Invitations, Announcements & Photo Cards

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Thickness and Texture

...for birth announcements and other baby stationery

Many people prefer a type of paper because it just feels right. The feeling you get when you brush your hand across the surface of the paper conveys an important sentiment about the stationery. Glossy finishes evoke sentiments of excitement and glamour while traditional, softer finishes are more appropriate for classic and traditional announcements and invitations.

The following are a list of common finishes used in stationery:

Antique Finish

Slightly rougher than eggshell and English finishes, it has a hand-crafted look and feel that provides an interesting textural accent. Resembling a tight burlap sack, this finish is bold and can be seen on both sides of the paper with an obvious front and back.

Calendar Finish

A smooth, glossy finish created by calendar rolls, it is also called an English or machine finish. (Example shown above.)

Columns

Modern, subtle and distinct, this finish has embossed columns that can be seen from both sides of the paper.

Dull Finish

A flat finish on coated paper that is smoother than matte paper giving the appearance of reflecting a small amount of light.

Eggshell Finish

A slightly grainy finish that resembles the texture of an eggshell, it is rougher than a machine finish or English finish, but smoother than an antique finish. (Example shown above.)

Embossed Finish

A delicate pattern pressed into the surface of card stock. A subtle, embossed motif or pattern in a birth announcement or invitation can be a very elegant touch. (Example shown above.)

English Finish

Also called a smooth finish, this generally has less texture than eggshell and antique finishes.

Felt

A fairly noticeable, deep finish with craters that resemble small pock marks.

Glossy

A shiny finish that provides added durability. Glossy finishes are more appropriate for business and marketing settings rather than finer personal stationery.

Laid

Dual sets of fine lines run the length of the paper in the long direction with different levels of subtlety providing a classic and traditional look and feel.

Linen

Linen finish paper is considered a classic and one of the oldest finishes. Resembling linen fabric, linen paper is very elegant and perfect for formal birth announcements as well as invitations to formal parties.

Matte

Paper with a matte coating that creates a smooth and silky surface. A matted finish is easily impressionable and provides a very unique feel.

Parchment

A smooth, buttery surface created from animal skins or linings with a brownish color, also called papyrus, the original paper. Classic parchment finishes are used for very elegant, traditional and even antique looks.

Ridge

Bands of ridges and grooves that run the length of the paper, this very precise and machined look can be used for light-hearted occasions.

Satin/Silk

Resembling a tighter version of an oil painter's canvas, this finish is not popular or commonly offered.

Smooth

Also known as English finish, it is similar in feel to quality copy paper. Smooth finishes are the most popular choice for social stationery.

Vellum

A Subtle texture that appears to be a smooth finish but is not. (Example shown above.)