Welcome to FlectaPrint’s Cardstock, Laminate and Foil Guide. Here we will detail some essential terminology, along with our guidelines on selecting the best options for your print requirements. This guide forms a part of our Terms and Conditions, and by purchasing from us you acknowledge that you have read, understand, and agree to our Terms and Conditions which includes our Cardstock, Laminate and Foil guide, as well as our Optimal Artwork Setup Instructions.
With the formalities out of the way, let’s get into it!
Let’s start with some basic terminology which you may come across in dealing with us, or most other printers.
Stock: We use this term to refer to the paper/cardstock we keep in our inventory to offer.
GSM: Stands for Grams per square metre, and is generally used when referring to the weight of paper and cardstock, although it can be applied to anything really. This is a way to give an approximation to the thickness of a stock, but definitely should not be how you read it. It is simply the weight.
UMS/microns: This is how the thickness of a stock is measured, in microns (ums). 1000 microns is equivalent to 1 millimetre. If you really want to know how thick the stock you’re looking at is, you can send a request to your printer or paper supplier of choice to find out. Example – two stocks that are 300gsm can be different thicknesses.
Coated Stock: A coated stock is a paper, card, artboard, or board that has a coating on one or both sides of the stock. The most commonly seen coated stocks will be a Satin (semi-gloss) and a Glossy.
Uncoated Stock: An uncoated stock is as the name suggests, uncoated. This is probably what you think of when you think of paper. Uncoated stocks can range from a typical copy/laser paper, to specialty uncoateds, and can vary in the look, and feel of the texture.
Board Stock: Board stock is generally a bit thicker than your standard papers or artboards, even when the GSM is similar. They’re also known to be more rigid. Commonly seen in packaging too, but can definitely be printed on to add a special look to your print job.
Textured Stock: This term can be applied to any of the above, and generally means that the stock has a look and feel that isn’t smooth.
Specialty Stock: Your less common stocks, ranging from premium coated stocks, to premium uncoateds, and heavily textured stocks such as Linen and Felt. Comes with a higher price tag for many reasons, such as the cost to manufacture, demand, and quality. However these stocks are perfect to add that unique look and flair to your project.
Laminate: A cello coating applied your print job, adding thickness and durability for longer lasting prints. We offer this in a matte, gloss, or premium soft touch.
Foil: A special embellishment to add to your project, bringing it to the next step in luxury. We offer a different type of foil to most, where it is not embossed into the page. This means we have certain limitations which we will detail in the Foil section of this page.
As described above, laminates can be added to your project to bolster the thickness and durability of the print. The most commonly seen laminates are Matte and Gloss, however there are more out there. We offer a third option for premium Soft Touch laminate (our personal favorite).
When customizing the features of your product, we kindly ask that you keep in mind the limitations of our matte laminate.
Please avoid combining laminates with stocks under 200gsm, as they tend to curl easier.
Please avoid combining laminates with textured stocks, and non-smooth uncoated stocks. Laminate is applied with heat and pressure, and the less smooth the stock is, the higher the chance there is for tiny air pockets to get trapped between the stock and the laminate. If you are unsure about what stocks to choose, feel free to get in contact with us via our Contact Form.
If we see an order submitted with non-recommended conbinations of laminate and stock, we will get in contact with you to discuss it.
Due to the cost to both us, and you, we have created separate products for Foil related prints. We have done this to minimise the potential error in orders, as we are limited in various ways with how we can apply it.
You might notice that we have removed a bunch of stock options from the foil products. This is because we do not get good results with our foiling method on these stocks. The remaining ones are all approved from our production team to be compatible with our foils.
Our second limitation with the foil is the placement. We can foil directly onto the cardstock, but not on top of existing toner that has been printed; unless we use our premium Soft Touch laminate to separate the two. This is why we have limited the laminate options to just the Soft Touch, as it has been specially made to work with our foil. Please see below two examples of a laminate optional foil print, and a laminate required foil print.
As the cost for a print with laminate and foil is higher than the cost of a print with just foil, we reserve the right to reject an order placed without following the guidelines. If you made a mistake, we can issue an invoice for the difference, or issue a refund so you can place the order again. If you have not placed an order, and are unsure about what options to choose for your foil project, feel free to get in contact with us via our Contact Form.