Respect The Paper
Paper is everything to print design. It’s where your work lives. Moving your work from the digital space to a physical surface can affect your end result in myriad ways. Paper is just as important as the typeface, graphics or photos used in developing your brand’s printed pieces. Keeping this at the forefront of your design process will help you maintain your designs standards and also keep you sane when taking your project to press, which can be a tricky step of the process.
There’s a lot to consider. Inks react differently on all types of paper. It’s important to touch and feel the weight of the papers that you are going to use; these are physical pieces and therefore produce different sensations when touched. A slick, glossy sheet of paper will produce a different reaction than a warm, uncoated stock of paper. These feelings should reflect your brand—are you a sleek brand, or an earthy brand? Think of choosing paper like how you choose paint for your house: pick up as many different swatches as possible and compare; order sample sheets and test out your design. Talk with your printer about what you are trying to achieve.
When working for a restaurant, we take into consideration how and where the menus are going to be handled, if they are going to be in a sleeve or book, how often the content is going to be updated, the lighting of their space, audience, space on the table and budget. For The Black Sheep, we chose a lighter uncoated text weight for the menus because we knew they would rotate through them quite often. The cocktail menus at Buffalo Proper needed to withstand constant handling and the occasional boozy spill so we went with a 100-pound matte-coated cover stock that, when folded, becomes sturdier. The warm, textured cream finish of the menus at Big Ditch add a touch of nostalgia of a rich prideful past.
Respect the paper—it’s more than just a landing place for your design.