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Choosing the Perfect Paper for Your Next Print Project


Tue, Jan 2, 2018 @ 10:02 AM Emily Hendrickson 0

Choosing the Perfect Paper for Your Next Online Print Project

An important factor in printing is the types of print paper. We offer a variety of papers, some thick and others thin. Some glossy and some matte. How do you decide which paper to use? First, let's get technical. There are some terms that will help you to understand the different paper options for online printing available.

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Cover vs. Text

A cover weight paper is going to be thick, similar in feel to cardstock. Text weight papers are thinner, more similar to catalog and magazine paper. A paper for printing labeled "cover" is always going to be thicker than a "text" paper. For example, 100# Gloss Cover is going to be much thicker than 100# Gloss Text. You can also tell the difference in thickness by checking the "point" or "pt" thickness. For example, a 100# Gloss Cover is 9pt while a 100# Gloss Text is 5pt. If you had an instrument called a micrometer you could measure the paper thickness yourself.

You can use a cover weight or a text weight as the cover paper for your booklet project. You are not required to use a cover weight as the cover paper. For example, the 100# gloss text can be a nice cover option for projects like catalogs, programs and magazines.

Gloss Paper Versus Matte Paper

Gloss, Matte, Uncoated, & UV Coated Paper

Gloss vs. Matte

Gloss paper is shiny and is very popular for most print projects. Matte paper has a "flat" look to it. It doesn't shine and reflect light the same way that gloss paper does.

UV Coating     

UV is short for Ultra Violet coating. This is a shiny gloss coating applied over printed cover weight paper to make photos and colors pop to catch your customer’s attention and to protect against scratching and frequent handling. UV coating is recommended for extra protection on the cover of your project. UV coating is not recommended when you need to write on the coated area.

Uncoated Paper

This paper is similar to the paper you would put in a home printer because it is uncoated. It is easy to write on and would be used in a project such as a journal or coloring book. 

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Recommended Paper Types

Below I am going to recommend different papers for different types of projects. These are simply suggestions; your project may or may not fit into these recommendations. I would also highly recommend requesting a free sample packet from us. When you request a sample packet, we send you our Paper Sample Guide. It's a small booklet that has an example of all of our different papers in it so you can see and feel the weights of each. You can determine which papers you like best using this Paper Sample Guide.

Online Brochure Printing example

  • Brochures - 100# Gloss Text
  • Business Cards - 14pt Gloss Cover
  • Calendars - 80# Gloss Cover for the cover paper (with a UV high gloss cover finish for extra "Pop!"). 100# Gloss Text for the inside pages.
  • Door Hangers - 12pt Gloss Cover
  • EDDM - 100# Gloss Cover
  • Flyers - 100# Gloss Text
  • Greeting Cards - 12pt C1S (C1S means Coated One Side. The outside of the card is coated so that it has a nice finish but the inside is uncoated so that you can easily write in it).
  • Newsletters - 100# Gloss Text
  • Posters - 100# Gloss Text
  • Presentation Folders - 100# Gloss Cover with UV Coating added to it
  • Rack Cards - 14pt Gloss Cover

Of course, if you have any questions about the type of paper to use feel free to call us at 800-995-1555 or request your free sample packet so you can see and feel these different papers.

Cover Paper Options

  • 80# Gloss Cover Cardstock - Coated gloss paper about twice as thick as 80# text giving it a more substantial and sturdy feel (thickness of a printed postcard or baseball card). It has a smooth gloss finish similar to that of a glossy photograph making photographs stand out and look rich and beautiful. This stiff, shiny and lustrous coated sheet is the preferred substrate for printed booklet covers. Special characteristics include dimensional stability, good folding qualities, and durability. Well-suited for scoring and die-cutting.

Square Online Booklet Printing example

  • 80# Matte Cover Cardstock – (similar characteristics as 80# Gloss Cover) Dull coated sheet that exhibits low gloss finish. Excellent for jobs that require high quality color reproduction with minimal paper gloss. Great when there is a lot of typed copy making it easier to read. It is superior to that of uncoated papers yet paper is glare free.
  • 100# Gloss Text - is our most popular option and best value. It is about 25% more bulk being thicker and heavier with a sturdy and higher end feel than 80# text. This shiny and lustrous coated sheet is excellent for full color printing. Photographs stand out and look rich and beautiful.
  • 100# Matte Text (has the same characteristics as 100# gloss text) Dull coated sheet that exhibits low gloss finish. Excellent for jobs that require high quality color reproduction with minimal paper gloss. Great when there is a lot of typed copy making it easier to read. It is superior to that of uncoated papers yet paper is glare free.

