installed our new Indigo digital press, allowing us to expand the types of print projects we can do for you.

We spent a lot of time doing our homework because, quite frankly, we haven’t been overly impressed with the quality produced by many digital presses. However, the Indigo press is the closest to offset quality we’ve seen. And, it allows us to do some really great things.

Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • It’s a six-color press with the ability to print true spot PMS and brand colors
  • We can print on a wide variety of substrates: coated, uncoated, dark, transparent, metallic and synthetics
  • It can handle thick substrates  — from 3pt to 16pt board
  • White ink!
  • Security printing: ElectroInk UV red creating print that is only visible under UV light

We’re very excited about this new addition! We’ve been keeping it quite busy and look forward to showing you what it can do very soon.

Schneider Graphics Opens a New Facility in Lake Zurich

Schneider Graphics is pleased to announce the opening of our new 22,000 square foot facility in Lake Zurich. Open since late February, the new plant has been a welcome change for everyone.

“We were leasing our old space and when it came time to do some much needed upgrades, we decided our best bet was to start from the ground up,” said Greg Schneider, president of Schneider Graphics.

“We designed a building that will help us be more efficient, modernize our technology and create a space that’s exactly what we want. We’re excited to be here and we look forward to showing off our new home soon.”