How to choose the best paper for your message and brand

When it comes to methods of modern communication, sometimes paper can seem like a vestige of the past. We tend to get caught up in the digital words and graphics of our modern world.  

But what about the power of the tactile?

The impact of giving your customer something to touch and experience?

When you allow your customer to hold onto something, you might just make a multi-sensory first impression – and they do say those are the most important.

Paper is almost as important – if not more important – than the design that is printed on it. That’s why we believe that choosing the best paper for your message & brand is critical.

We’ve spent years learning how to use this ageless medium to the advantage of your brand, and we know that when it comes to paper, there are two categories that are the most important:


  • Weight
  • Finish



Weight is linked to thickness, so generally, the thicker the paper, the higher the weight. For reference, copier paper is referred to as 60# text, while business cards would be printed on what we call 100# cover.

Typically, the higher the #, the more impressive your message will look.

Note: Paper weight is sometimes stated using the “#” symbol. For example, “20#” means “20 pounds per basis ream of 500 sheets.”

As for the thickness – in general, the more a sheet of paper weights, the thicker and/or stiffer it is. This is often measured by caliper, which is typically given in thousandths of an inch.

Some Guidelines:

  • 20~24# – Standard weight paper
  • 24~28# – For ordinary posters
  • 80~100# – Preferred weight for most business cards

At Pel Hughes, we can print on anything from 24# bond to 130# cover.


Finish has to do with the final texture of the paper. The most popular finishes are high-gloss, semi-gloss, silk, and uncoated. After the product is printed on the paper of your choice, additional finishes can be added such as spot gloss or soft-touch.

Coated finishes are treated with a sealant that lends them specific characteristics, such as high level of glossiness and a stiffer feel. This coating gives papers a waxy finish with a varying degree of shine, provides protection from wear and tear, and reduces the level of ink that a sheet can absorb.

Coated paper is ideal for:

  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Postcards
  • Packaging
  • Photography
  • Magazines
  • Art books

Uncoated finishes have an untreated surface and are often less reflective than coated finishes. These papers usually lend a softer look to projects because the ink is absorbed into the paper, which diffuses its vibrance. Embossing often works best on uncoated papers because their finishes are softer and are less likely to crack. Their lack of coating also makes them easier to write on, making them ideal for use as:

  • Letterheads
  • Newsletters
  • Envelopes
  • Stationery

Both coated and uncoated papers have a range of finishes to choose from, but you’ll usually find more variety when it comes to texture with uncoated stocks.

Can you believe that these are just the basics?! There are so many weight and texture options that it would make your head spin. If you’re not sure what weight and finish to go with and want to explore your options – we’re happy to help!

Contact Pel Hughes today to get started on your printing needs!


Katie the Komori: Louisiana’s Only H-UV printer

We’ve got a new family member at Pel Hughes, and she’s a big beauty. She wasn’t the easiest piece of equipment to get through the door,  but now that we have her, we’re never letting go.

Please allow us to introduce you to….. Katie the Komori!

Her specialty is H-UV printing, and we’re pretty thrilled to say that we’re the only business in Louisiana offering her capabilities.

Why is this worth celebrating, you ask? Here’s the deal..

The traditional printing process involves the application of ink to a surface. The solvents within the ink evaporate into the air as the pigment absorbs into the paper.

With H-UV printing, that waiting and absorbing and evaporating is a thing of the past.

In Katie’s world, H-UV ink is applied to a surface and then exposed to UV rays, resulting in instantaneous drying.

Advantages of Immediate Drying

  • Less time. And we all know time is money.
    • UV curing systems shorten the time it takes to get from the receipt of materials to delivery because drying and finishing work (like cutting, die cutting, and folding) are performed “in line.”
  • More space
    • When you don’t need to wait for items to dry, you don’t need drying space. Plain and simple.
  • Better quality
    • H-UV printing is a powderless process, meaning that powder granules won’t be scattered all willy nilly.

Advantages for the Earth

  • Katie’s H-UV system produces about one-fourth the CO2 emissions of a traditional UV curing system
  • No ozone discharged
  • Fewer Volatile Organic Compounds produced

Advantages for your Product

In addition to the time saving, environment-aiding functions of our new friend, Katie also just makes a better looking product. Rather than letting ink dry traditionally and slowly spreading out after application to the surface, her ink dries instantly – frozen exactly where it was placed. This means more precision and higher contrast for a crisp, bright image – images that stand up to weather and fading like no other printing product in history.

