Paper and Finishing Information

About Paper
Our standard stocks have three possible finishes:
Uncoated, which has a finish feeling very slightly smoother than standard photocopy paper
Matte (also called Satin) coated, which is smoother but with a dull, or barely shiny finish
Gloss coated, which is smooth and with a glossy finish, not unlike the text of a glossy magazine

Our uncoated stocks are easy to write on, and are generally what you'd select for stationery. The lighter weights of 90 - 100 gsm are our budget stocks, and are usually what's used for the text pages of booklets and similar. Heavier weights of 120 - 300 gsm are designed especally for our digital printer, and have excellent colour reproduction and writeability.

Coated stocks are smoother, and if they are being conventionally printed show richer, more vibrant colour because the ink sits on the surface coating and doesn't sink into the paper fibre. This vibrancy is offset by the fact that it's more easily scuffed or damaged by handling, and so jobs printed like this often have a varnish, generally of the same sheen as the base stock, either matte or gloss, applied to protect the surface.

Digital printing uses toner that melts into the surface of the paper, so people choose coated stock not for the vibrancy of colour but for the feel and look of the stock for their job. Digital toner always dries glossy, regardless of the gloss or otherwise of the underlying stock. It's also substantially more hardwearing than conventional ink, so it would be unusual for a digital job to require a varnish to protect it.

Our paper weights range from 90 - 300 gsm (grams per square metre). As a comparison standard uncoated laserprinter paper is generally 80gsm.

Usage guide
90 - 100 gsm - used for stationery, text for magazines and booklets, flyers and brochures.
120 -170 gsm - used for text for booklets, flyers and brochures. The heavier the weight, the more "upmarket" the feel.
200 - 250 gsm - used for magazine and booklet covers. Robust enough to give some body and stiffness when used in a publication, but not quite heavy enough to be used on its own for cards etc.
280 - 300 gsm - used for cards of all sorts and book and booklet covers.

Finishing Options
Scoring means mechanically creasing a job. It prevents thick stock from surface splitting along a fold, leaving a ragged, unsightly edge. Greeting cards and covers on stock heavier than 200gsm are scored before being folded.

Our folding machines produce a clean, accurate fold or folds for your jobs. When specifying multiple folding for a job (for example an A4 sheet folded twice down to DL size) always consider which way a reader will view your job as it unfolds again - a tri-fold (also known as a roll fold) unfolds differently to a z-fold. Both cost the same, but look different as the job unfolds back to flat.

We prefer steel wiro binding over plastic comb binding. Comb binding is not particularly robust, and barely cheaper than the stronger but more compact wiro binding. Wiro comes in a range of colours and sizes to suit jobs between 10 pages and up to about 200 pages.

Saddlestitched jobs have two steel staples in the spine - a magazine like Who Weekly is a common example. Saddlestitched jobs always have a page count in multiples of 4. They may have a cover of heavier stock, or stock of a different finish than the text (for example a glossy cover but uncoated text). Jobs of up to 70 pages can be saddlestitched, after which they're too thick for the staples to be effective.

Perfect Binding
A magazine like the Australian Women's Weekly, or a paperback book are two examples of perfect binding. A perfect bound book needs to be at least 60 pages thick to be effectively bound.

Lamination offers much more substantial protection to a piece as a whole. Encapsulation puts a piece in a sandwich of two pieces of polycarbonate. It's tough, waterproof and great for menus and other pieces that need to look good and stay that way in hostile environments. Care needs to be taken with lamination of digital print. The laminate will not always adhere to large printed areas, and can bubble or lift if flexed or creased.

Matt celloglazing is an expensive but very luxurious satin finish often found on upmarket paperbacks. We also use it on business cards and similar items, too. As before, matt celloglaze will not always adhere to large printed areas. There is alternative that offers teh same luxurious finish though, called matt supastick, which does adhere to digital output of any coverage. Also available are gloss celloglaze and gloss supastick finishes.

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