As you begin to build your wedding invitation suite we start with the foundation: printing method and paper. There are three basic types of paper for wedding invitations.
- Paper Weight: 24 to 80lb / 35 gsm to 118 gsm
- Most commonly used at work/home, your basic copy/print ‘letterhead‘ paper.
- Stationery uses: envelopes, envelope liners, programs, card/bottle/candy wrappers, personal stationery.
Cover Stock Paper
- Paper Weight: 80 to 110lb / 216 gsm to 298 gsm
- Most commonly used for business cards, postcard stock.
- Stationery Uses: invite card, response card, program, gift/favor tags, signage…
- Paper Weight: 110 to 220lb cover / 298 gsm to 595 gsm
- Used in letterpress printing where the ink is pressed into the paper leaving an impression.
- Stationery uses: business cards, postcards, invitations, response cards, gift/favor tags…
Paper Weight vs. GSM
Both text and cover stocks have an 80lb weight, which might have you wondering… What is the difference?
It has more to do with how the paper mill produces and packages the paper than the actual weight…
What should you be looking for when shopping paper types?
GSM (grams per square meter). This is a much better gauge of the quality and thickness of any given sheet of paper. For example 80lb text might be 118 gsm while 80lb cover might be 216 gsm. This is why you will find 500 text sheets vs. 250 cover sheets in a ream of paper.
The thicker/heavier the paper the less it bends and the grander your suite will be. Both weights also come in a variety of finishes and textures (ex: matte, glossy, metallic, linen, felt… ). Which can add to the overall look and feel of your stationery.
Keep in mind that postage is determined based on weight and thickness. The threshold for a standard letter stamp is 1 ounce / 0.25 inch thick, any heavier or thicker and your invitation will be considered a package.
The Printing Method will Determine Paper Type
How will your invitations be printed? Make sure you know which printing method is being used for your stationery before making any decisions on paper. Check out my post on the 6 most commonly used printing methods.
Once you have chosen your printing method and paper type we can move to my favorite part – the presentation. Check out my post all about Presentation.