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Other Cover Paper Options

  • 100# Gloss Cover Cardstock - It has the same characteristics and uses as 80# gloss cover but is about 25% more bulk being thicker and heavier, similar to a medium weight card stock.
  • 100# Matte Cover Cardstock: It has the same characteristics and uses as 80# matte cover but is about 25% more bulk being thicker and heavier, similar to a medium weight card stock.
  • 80# Opaque Cover: Also known as un-coated, this paper is commonly used anytime you are expecting to write in the piece itself.

Inside Paper

Online Magazine Printing example
  • 100# Gloss Text - is our most popular option and best value. It is about 25% more bulk being thicker and heavier with a sturdy and higher end feel than 80# text. This shiny and lustrous coated sheet is excellent for full color printing. Photographs stand out and look rich and beautiful.
  • 100# Matte Text (has the same characteristics as 100# gloss text) Dull coated sheet that exhibits low gloss finish. Excellent for jobs that require high quality color reproduction with minimal paper gloss. Great when there is a lot of typed copy making it easier to read. It is superior to that of uncoated papers yet paper is glare free. 

Other Inside Paper Options

70# Opaque Text: Also known as un-coated, this paper is commonly used anytime you are expecting to write in the piece itself. Match this up with an uncoated cover to give the entire project an un-coated look and feel.

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Quick Postcard Printing & Mailing Tips


Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 01:15 PM Kevin Evans 0 printing online Postcards Mailer

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Here is a quick guide on how to start any online postcard printing & mailing campaign. Utilize some of the direct mail strategies discussed below and you will increase the ROI on your next marketing campaign.

1. Identify Who You Are & Who You're Targeting

Before spending your postcard marketing money, realize who it is you are targeting for new business. For many businesses, there are certain demographics that tend to do business with you. First, find out and identify what type of customer you like doing business with. Second, find out what demographics like doing business with you. When you have that information, you can design your postcard to specifically target those demographics. Also, you can purchase a mailing list specific to your needs as well.

Our Recommendation: Find out what type of customer you like doing business with, and what type of customer likes doing business with you. 

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2. Results Matter

Postcard-Graphic2-500x500.pngMany times people look for the least expensive way to get their message into their customers' hands, without really understanding how that message resonates with that person. Trying to get your costs down by a few pennies per piece doing the smallest available mailer, in most cases is actually more expensive when you look at your return. Small postcards get buried among larger mail pieces and often times are discarded without even a glance from the recipient.

Our Recommendation: Distribute your marketing budget over several campaigns. Change the size, change the offers and make each piece unique. Use the one with the best results, and separate that into a few different options and repeat the process.

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3. Use What You Already Have

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Sometimes people don't know what offers to put on their postcards. Sometimes they are unsure how the customer or prospect will react to an offer. That can only be found through experience, and from trial and error. Keep one thing in mind, promote what you are already doing. If you give free estimates, let them know. If you are a landscaping company that mows lawns, and with the lawn being mowed you also edge the grass for free, say it. Just think about all the perks you are already giving your current customers on a daily basis, and focus on them first. If your current customers like it, your prospects will too.

Our Recommendation: List all the perks you already give to your current customers and focus on them.  For new offers, test, make adjustments, test, and make adjustments.

EDDM Printing

4. Don't Be Cheap On the Design

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It's amazing how much of a difference it makes to your return by simply letting a professional graphic designer put together artwork in a way that is up to date and catches people's attention. You may get cheap postcard printing using our website, but the design needs to be high resolution and eye-catching to get a return. Many times people try to do it themselves using a sub grade program to do so, and what you end up with is what most people would call junk mail. For a low price, your artwork can be created by a professional and will help keep your message from going into the recycling bin.

Our Recommendation: The money you will spend to have a professional design your piece will be very little cost compared to the increased return you get for your campaign. 

