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If you are a wrestler, more weight can be good or bad. Stuffing yourself to bulk up for sumo wrestling? More weight is good. Starving yourself to qualify for the featherweight division? More weight is bad.

More weight can be good or bad for marketing materials as well. In this week’s Creativity Blog we explain why.

Paper weight metaphor: a young boy struggles to push a nonchalant sumo wrestler.Perhaps you have high hopes for the brochures you’ll be handing out at an upcoming trade show. The paper you’ve chosen is so thick and heavy, your prospects will be tempted to hang the brochures on their lobby walls. All good!

But then you decide to follow up with folks who didn’t make it to your booth by mailing your brochure to them. Sticker shock from the postage cost causes you to fall over backward, toppling the line of postal customers behind you like a row of dominoes. Bad.

When weighing your options for paper weight, consider that heavier weight paper costs more to print and more to mail. But sometimes, the extra money is worth it.

  • DO go heavy when the piece needs to feel substantial. Postcards are an obvious example, but invitations and pieces designed for top donors also benefit from the formal feeling of thick paper.
  • DO go heavy when you need durability for handling, shelf life or later re-use. For example, using heavier weight paper for the cover of a publication protects the document, so you can use lighter weight paper for interior pages.
  • DON’T risk overloading a container, such as a folder or envelope, by forgetting to consider its capacity when you select the weight of the papers to be inserted.

There are two basic types of paper: text and cover. Text is more flexible while cover has a satisfying snap to it. Here is a sample of paper weights and what each one could be used for:

  • Text: 20 lb text for basic copier paper, 60 lb text for letterhead, 80 lb text for brochures
  • Cover: 65 lb cover for postcards, 80 lb cover for business cards, 100 lb cover for the cover of an annual report

Need help with design for your business website, publication or marketing collateral? Email Kim Landry or call 484.829.0021.