Tips to get the most from your office paper

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At Derby Hub our ethos is to share business excellence and our members' presentations are no exception. Each week, we ask one of our members to share knowledge and advice about their industry. Presentations must be useful and not sell to the room. This ensures members get the most out of their membership and gain a good insight to that member's world.

Last week's presentation was by: Samir Fahmy, owner of Derby based office supplier: Optimum Buisness Supplies.

The presentations was: Tips to get the most from your office paper.

1. Personality

Consider the life span of your printed piece. Is it a direct marketing piece, that on a good day, 5% of the recipients will look at? Or does your piece have a longer life span like an annual report, a marketing brochure or catalogue?

The personality of your piece, its life span, texture, colour and coating determine the price range and quality of your paper, in addition to your budget.

Ask yourself what impression the piece should make. A non-profit organization asking for financial support sends a mixed message when its mailer is printed on a premium stock. Premium paper suggests luxury and the recipient may think, "why bother, they seem to have enough money anyway."

If you are printing a job that reflects environmental issues, choose papers with recycled content, visible fibres or a mixed composition with a lower brightness and a texture that conveys the environmental feel.

For projects that suggest luxury, metallic, iridescent, suede, leather and other specialty papers create a stunning first impression.

2. Finish

If colour and crisp image or photographic reproduction is your concern, a coated gloss, matte or silk sheet is always a great and safe choice. But, there is definitely a trend toward uncoated sheets.

The paper is not only there to give the ink a foundation, but to enhance the design of the image you want to portray.

3. Colour

There is white, white and white. And let no one tell you anything different. Papers are available in blue-white, balanced white, natural white, soft white -- you name it.

Blue-whites, which are very popular at the moment, have a higher-brightness and allow colours to stand out, while warmer whites, which have a lower-brightness, are more comfortable on the eyes for reading or extended viewing.

As you can imagine, not every white fits every purpose. Don't print warmer tones, such as skin tones, on a blue white sheet. It can easily make healthy-looking people look grey. This is what warmer white papers are made for.

As for coloured paper, it can enhance a one-colour job and serve as a background cover, but it can also affect the appearance of the printed text and images. Blue ink on an ochre-yellow sheet will look green.

4. Weight

If your project will be printed on both sides and especially, if heavy ink coverage is involved, the paper's opacity is crucial. Make sure the paper you choose does not allow any show-through. If in doubt, go one step heavier in weight.

If you are working on a piece that will be mailed, the weight of the finished piece is a major consideration. Watch out for postage costs.

There is something else you should remember: if bulk and weight are important, an uncoated sheet will work better for you. Due to the clay coating, a coated paper will weigh more than its same-sized counterpart. Even though it weighs less, the same piece printed on an uncoated sheet will be thicker because uncoated paper naturally has a higher bulk.

5. End Usage and Distribution

Will the piece be mailed, mass mailed or handed out personally to selected prospects?

We discussed mail-outs earlier, so watch out for overall weight and when choosing reply or post cards, make sure the paper is rigid.

For educational or reference pieces with a long life span, pick a paper that offers sturdiness and durability. Synthetic papers, for example, have proven to be a great alternative to index stock, when it comes to tabs.

If a piece is handed out personally, you are home free -- no postal regulations, no weight constraints -- well, nearly none. Will the person handing out the piece or the recipient want to make notes on the piece? In that case, watch out for coated gloss papers or varnishes. Few pens write well on them and your prospects will be frustrated.

In cases where a lot of handling occurs and you are worried about fingerprints, a coating or varnish is definitely the way to go.

For more information call: 01332 200086

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Date Added: 06 March 2012

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