Paper holds secret powers. Granting a subconscious first impression that can’t be ignored, the feel of your substrate is the body language of your map. Paper can quietly elevate it to Olympian levels of greatness, or surreptitiously stab you in the back. If the difference between mediocrity and greatness is in the materials you choose, what is your paper saying about your map?
Secrets to Selecting Map Printing Paper
Choosing among substrate options is all about determining what you want your paper to whisper in the ear of map readers. Ask yourself the following questions about your project…
- Who is the recipient?
- What do you want the finished piece to feel like? (Research competition.)
- How will it be used? (Indoors, outdoors, pocket or wall bound?)
- What experience are you trying to convey?
- How does this translate to your paper choices?
Deciphering the Language of Map Substrates
When selecting between coated, uncoated, and specialty stocks, a lot can be lost in translation, especially sight unseen. At MapPrinter, we understand that for a true appreciation of paper, it must be touched and experienced. Not just with your hands and eyes, but with your imagery and the inks of the printer. Paper samples and dummies are the Rosetta Stone to unimaginable results, quickly revealing the facets of coated and uncoated paper in a way reading a substrate description simply cannot.
Cracking the Code
At MapPrinter, we know the starring role your paper will play in map design. And because we want to help you achieve stellar results, we offer a host of substrates selections for you to sample…
The fine, ultra-smooth claylike coating topping coated papers provides fine detail and smooth, even ink coverage. Available in an assortment of finishes, its coated substrates many languages:
- Cast Coated: The highly polished, mirrored finish of cast coated papers is ideal for achieving a high-end look and bringing brilliant color to life.
- Gloss: A shiny, polished surface exceptional for attaining fine detail.
- Dull/Silk/Suede: These surfaces provide an ideal surface for detail, but without the glare of glossier substrates, making an ideal solution for text-heavy maps or those striving for a more understated, yet high-end look.
- Matte: A superior surface for reading materials, yet retaining the ideally smooth surface necessary to achieve excellent detail, matte coated surfaces feature a look similar to uncoated paper.
- Metallic: Adds a unique, polished sheen to substrates.
- Aqueous Coatings & Varnishes: Provides attention-grabbing contrast, adding visual interest when used as a ‘spot color’.
With technology to rival the look and feel of coated papers, uncoated options offer an ideal solution for folded maps. Like coated substrates, they are available in a variety of colors and tactile finishes, providing a warm feel and contemporary, yet timeless look. Precision detail can likewise be achieved with uncoated stock, albeit with pre-press curve adjustments. This allows for necessary ink adjustment key in preventing ink spread or dot gain.
What can you achieve with uncoated paper technology?
Super Smooth or Calendered Finish: Large steel rollers hone uncoated stock into a super smooth surface rivaling coated options and primed for achieving crisp text detailed imagery.
- Smooth: An ideal solution for achieving good detail and imbuing a traditional feel.
- Vellum/Eggshell: Look to the timeless looks and feel of vellum for projects of historic significance.
- Textured: Textured paper is an excellent way to add interest and dimension to pieces that would otherwise fall flat in the design arena.
- Aqueous Coating & Varnishes: On uncoated paper, these do not offer contrast, but protection. Dull varnish is always recommended.
- Metallics: Paired with uncoated stock, metallic coatings can achieve an antique quality.
- Offline Processes: Uncoated papers are the perfect match for engraving, embossing, debossing, foil stamping or letterpress additions.
The durable, polypropylene resin construction of cutting-edge synthetics such as Hop-Syn® offer an environmentally friendly, waterproof, tear resistant map substrates that can still support high-quality graphics with ease. More costly than coated and uncoated options, synthetic stocks come in a variety of grades, from the ultra-thick to the translucent and easily-foldable.
- FSC Certified
Strictly certified, FSC Certified substrates in coated and uncoated varieties conform to worldwide sustainable forestry practices. Composed of virgin tree fibers (and occasionally post-consumer recycled waste), FSC certified substrates differ from ‘recycled’ substrates, requiring a strict chain of custody (from forest to manufacturing, sales and printing) to bear the FSC logo.
Looking to create a project that speaks for itself? No matter your budget, there’s a paper solution waiting to speak for you. Elevate your map printing results to new heights. Contact a paper professional at MapPrinter for the latest substrate samples and to discuss your upcoming project today.