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Paper Materials And You!

Probably one of the most intimidating parts of ordering material online is… well, the material. If you’re not part of the printing business then you’ll probably get easily befuddled by all these strange terms. Thankfully they’re not as intimidating as they seem and the most commonly ordered material usually goes hand-in-hand with certain purposes. Here we’re going to go over M3 Printing’s most commonly used printing paper so that you know exactly what you’re ordering.

Paper Stocks

14 Point Cardstock

14 Point (or Pt) Cardstock is the closest you will come to a ‘standard’ cardstock. It is by far the most prolific and common material used for business cards, postcards, flyers, and other material that is intended to be printed in large quantities and handed out en masse.

Due to its ubiquitous nature it also tends to be the cheapest and faster material to print as well. Should you need something at the lowest cost or in the quickest timeframe 14pt Cardstock is the best choice for most standard items. Our 14pt Cardstock is what is known as “CS2” which means it has a very slight semigloss coating.

Used for: Everything! Most commonly flyers and business cards. The best choice for cost effectiveness and turnaround.

16 Point Cardstock

16pt Cardstock is generally considered the next step up from 14pt. It’s slightly thicker and slightly more durable without significantly raising the cost of the product. If you’re looking to add a bit of a premium feel to your business cards without breaking the bank it’s often one of the best possible choices. Please note that we don’t recommend 16pt for rush orders as the material takes slightly longer to cut and dry.

Used For: Business Cards and occasionally flyers that are not a rush.

32 Point Cardstock

32pt cardstock is generally considered ‘ultra-thick’ or extremely thick material. It is the go-to for premium high-end business cards and is often paired with a specialized coating like suede or silk to give it even more of a sophisticated feel. It’s also among the best choices to be given specialized treatments like Spot UV or embossing as the thickness of the material tends to pair well with those kinds of embellishments.

However, the thickness of the material tends to both raise the cost and turnaround time. Due to the time needed to produce we usually ask for a 14 business day turnaround to assure that these quality cards are up to the standard you expect.

Used For: Premium Business Cards that are not a rush.

100# Gloss Cover (also known as 100 Pound Gloss Cover)

100# Gloss Cover would be the next step ‘down’ from 14pt. It’s a thinner material that doesn’t have quite as much durability or heft as 14pt but still is largely sturdy. It is easiest to describe as the somewhat thicker material used for the cover of magazines? The primary purpose for this material is either for posters or for the cover of booklets. It’s the right mix of lightweight and sturdy for bring out the best in those products.

We don’t recommend going for 100# Cover for flyers or business cards as it lowers the material’s effectiveness without being an effective cost-saving measure.

Used For: Booklet covers and posters.

100# Gloss Text (Also known as 100 Pound Gloss Text)

100# Gloss Text is the thinner counterpart to 100# Gloss Cover, more akin to the inside of the magazine compared to the cover. It is a thinner material that is not as rigid as other materials. 100# Gloss Text hits the near-perfect midpoint between style and cost effectiveness.

The smooth glossy material tends to feel quite a bit nicer than something like plain paper and it’s frequently used for the inside of booklets and for mass production posters. It is also a fairly cost effective method of running extremely large quantities of fliers for distribution.

While we do not recommend it for small runs it can often be a way to stretch a tight budget further if you’re looking for quantities of 50,000 or above. Please note that 100# Gloss Text is too thin to be UV coated.

Used For: Posters, booklet interiors, booklet covers, and large runs of flyers.

With this you should have a good idea of the most commonly ordered paper types available directly via our website. Of course this is just a small selection of the many paper types available! If you have specialized needs we at M3 are always willing to help. You can always place a custom quote request or contact us via email at sales@m3printing.com so we can get your needs satisfied.