I love paper. And have since I was a child. I was annoyingly particular about my coloring books. They had to be the rough kind of paper that took the crayon just right. The smooth or coated papers would not do. The crayon lay too heavily on top of the surface and you couldn't shade at all. In fact the wax of the crayon often 'bunched up' as I put it then.

But then again, they couldn't be made of cheap rough paper like construction paper. Construction paper doens't let you get deep enough without tearing.

Years later I would begin to learn about paper production and the different 'weights' and types of paper. The Chinese are credited with its creation. 

You can learn more about it here.

http://www.paperrecycles.org/about/the-history-of-paper

In my work as a graphic designer paper is very important to me. The printer I use has a wonderful selection of high quality paper - or card stock, since most of what we offer is heavier than a sheet of writing paper.

How are the 'weights' determined for a paper or card stock? They weigh 500 sheets in the standard size of that paper - most are sheets that will be cut down from 17" x 22" for a bond (stationery, letter weight) to 20" x 26" cover stock (invitations, post cards and such). 

The higher the weight the thicker the stock. This is why I find it somewhat problematic when I cannot find the weight of a paper or card stock when ordering from certain printers. Or if I see that invitations are being printed on a 94# cover - that simply isn't thick enough in my opinion.

What should you look for when ordering your stationery, note cards or invitations?

For writing letters - 24 lb works great, and you won't have to pay extra postage. For example the inexpensive computer paper you probably use every day is 20 lb bond.

For cards and invitations a minimum of 110 lb - 120 lb is good. 

If you want to make an impact you might like the card stocks that are often measured in points. A cotton based card stock we offer for example is 19 pt or 0.019 inches thick. A double thick card is 28 pt. which = 0.028 inches. You may need extra postage for mailing these.

One of my all time favorite brown (kraft) paper or card stock is Desert Storm from Neenah Paper. It comes in many forms but I love the 100% post consumer waste (PCW) recycled (it is also offered as 30% pcw). I used it for my business cards and had them out for the taking at art shows. I cannot tell you how many people were drawn to the card and pick it up just to feel it! 

And the Desert Storm 130 lb prints beautifully on my Canon.

So, if you have purchased a digital file and are looking for the best places to have it printed, or what you might like to purchase to print yourself, I hope I have provided some insight into what you might want to consider.

Here is a link to a great way to print your digital file - great product and help the world:

https://printsoflove.com/pinklilypress/