You could have an award-winning design, but if the paper choice is wrong, it could ruin the whole thing.
Not all paper is created equal. Nor are there only the choices of, white or off-white. There are many different kinds of papers, finishes, degrees of environmentally conscious, varnishes, shades, textures and the list goes on.
Say you are a photographer and you are creating a brochure to highlight your work. The choice of paper would be very important.
Depending on the mood of your photography would depend on the paper tint you would choose. If a white stock has a slight yellow cast to the paper, it will cause photos to appear warm. The opposite goes if the sheet is running on the blue side.
Having a new sheet, or virgin sheet, might be important. This is a paper that has no recycled material in it and has never been used before. The reason we say you might want to use that is because recycled and post-consumer stocks can contain flecks in the paper from the recycling process. A photographer may find this upsetting to his photos if a piece of matter is in picture where it shouldn’t be.
Then comes the question of matte, gloss, or uncoated paper. For a photographer, I would most likely choose a gloss or satin finish to a paper. The reason being, this kind of finish holds the ink on the surface. Allows the colors to and photos to shine. If you go with an uncoated stock the ink sinks into the paper creating a softer and muted look. While that can be desirable for many jobs, a photographer would want their photos to show as clearly as possible.
What kind of presence do you want? Do you want the stock to be heavy and substantial? Do you want it light and delicate? This is where the decision of paperweight comes in. Another thing to think about if the piece is being mailed. The weight of the overall piece affects mailing cost and you have to factor that in when choosing a weight.
Are you overwhelmed yet? Because we could keep going. No need to be if you are. There are many things to think about just in paper choice when designing a printed piece, but once you decide what kind of design you are going for, the feeling, look, need, you can start to check off what you desire from your paper.