How To Decide What Stock To Print On?

There are many factors that determine the quality of the print whether it is digital or offset printing.

To decide what type of output you would like to see once your job is ready for print, you have to consider the coverage of ink on your artwork/document.  If the output is simply text then you may choose to go with a 20 lbs offset stock (in essence this is copy paper) .  20 lbs copy paper is 60 lbs offset in printer terms.

If you are printing a document with photos then it is important to consider that 20 lbs stock is not as thick and maybe slightly transparent and therefore if there are images and more ink coverage required it is best to print on 24 lbs copy paper or 28 lbs or on a gloss stock or coated stock where the ink / colour will lay on top and not get absorbed by the paper.  A coated stock or gloss stock will ensure that your colour is more vibrant and sharper looking.

If a stock has a matte finish it will have a bright white coating allowing ink to dry quickly. A glossy finish has a shiny smooth texture and is best used for photographs and colorful artwork.