Free Templates      Find a Designer 

5. To Sell or Not to Sell, That Is the Question

For most people, the immediate instinct is to have offers on their mailer and watch the orders come in. For more sophisticated marketers, they realize the job of the mailer may not be to sell product, but it may be used to identify a prospect for future business.

Our Recommendation: Add a call-to-action to your postcard that gets the prospect to go to your website, visit your store or follow up with your company. For example, you can have an offer on your postcard, but send them to your website to claim the prize.

Here at PrintingCenterUSA we offer high quality, nationwide postcard printing and mailing services at affordable prices, on time, every time. If you want vibrant color photos, fast and easy ordering, great customer service and a satisfaction guarantee, click the button below to print your postcards online or give us a call at 800-995-1555!

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Printing Cheap, High-Quality Postcards Online


School Calendar Printing for Fundraisers


Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 01:56 PM Aaron Rains 0 printing Calendar School Calendar Design Tips

Fundraising Calendars for Schools

This economic recession has forced many educational institutions to drop programs, cancel clubs, and cut back. If schools are willing to make the effort, they can develop extremely profitable fundraising programs for their students to help support these programs and give the students a great life learning experience. Many school organizations are using school calendar printing for fundraising purposes.

At PrintingCenterUSA, our purpose is to show you how fundraising calendars can be put together with no upfront money and can help your school support their extracurricular activities and ensure that parents and community members know what is happening with their local schools. Many schools have had great success in obtaining sponsors to support the cost of printing their calendars before they go to press, thus enabling the students to focus on the sales of the finished calendar and realize a larger profit without worrying about how it is going to be paid for.

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1. Students Are Your Most Powerful Selling Tool

Marching Band Custom Fundraising Calendar

Students are what it is all about and proof that the money from the ad sales is going to a good cause. The students can sell the advertising to sponsors to prepay for the calendars, thus ensuring a profit. Don’t procrastinate, take time to teach your students how to sell an ad and make sure businesses know:

  • What school they are supporting.

  • What the money will be used for.

  • When calendar distribution begins and ends.

  • The size of ads and what they cost.

  • Where the ad will be placed.

  • Spread the enthusiasm to your students, parents, families, friends and sponsors!

Students can easily sell the finished custom calendars at school events, to parents, relatives, friends, and supporters of the school. The school book store and business’ doing the advertising can also sell the finished calendars. The calendars can be pre-sold as well. 

Free Calendar Templates     Custom Calendar White Paper     Online Design Tool

2. Determine Your Target Audience

High School Fundraising Calendar

Local Businesses: Local hangouts, credit unions, auto shops, insurance agencies, pet supply retailers,shops, convenience stores, doctors, fitness centers, grocery stores, photography studios, realtors, restaurants, parents' businesses, anywhere students and parents frequent and shop.

Large Corporations:  Such as Sprint, Verizon, Fast Food franchises, McDonalds, Burger King, Coca Cola, Pepsi, pet supply stores, State Farm Insurance, banks, sporting good stores. Use your imagination. What business’ would benefit from the exposure in your calendar? 

Learn How to Use Our Calendar Templates in Photoshop

3. Increase ROI With Advertising

Soccer Fundraising Calendar

Now that you know who your target audience is, you need to show them how advertising in your promotional calendars is going to benefit them and you. Key points that businesses are looking for in advertising include: 

  • Gaining additional exposure to a large lucrative market (parents and students)
  • Gaining positive publicity by supporting your school and the community

  • Relatively inexpensive advertisement space compared to advertising in a newspaper

  • It is a tax deductible donation

Nothing will beat taking time to personally call on your local business’es. Don't forget to keep a list of your sponsors so you know who to contact for next year's calendar. Need help designing your calendar? Check out our calendar design resources to help jump start your next school calendar project! If you have any questions or need help getting started, give our customer service representatives a call at 800-995-1555.

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Why You Should Create Custom Yearbooks


Fri, Dec 8, 2017 @ 10:53 AM Amber Gauthier 0

Why-You-Should-Create-Custom-Yearbook-Printing

Is your grade, junior high or high school thinking about printing custom yearbooks? PrintingCenterUSA is here to help with all your education printing needs. Whether you choose to upload your own design files or utilize our free templates, we make online yearbook printing easy and will deliver them to you quickly and at a reasonable price! Below are 4 reasons we think yearbook printing is important for any educational institution.

