What does the paper you’ve chosen for your map say about you or your business’ brand? Often an afterthought for map printing newcomers, it pays to look beyond price tag when it comes to paper selection.
Defining Your Paper Persona
Your map is designed to show people where to go – but it also shows them who you are. Bringing your final printed project to life, your paper choice will intimately affect the look, feel, and function of your printed map, reflecting on your brand image. Careful consideration of the benefits and drawbacks of each substrate must be carefully weighed.
What Might Your Paper Choice Say About Your Business?
Though the printing process is the same, regardless of paper choice, your end result will come out quite differently depending on the substrate selected.
Coated substrates offer a smooth feel. Coated in varnishes that restrict the amount of ink absorbed into the paper, coated paper offers an ideal surface for clean, crisp imagery. Available in matte and glossy options, it is the substrate of choice for photographs, providing better color quality for imagery in magazines, flyers, posters, and presentations where detail is paramount. More durable than its uncoated cousin, coated stock offers some resistance to moisture and wear, the flipside of which make coated surfaces more difficult to write on. Its affordable price tag and good print quality make it a popular choice, however its sleek look and contemporary feel may not be compatible with some brands.
With a more organic look than coated fare, uncoated stocks offer a rich, vintage feel coated papers lack. Its porous, highly-absorbent surface readily absorbs ink, and while not providing the crisp lines of coated substrates, instead offers rich, luxurious color. Though not as slick as coated options, it is available in a wider variety of textures and finishes from smooth to roughened, making it a slightly more versatile option. Used in everyday home and office settings for stationary and letterhead, its prestigious, elegant feel is also sought-after for use in college/university booklets, real estate brochures, high-end restaurant menus, and clothing catalogs. More earth-friendly, the organic, less-commercial feel of uncoated stock also appeals to an array of industries with a ‘green’ mindset.
- FSC Certified
Different from recycled paper, FSC Certified substrates conform to a strict set of standards, upholding sustainable forestry practices worldwide. Most options are composed of virgin tree fibers, though some are available from post-consumer recycled waste. FSC certified printing requires a strict ‘chain of custody’ to bear the FSC logo, from forest to manufacturing, sales, and printing. Substrate costs have dramatically dropped in recent years, making FSC options on par with or up to 20% more than similar coated/uncoated fare.
Cutting-edge synthetics such as Hop-Syn® offer durable, polypropylene resin construction that is still environmentally friendly. Substrates are waterproof and tear resistant, yet still able to host high-quality graphics with ease. Pricier than other paper options, synthetic stocks come in a variety of grades, from those that excel in foldability, to options designed for thickness or translucency.
Not sure which paper to pick for your next project? From brand image and color conundrums, to solving ease-of-use and longevity issues, our map printing experts can help you select an ideal substrate. Find the perfect paper with the help of MapPrinter today.