We’ve all gotten craftier than ever this past year. Beautiful cards are the beginning of new business adventures and perfect heartfelt handmade gifts. When you dive into creating your custom greeting cards, however, it’s necessary to choose the right paper stock so that your card looks great and pops. Learn about the various types of greeting card stock for inkjet printers, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and how to make the right choice for you.
When you go to the store, you can find thousands of different designs and weights of greeting cards. Traditionally, greeting cards are printed on paper with a weight of 200 to 400 gsm (grams per square meter), averaging around 350 gsm. However, that’s for professional cards. The best greeting card stock for inkjet printers depends on many factors, all of which come down to what your specific printer can handle.
It’s time to choose the paper. Cardstock tends to be more rigid than paper and is a cross between paper and cardboard. Not every printer can handle cardstock. If you need cardstock alternatives, choose heavyweight paper. You’ll likely want weight between 44 lbs and 60 lbs, or between 200 gsm and 290 gsm. On the other hand, 80 lb, 90 lb, and greater are cardstock-level weights. If your printer can handle cardstock, choose heavier stock than the above. It’s important to check to avoid a paper jam!
Some people select photo paper because it’s thick and one side is glossy. If you have a photo printer, playing with the opportunities shiny photo paper presents is fun. It also carries some significant drawbacks though. Photo paper will get fingerprints all over it when touched. The backside is not made for printing, could bleed, and will not have the same texture as the photo side. Be aware when you try it out.
Consider what type of finish you like. Paper comes in gloss, luster, and matte finishes. The finish you choose is purely a matter of choice. Most professional greeting cards would use a luster or semi-gloss finish.
The benefit of lighter paper is its accessibility. From 20 to 60 lbs, almost every printer out there has no problem feeding it through. The downside is it will not have the professional-grade thickness of a greeting card.
On the other hand, cardstock is the perfect professional choice, but it may not feed through your printer. If you are a business owner, consider what printer you have and if you need to purchase an option to fit your needs. The variety of cardstock weight gives great flexibility for anyone looking for a personal touch on design and texture.
Finally, photo paper looks great on the outside, but the downside is that the back of photo paper, which usually feels very soft, isn’t made to take ink. Photo paper is also often marked with the brand on the back, so we do not recommend it for professional use.
We urge you to play with different papers, test out your options, and explore different features. If you are seeing issues with the ink quality be sure to check out our guide to ink cartridges. Need some more professional advice on cardstock printers? Give Vegas Ink and Toner a call today and create stunning, professional-grade greeting cards.