To put the cherry on top, special effects like coatings and glosses happen in-line, again cutting down costs while giving you the option to create truly tactile experiences for your customers.


Translation: H-UV printing technology has the capability to print a world of promotional items for your business in addition to your direct mail and marketing needs.

Curious to see how she came together? Check out this time-lapse video!

Interactive print? Is that even possible?


When it comes to print ads, there are thousands of different ideas and concepts that can be employed and used. How do you make your print interactive? Though it may seem like interactive print is something that is unattainable, it is far easier than you might imagine. Here are three ways that you can make your print interactive and really get your readers and viewers involved.


1    QR Codes- Everyone has smart phones these days, something that proves as a distinct advantage to the individual or the company that is using print ads. A QR code is a block code that can be read by QR readers on smart phones. These codes can lead your viewers to websites, other content, videos, other advertisements, and so much more. These codes are easy to make, easy to use, and incredibly fun.  Put them on a postcard, for example, leading scanners right to your corporate website!


2    Purpose Driven Ads- Another great way to amp up the interactivity of your ad is to create an ad that can be used for something else; an ad that has a purpose. This could be something as simple as an ad that has perforated edges and can be popped up to create a 3d ad, to something as complicated as an ad that can be made into something else. This will allow companies to make their print ad and convey the information they need while creating an ad that is fully interactive and completely memorable.

3    Wired Ads- There is a whole new genre of this, that is fully interactive because it has been wired. This means that the ad actually does something. It could be anything from playing music, to reading a message or changing the color of a picture. Whatever it is, these ads will be highly interactive. While they can be great, they do sometimes cause problems and tend to be more expensive.


By following these tips, your company will become a creative and memorable business. Remember: Interactive ads are a thing of today, not a thing of the future.

Are Bindery Services Worth The Investment?


Full-time staff at excellent bindery service companies are skilled at quickly performing graphic arts binding and print finishing solutions. You’ll actually find lower expenses when using professional bindery experts because your temporary employees often make errors and waste materials simply because of the learning curve for each custom project. Small companies literally do save money partnering with other companies for operations they need occasionally, rather than hiring another full-time staff member with all the benefits. Bindery outsourcing is not only a cost savings, but you have a guarantee the job will be ready when you need it, and the result is a perfect product.

A bindery specialist company provides professional finishing for any type of document or print media.

  • First-time perfect binding
  • Spiral and wire-O punch and binding
  • Crisp folding service when needed
  • Die cutting, perforations, and scoring
  • Hand-work, fulfillment, packet assembly
  • Saddle stitching, finish over-stitching on fine work
  • Perfect touch, clean gluing
  • Assembly like in pocket folders and professional packets
  • Precision laminating

Managing the bindery staff on a daily basis is a perfect method of operations control. We also take precautions when selecting a team for each project, they are screened and trained for specialized skills because our employees are the hands-on difference that insure your finished orders look exceptional every time.

Need Help Fast?

Give our friendly and professional marketing and customer care staff a call to discuss options like bound flip-books, homeschooling materials, any custom print work assembly, seminar workbooks, family tree booklets, bulk order reports, analysis or power point follow-along reports, custom cookbooks, or glossy print catalogs. We can service all of your multiple media bindery needs! Just get in touch with our team!

How Printers Can Improve Their Marketing Efforts


Marketing materials, especially for franchised companies with a strong online presence, is important to the branding of your merchandise with your name and logo. An online store for your marketing materials is no longer a convenience for your clients but a necessity and expectation. There are plenty of companies that specialize in such sites to make management of your online store quick and simple without need to hire an in house employee specifically to fill that role.

Latka Communications is one such company with a proven track record of success with filling the needs of company marketing materials and the handling of their orders. They specialize in providing your custom printing solutions, with custom printed items from newsletters to books. Items can be published to your website, or mailed in physical form directly to a client or to a retail storefront. This service allows you to focus on your own job of running the company successfully while we take care of the daily chore of providing these solutions to your clients.

