More than just affecting how well your campaign makes it through the mailstream, the paper you choose can contribute to the impression it makes on the customer who receives it. Your selection can be used to say something about your company or product.
One of the trends that has developed over the last decade has been an increase in the use of uncoated paper. A heavy, uncoated stock can impart an upscale feel to a piece, and looks contemporary and hip. But it is important to consider the design and images that will be printed on the piece as well. For example, photos of clothing tend to stand out on uncoated stock, but metallic images are often muted by the dull finish.
For pictures of jewelry or cars, a glossy, coated stock is usually a better choice. The shine of the coated stock works well to reproduce these images. Coated stocks have a harder, sharper look to them and are good for images with lots of detail. Certain coatings, however, make it more difficult for high-speed inkjet printers to address, which can slow down production of your mailing.
Indeed, some coatings exist to make paper easier to print on, but the method of printing is important to consider. Modern digital presses don’t always like the same paper as an offset press, or a copy machine. Finding the right paper for your use means looking into every process your mailing will go through, from the printer, to the mailer, through the post office, and finally, to your customers.