Friday, June 10, 2016

Wedding Stationery Guide: Papers

Paper is one of the key elements in your wedding invitation suite. Paper is one of those things that seems simple until you need to pick just one. There are hundreds of thousands of types of paper: different colors, materials, weights, textures, and finishes. All these paper characteristics impact the final look of your invitation, so it's important to know just what you're getting. I'm going to give a brief overview of the options, but nothing compares to holding the paper in your own hands. Make sure to order an invitation sample pack to see them yourself!



PAPER CHARACTERISTICS

Color
Paper is available in a myriad of colors, but for most invitation orders you'll be looking for something in the "white" family. (Please note that flat print orders that appear to have white ink printed on a colored paper are actually colored ink printed on white paper. The "color" is ink covering the paper, and the white portion is the paper showing through where no ink was printed.)

We offer two shades of white: a Brilliant or Fluorescent White (which is a bright "true" white) or a Soft or Pearl White (which is still white, but has more of an ivory hue to it).


Weight/Thickness
One of the most befuddling paper terms is the "weight" of the paper. This number (usually expressed in pounds - 110#, 118#, etc) refers to the weight of a stack of 500 pieces of that paper. So the higher the number, the heavier the paper.

We offer a 118# and a 120# for flat printing, and a 110# and 220# for letterpress or foil stamping.
The 220# paper is also called "double thick" because it is as thick as two pieces of 110# paper.


Texture
When you run your fingers across a piece of paper you'll notice immediately if it's smooth or rough to the touch. While smooth papers have their purpose, we prefer a stock with a bit of texture to it. The 100% cotton papers have a soft, luxurious feel to them. This texture adds depth to flat print invitations and is perfect for showing off the impression from letterpress or foil stamping.


Material
Many papers are made from trees, or from recycled materials, but the papers we've selected are made from natural cotton fibers. The cotton gives the paper a soft, luxurious feel. It's supple, which enhances the impression from letterpress or foil stamping. Our 100% cotton papers are tree-free and made from fibers reclaimed from the garment industry.


Finish
Paper can have a variety of finishes, but the main ones are glossy (like a shiny photo print), metallic or shimmer (will have a subtle shimmer to them), or matte (no shine). Our papers have a matte finish.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the different paper characteristics, I'm going to introduce ones I've selected for Banter & Charm's wedding collection. But nothing compares to seeing and feeling the papers yourself! Samples of all Banter & Charm's standard paper options are included in each invitation sample pack .


FLAT PRINT PAPERS
Flat print wedding invitations are offered on 100% cotton paper in 118# cover weight. This cotton paper features a subtle texture and is specially formulated to work with flat print inks. Choose from Brilliant White or Soft White.



Save the dates and day of items are printed 120# 20% cotton card stock in Brilliant White or Soft White. This paper features a subtle texture similar to the 100% cotton paper, but is formulated to work better with large amounts of ink coverage such as in full color photos.





LETTERPRESS & FOIL STAMPING PAPERS
Letterpress and foil orders are printed on 100% cotton paper in 110# cover weight. This cotton paper is is subtly textured, and is soft and thick allowing for a deep, crisp impression. Or upgrade to luxe 220# double thick cover. Choose from Fluorescent White or Pearl White.





You can choose colored paper for your letterpress or foil stamping orders! Pale pink, navy blue, black, or kraft are just a few of the options that can be special ordered.



SPECIALTY PAPERS
Along with our standard papers for printing, we also offer a variety of colored papers and specialty papers for use as envelope liners or belly bands. These papers are text weight, and are not available for fine printing, but they're a great way to add a pop of color or shine to your invitation suite. You can request swatches of the specialty papers to be included in your sample pack.


Check back next week to learn more about the customization options available at Banter & Charm!
You can find all the posts in this series here: The Wedding Stationery Guide

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