The solution should be simple to use and easy to explain, with affordable set up to get your online store up and running. Latka Communications makes your job easier by accounting for shipping logistics by incorporating shipping with confirmation, verifying placement of an order through email, and allowing for re-order and replenishment purchases based on your client’s use of the product. Billing is customizable according to your company’s needs.

Latka Communications offers the perfect service for your online site service of marketing materials. Visit the website to see these most commonly offered features along with more detailed descriptions of customization options. By incorporating and using their knowledge and experience you can help your company increase profits through online sales.

How Can Traditional Print Take on a More Active Form

How can traditional print take on a more active form? This question, if not the answer has gained a lot of traction in the past five to 10 years. Why? Because there has been trend for books to be published and marketed in ways that really didn’t exist prior to 10 years ago. The same can be said of magazines and even newspapers.

Amazon has become a dirty word in many publishing circles. Authors can publish their work in nontraditional ways, including doing so on their own without the benefit of a publishing company. The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy sold millions and millions of copies, and it was originally self-published without a paper version. Those success stories can turn traditional publishing on its head.

What can traditional publishing do to remain relevant? One of the first steps is to ensure that it doesn’t ignore the new forms of publishing. Harvard Business Publishing is an example of how electronic media isn’t forgotten, but it is even embraced. Authors and books are discussed on blogs. Electronic media spreads the word about new books and authors. The book is then published and it can succeed or fail on its own merits. It won’t succeed or fail based on whether it is published on the written page or only via a tablet.

Another solution is to run fewer initial copies of the paper books. Books that are released in conjunction with electronic media, as well as on the page can be successful. Once again, word must be spread, and that will be more likely to be successful when the word is spread online. People are online, like it or not, hyping the opening of a book online only makes sense.

Traditional media may not ever be what it was, but that doesn’t mean it is going away. Book publishers who want paper books to succeed will need to learn how to adjust, and if they do, their products will survive.

Ideas for Your Next Print Marketing Campaign

Ideas for Your Next Print Marketing Campaign

Print marketing is certainly not dead, as some internet devotees would have you believe. It still holds an important place in your overall marketing plans. Here are some ideas that will help your next print marketing campaign stand out from the rest.

Print Marketing Is More Unique

The competition for customers online is extreme, which makes it more difficult to stand apart from other companies in your field. Since most businesses focus on internet marketing, print media helps you to grab attention.

When you see ads in your email, how long do you usually spend looking at each one? Long enough to delete it, or perhaps to mark the email as spam. Checking your postal mail is entirely different, according to Marketing Profs. You probably bring your mail into your home and at least glance at each piece, before throwing some of them away and keeping some for sales in which you are interested. This means that print materials may receive a good deal more attention than online ads.

Print Marketing and Social Media

Many companies use social media sites to engage their customers and potential customers. Look back a bit farther. Before there were social sites online, there were business cards. Handing someone a business card is a social contact in the most basic sense. You can also integrate print marketing with social media.

Print Media with QR Codes

More people than ever connect with companies like yours online. The technology is still developing, and as it does, print media develops ways to use it. A QR code, that unusual square logo that Smarthphones can read, allows potential customers to scan your print media into their phones, and be taken to your website.

QR codes are customizable with various patterns and colors to integrate into your next print marketing campaign. This type of technology can connect people to your website, but it can do more. It can also play videos or distribute files, or share features that will encourage potential customers to seek you out and engage with you, and even share your company sales with other potential customers.

Tying Print With Mobile Devices


Some observers believe the marriage of print media and mobile devices is a new advertising genre. Many experts have been touting the value of print advertising, now that so many companies better understand the benefits–and the “warts”–surrounding digital advertising campaigns.

According to Mobile Commerce Daily, the Best Buy coordination of mobile marketing with their weekly sale circular, begun in 2010, has capitalized on the interactive benefits of mobile devices with the power of print advertising. Mobile device marketing offers an important advantage over traditional print marketing: Active calls to action.

This marriage of print and digital media offers benefits unavailable with other marketing options. Immediate and personal calls to action are a graphic example. There are other advantages you can enjoy.

  • Perfect your online presence with a great website and relevant social media pages.
  • Publish a regular newsletter with free subscriptions for your customers and prospects.
  • Combining print and mobile marketing helps deliver the “feel” and quality of your products.

