Certificate Printing Paper Doesn’t Have To Be Rocket Science.

Certificates always mark a special occasion. Whether it’s baptismal, matrimonial, or even academic—certificates are more than just a piece of paper. But did you know that the paper used for certificates matters too?

When printing out certificates, the certificate paper type says more than we might think. The kind of paper that we choose for the document also serves as a vehicle to convey our message, and should always match the role of the paper, as well as the gravity and intent behind it. With the many types of paper stocks available out in the market, we hope that this nifty guide can help simplify the selection process by taking out the guesswork when it comes to special paper for your certificate. Pick the best paper for your certificate by selecting a paper type that both you and the certificate recipient can be proud of.

“It’s just paper, it’s no big deal.”

If you have never wondered how to choose paper for printing then it is high time that you change your mind set In the same way that you would not submit your CV printed on wrinkly, low-quality paper stock, the kind of paper used for certificates also matters. When it comes to printing out certificates, you might be thinking that it’s the thought that counts. After all, it simply marks an occasion, or an achievement, among other similar functions. But it is also important to remember that the type of paper used for the certificate can make or break a situation. Here are a few aspects to consider when considering what certificate paper type to use.

certificate of graduation

The Occasion

Is the certificate meant to mark a major life event, such as marriage, or perhaps the completion of a course or degree? The recipient’s feelings towards the institution that awarded it to them, as well as the gravity and credibility the certificate holds may change if a low-quality paper for the certificate is chosen. As a rule of thumb, opt for thicker, heavier paper stock with interesting visual elements if you want a hardy certificate that is meant to be proudly displayed. Examples of this type of occasion are commencement exercises, marriage, and awards. If you want your certificate paper type to exude gravitas when it is awarded or displayed, consider our top picks:


Generally known as the best paper type for certificates, parchment paper is one of the heavier types of paper stock with an interesting visual finish. With a thick and hardy feel, this paper type is durable enough to survive the test of time, while looking impressive enough to frame and hang on a wall above your desk or in your office. Parchment paper has a unique, mottled appearance with colors that range from white to off-white, as well as a range of varying thickness and opacities. Parchment paper also takes well to absorbing ink during digital printing, whether it be a laser or inkjet printer. It also does a good job of resisting stains and dirt if displayed after certificate production, while remaining absorbent enough for calligraphy and signatures post-printing if necessary due to its uncoated finish.

Laid Paper

Suited to both formal and informal occasions, laid paper is a good alternative if you want a more rustic and visually interesting look to your printed certificate. Whether it be for a homemade award that is as important as it is unique, or a creative award handed out in the workplace by colleagues, laid paper lends a warmer, more personal touch because of its handmade yet refined appearance due to the wire mold production used to create it. While this paper is still a great pick for formal awards, it is also a great choice for special occasions in more informal settings. This certificate paper type is significantly harder than parchment and resembles card or board paper in finish and quality.

Laid paper is suitable for awards that are more sentimental than they are official, whereas parchment is more strictly suited for formal certificates that may be required for government documents or educational pursuits.

handing off certificate

The Intent

Is your certificate more like a legal document, such as a license to operate from your local government? Or perhaps it is a simple certificate of recognition or participation in a seminar? The intent of your certificate is definitely an important factor to consider, especially since the quality of paper stock can rack up the cost. If your certificate serves a purpose more akin to formal documentation and has no special occasion involved, then consider this certificate paper type for your needs:

Linen Paper

With an appearance and texture much like its namesake, linen paper possesses a visually interesting texture with subtle embossing. While not as thick or expensive as parchment paper, linen paper is a hardy certificate paper type choice that looks and feels premium despite its more affordable price tag. Linen paper can be used for important documents, such as certificates and recognitions. Deliver a high-brow impression that can stay decently hardly in transit without having to spend too much for linen paper’s stately, sophisticated appearance.

The Physical Requirements

When considering the certificate paper type, even matters such as the transit and delivery have to be considered. Is the certificate you wish to print the kind that will be rolled up and delivered in a cylinder? Or perhaps you will have it delivered framed? Thicker paper material would be needed if you expect the certificate to hold its own when displayed, while thinner paper would be necessary for framed or rolled up certificates to avoid creasing. Thinner varieties are more absorbent as well, making them more prone to degrading from elements like rain, humidity, and moisture over the years. Unlike the two previous categories, the physical requirements of your certificates are definitely a case-to-case basis, making it harder to recommend a specific paper type. If you are unsure about which paper type would best fit your physical requirements, simply reach out to a reliable print provider and let them know your specifications.

We hope that this short guide can help you get a better idea of which certificate printing papers work best for your occasion, intent, and requirements! However, you can simplify this process even further by partnering with a printshop that can hear out your requirements and provide solutions and choices that are tailored to your needs. Get in touch with us at CMYK and enjoy a seamless paper printing process!

Author: admin_cmyk

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