What is your favorite stock for printing?

I have some questions about paper…
What is your favorite stock for printing?
and how did you reach that conclusion?

I invite you all to have some fun with this.

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I suspect you’ll hear that it mostly depends on the job being run. However, a few of my favorites include:

For stationary/cards in A6 size, I really like working with Strathmore Watercolor Cards. They are sold in packs of 100 for about $30-35 and are 140lb watercolor paper with matching deckled envelopes. They feed easily, take ink well, are thick enough to allow for some bite in the paper and generally look a lot more expensive than they are. At about 30 cents per card/envelope pair, they’re a great deal.

I’ve also done some nice work on Fabriano Medioevalis, but can’t say that I love feeding on deckled edges, and final folding where getting a well paired edge is sometimes a challenge. I built a little bone-folding deck out of lexan just for folding these cards with a lip that allows me to match the edges and then fold down with the bone folder. Regrettably, because of the deckle, they’re all but useless for really tight register multi-color forms.

For fine printing broadsides, I like Arches Cover 250gsm in cream or white, or Rives BFK 250gsm in white. I like to dampen these stocks and print them on the handpress. They produce excellent results dampened. Rives can be had at about $2/sheet for 22x30 inch sheets. Arches, same size sheet for about $3/sheet. More expensive, but gorgeously textured is Saunders Waterford rough finish 300gsm coming in at nearly $4/sheet for 22x30. Again, printed damp on the handpress.

I’ve seen some nice work done on Legion Bamboo, but haven’t used it myself.

Neenah Classic Crest in card weights is excellent stock for business cards. Some people like Lettra cardstock for business cards, but to my mind it gets dirty too easily from handling, so I prefer a smoother paper for business cards. This stock also works well for greeting cards/thank-you cards where you’re willing to run the creasing after the printing, as they sell matching envelopes for most colors.

Reich Savoy is also very nice paper. I’ve used the text weight for chapbooks and the card weight with matching envelopes for wedding invitations.


depends on the job
am fond of French Paper Co.
is the style / brand
i use the most

One of my favorite stocks is Coventry Rag in the 320 GSM weight, Vellum finish. It’s stiff and takes bite really well.

I also really like Museum board. The brand I like is made by RISING and comes in a variety of colors and is very stiff stock. The 4 ply is crazy thick stuff. (the thicker stuff is phenominal when printing on the platen; it doesn’t really wrap around a cylinder well)
The 2 ply is about double the thickness of your standard 80 or 90 lb stocks, and holds up to a bit of a beating so it’s pretty ideal for nice business cards but without the cost of finer papers. Sometimes it seems to feel a tad cheap in the hand but it’s not very expensive so you get what you pay for.

(It also has a bit of Calcium Carbonate in it and so it seems to set the ink a bit more rapidly than other stocks I’ve used. Same ink same coverage and it’s dryer quicker.)

Cards - Magnani Revere Suede 300gsm
Business cards - Holyoke Fine Paper 140# stock and 110# Cranes Lettra
Prints - 140# Holyoke, 110# & 220# Lettra
There is a lot of nice paper out there - request some samples and use what works best for you - have fun!

Yeah, Holyoke is great stuff for a reasonable price.