Using coordinated digital and print advertising campaigns maximize your audience reach in all demographics and gains Facebook “likes” and more Tweeter followers. This combination typically results in more customers, too. More customers equal more revenue.

Your website, social media and newsletters offer another benefit. You’ll get some interested new leads that you can convert to customers. Melding print advertising with mobile devices creates engaged fans of your products or services.

Just as Best Buy uses this combination to increase sales with interactive calls to action, you can do the same for your company. Combining quality print pieces with mobile marketing campaigns gives you the cutting edge multimedia tools you need to succeed.

Integrating marketing campaigns with combinations of print and digital media can return outstanding results. When integrated with effective email marketing, print and mobile channels can increase ROI (return on investment), revenue and profitability. Using one of the top companies, like LATKA Communications, to coordinate mail or email campaigns makes it easy for you to get the most out of your advertising efforts, while enjoying budget-friendly solutions.

Four Ways To Make Your Printed Colleteral Stand Out


Even in the digital age mailboxes are flooded with flyers, trade shows are filled with brochures and desks are covered with business cards. In a sea of paper, is your print collateral getting noticed, or is it getting tossed into a recycling bin without being read?


Create a Visual Identity


Have you ever looked at someone and remembered their face but not their name? While it would be wonderful it every potential customer remembered your business the first time they “met” you, it doesn’t usually work that way. Most people need repeated exposure to your marketing materials before they act. Consistent branding is the memorable face of your business. Your printed collateral should work as a unit, along with your online presence, rather than as individual pieces. The most basic way to create a visual identity is to prominently display your logo on each piece of collateral. In addition, repeat the same color scheme, fonts and overall feel. While it seems counterintuitive to stand out by staying the same, a consistent brand helps consumers recognize you in the flood of information they see each day.


Less Is More


From your mission statement to your upcoming sale, there are dozens of things you want a potential customer to know. It’s tempting to try to squeeze them all in while you have the opportunity. But, no one wants to read a wall of text. Print collateral that is crowded, boring and text heavy will likely get overlooked. Decide on a clear message for each piece of print collateral and drill it down to it’s most basic. Make text easy to skim by using bullet points and simple, casual language. Then, use larger, bold fonts to emphasize the key words and ideas. Surround it all with ample white space and you have a message that people actually want to read.


Get Graphic


Words aren’t the only way to communicate; photos and graphics often speak louder. Charts and graphs are here to stay, but infographics are the trendiest way to both grab attention while also communicating large amounts of information. Photos are also an important way to command attention and highlight your message. But, skip the stock photography since it is instantly recognizable as being generic. Instead, use high quality, professional photographs taken at your business or of your products.


Consider the Paper


While what you say and how you say it is important, so is what you say it on. Basic paper and cardstock is fine, but not likely to capture attention. Make your printed materials feel special by using textured, recycled or glossy paper, vellum or even fabric. Think outside the box and go beyond basic square and rectangular shapes. Why not try and unexpected round poster or a die-cut brochure? Also, dark paper with white print is sure to garner attention in a stack of plain white mail.

Why We Love Print (And You Should Too!)

We love print media and there is a reason that you should love it, too. When you are working on a marketing strategy for your business, print can help you to reach your entire target demographic, regardless of their age. You cannot rely solely on the Internet because print is how you are going to market to those who are right in front of your face.

Print provides security that someone is going to see your marketing message. You never have to worry about viruses or other malware preventing your message from reaching the intended audience. Once it is printed, it is available for the world to see – you just have to get it in front of the right people.

Printing is available using new technology that allows for higher quality images, larger formatting, full bleeds and real-life colors. This ensures that you are able to portray your company in the way that it needs to be so that people find out who you are and what you are all about.

We love print because it is diverse. You can choose small business cards to hand out to people when you see them, flyers for upcoming events, and banners to tell people where you are. It is a form of marketing that has always been around and will continue to thrive as long as there are face to face interactions taking place.

Print can be affordable and there is room for small and large businesses alike to partake in it. Small businesses generally focus on personalization while large businesses focus on bulk printing. Regardless of who you are, print media can help you achieve your marketing goals in one capacity or another. From catalogs to bulk mail to posters, it can all help you market your business.