AAA Printing and Graphics. We take the PANIC out of printing!





Helpful Tips


Here are several steps that will help you size up your direct mail piece:

  • Take advantage of postal discounts. You can fold an 8 1/2" x 11" piece in half and mail it at the 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" business letter rate. Ask us about other suggestions.

  • Decide whether the piece will be inserted into an envelope, pocket folder or recipient's file folder. If it’s to be machine inserted into an envelope the insert must be 1/4" smaller on either side and 1/8" smaller at the flap.

  • Make the most of your paper. Choose standard sizes that efficiently maximize press image area. Also remember:

    • Paper on large orders accounts for 40-50% of the total production cost.

    • Our "house sheets" are a good, economical choice.

    • Substitutions of equivalent grades can also save money, without affecting quality.

    • Certain papers meet the 7 pt. minimum of postal requirements. These include 80 lb. coated cover, 65 lb. uncoated cover, 7 pt. hi-bulk matte or uncoated, double thickness of 70 lb. coated text and double thickness of 60 lb. uncoated text.

    • Dummies are for smart people. Ask us to supply a paper dummy (mock up) of the exact size and weight of paper you are considering.

    • The paper dummy should be shown to your designer, client/marketing people, printer, and mail house/fulfillment center so that everyone involved has a clear sense of what’s involved.

  • Use post production reviews to help the next job. How did we do? How can we improve?


AAA Printing always recommends you consult with your printing rep early in the process of choosing paper for your printed pieces. Ask about the economies of using house stocks. It's also good to have an understanding of how paper and its characteristics affect your finished product. Here is a list of paper terms you should know:

  • Basis Weight is a way of identifying paper. In the U.S., it refers to the weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) in the basic size for that grade. The basis size in the U.S. is not the same for all grades of paper. Book paper, cover paper, bond paper, newsprint, etc. all differ.

  • Color affects the color reproduction of lighter tints. Paper colors vary with advertising fads from cool to warm shades. Type is more easily read against a soft or yellowish white, while process colors reproduce most accurately on neutral white paper.

  • Gloss affects the appearance of the ink film.

  • Smoothness is a very important property for letterpress and gravure, but has little effect on offset. Smooth surfaces have irregularities that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be detected by a magnifying glass. As smoothness decreases, solids and halftones become grainy in appearance. Type is not affected to that degree.


©2009 AAA Printing & Graphics. All Rights Reserved.