1. They Are a Great Public Relations Tool

Affordable yearbook printing exampleYearbook printing can be a great PR tool because they show off the personality of the school. If you’re looking to use your yearbook as a public relations tool, include the highlights of the opportunities offered, such as courses, clubs, athletics and facilities. This helps sell the community to potential businesses, students, and/or faculty. You can also include sponsors from local businesses and family members to help add a little profit to your bottom line.

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2. The Educational Experience

custom printed yearbook exampleDesigning school yearbooks can be a great learning experience for students interested in photography, journalism, graphic design, typography, and marketing. Educate your students by having them go out and take photos at sporting events, pep rallies, fundraisers, plays, and more! They can also interview fellow students to have quotes to go along with their pictures. From there, they can use those images and quotes to design their yearbook, which helps to expand their creative knowledge.

     Free Downloadable Templates

3. Serves as a Memory Book for Students

Class yearbooks are a wonderful way to tell the story of the school year. Include pictures, memorable quotes, projects or events that took place that year to help the memories live on forever. Later in life, when students look back at their yearbook, they will get to remember everyone who made an impact in their life.

Education Discount Program

4. They Are a Piece of History

elementary school custom printed yearbook

What better way to capture a piece of history than with school yearbook printing? They help to capture events, dates, scores, trends, news, facts and figures. They include accurate records of grades, names of students, faculty and staff. Show off the participants of sports teams, band, cheer, choir, clubs, and more! You may also want to add in information such as enrollments, sports statistics, events and news.


Affordable yearbook printing can help set your school apart while also serving as a keepsake for the students to look back on. Running late on your yearbooks? Order your last minute yearbooks online now! Help keep your students’ younger years alive for years to come by printing an online yearbook today!

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Tips for Your Next Catalog Printing Project


Wed, Nov 29, 2017 @ 04:10 PM Emily Hendrickson 0

Tips for Your Next Catalog Printing Project

Starting a catalog project can be both exciting and intimidating. On one hand, you get to put together an awesome product that will excite & inspire your customers. On the other hand, where do you even begin? Well, we are here to help you get started. Below you will find easy design tips and suggestions, as well as examples from our customers.

#1: Planning

Headsweats Product CatalogBefore you begin designing, you want to choose a goal for your catalog. Are you trying to get customers to order through the catalog or just get them to go to your website or store? Who are you going to be sending the catalog to? Loyal customers or people who have never heard of your brand?

Once you have set your goal, you can tailor your design, images, and layout to appeal to your audience. Hint: the more appealing your catalog looks, the more likely your audience is to continue turning the pages.

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Stitch & Shutter Jewelry Lookbook Catalog

#2: Content

After deciding upon a goal, you want to lay out what to say, how to say it and where the information should go. Your content should be simple, clean and concise. If you crowd the pages with too much information, the reader will get overwhelmed and likely quite reading.

Adding in easy-to-follow information and images helps to guide your reader through your pages. By using headings, subheadings, and images, your audience will be drawn to the important information within your catalog.

Catalog White Paper Guide

#3: Design

SMB Printed Product CatalogBefore you start designing, you want to think about how you are going to distribute your catalogs. Are you going to send them out via mail, hand them out at conferences, or have them in your store? After deciding your distribution, you can select the appropriate size. Follow the tips below when designing your catalog to make sure you’re getting the most out of your catalog printing.

  • Use attractive colors, images and elements that represent your company and brand.
  • Stick to fonts that are easy to read. Consider size, style and color.
  • Use white space wisely, you want the page to feel balanced and not overwhelming.
  • Eliminate unnecessary elements or distractions.
  • Use full color images with 300dpi resolution. Anything below 300dpi will print pixelated.

     File Checklist     Free Predesigned Templates

Table of Contents and Pricing Page in a Catalog Printing Project

#4: Things to Remember

Don't forget - depending on the type of catalog you are putting together you may want to include these following pages:

  • Table of Contents
  • Order Form
  • Contact Information
  • Website URL and/or Store Location

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Remember, we are here to help. If you would like to speak with a specialist about your catalog project, please give us a call at 800-995-1555!