Postcards see a lot of wear and tear in their travels through the mail, so they need a paper that will hold up well. This is especially important if you include price lists or other information that customers will keep for a long time.
One of the most fundamental paper characteristics to consider is opacity. This determines how much of your printing will be visible through the paper.
The thickness of the paper can help convey a message or give an impression. Thicker cardstock is typically seen as a sign of quality and sturdiness. It can also add to the cost of the printing project. The industry uses both pounds and points to measure paper thickness. A pound is the weight of 500 sheets of essential paper size at its thinnest point. The paperweights are usually stated using “#” or “lb” when referring to pounds and simply “pt” when referring to issues.
Postcards mailed have to meet US postal service requirements for thickness and size. Choosing the right thick paper can help your postcards stand out in the mail. It can make your high-gloss elements pop and give an overall polished look to the postcard. Thicker paper can also make embossing and metallic foils more visible.
We have several different thick cardstock options for your postcards. You could use a 120# (14 pt) Dull/Matte Cover to keep costs down or try the luxurious feel of a 100# Linen cover. This premium paper feels silky smooth and will impress your customers. Consider adding a Soft Touch(r) coating to the non-address side for a velvety feel (you must see it to believe it!). It’s perfect for sending a thank you postcard to a customer’s order or as a special invitation.
The color of the paper impacts the quality of the print. For example, bright white papers reflect more of the blue-spectrum light, creating a blue-white shade, while cream-colored pieces tend to absorb warm light tones and create a more neutral shade. This can significantly impact the final product’s appearance and is crucial for monochrome and full-color photography projects.
Postcards are often handled, held, and read, so they must have the right look and feel. Thick 16-point semi-gloss stock is an excellent choice because it’s durable and has a luxurious feel that gives the impression of quality. It can withstand the minor bending and wear that postcards often experience in transit and is thick enough to withstand a few light scratches.
Thickness is essential for other reasons as well. Thicker papers produce better results using die-cutting or embossing on your postcards. Additionally, if you’re sending your postcards through the mail, they must be at least a certain thickness to meet US postal regulations.
The postcard printing company offers various thickness options for our postcards, including 6 oz gloss and 70 oz offset. These papers are comparable to a standard office printer’s paperweight and are ideal for printing high-quality images. We also have an 80 oz matte cover, a sturdy card stock that produces vibrant colors and can be written on with some pens.
The texture of the paper is another factor that will significantly impact how your final postcards look and feel. Paper textures vary dramatically, and many offer a unique quality that will set your project apart.
A wove texture has a smooth eggshell-like appearance that can give a premium feel to your postcards. This is a popular option for letterheads, presentations, and other projects that require an elegant and sophisticated touch. Alternatively, a laid paper has horizontal and vertical lines that are impressed into the sheet’s surface. These creases can give your pieces a handmade and classic feel that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Postcards are often handled and held for long periods, so it’s vital that your postcard stock can withstand some wear and tear. The wrong cardstock can leave your postcards with minor scratches and tears that will quickly degrade and give your mailer a less-than-professional look.
For this reason, it’s best to opt for heavy-duty cardstock such as a 13-point or 16-point gloss or matte cover. These thick stocks withstand minor bending, tearing, and scratching during mailing. A UV coating will add even more protection to your postcards, ensuring they arrive at their destination looking as good as new.
When choosing paper for a project, you aren’t limited to one option. Paper types come in a wide range of thicknesses and textures to match the product you’re printing. These factors affect not only the visual look of the final product but also the durability and functionality.
Coating is another crucial factor when selecting the right paper for a project. The coating creates a barrier between the paper and ink, preventing smudges and making writing more accessible. It also helps to protect the paper from scuffing and fingerprints and allows the color to pop on glossy papers. Aqueous coating (free with every order) is a water-based, semi-gloss finish that deters dirt and fingerprints. It’s perfect for postcards as they go through the mail and business cards that get shaken around in purses and pockets. UV coating is a higher-gloss finish available for an additional charge, adding more protection and shine to your finished piece.
Uncoated paper is available in a variety of finishes as well – linen, laid, vellum, and more. These papers give your printed project a more natural, authentic feel. They also allow for a better ink holdout, useful when using heavy solids or metallic inks. Consider a more severe paper like our 100# cover gloss or textured stocks for pieces that will be kept and handled often.