There are many decisions to be made when choosing and ordering your Photo Birth Announcements. Where will you order from? What type of design? Which photo of your baby will you use? But another important decision that should not be overlooked, is choosing what type of paper on which to have your Announcements printed.
Some online Birth Announcement stores only offer their cards printed on photo paper. Others only offer press-printed card stock cards. But many online merchants will offer you both of these options. It's necessary to understand the differences between these options in order to make the best decision for your personal preferences.
Birth Announcements printed on photo paper will be an actual photograph. This means the back of the card will be like any other photograph you've seen – bearing the manufacturer's logo, and perhaps a printed copyright or other identifying text from the printer.
Regarding image quality, printing on photo paper will represent your image most accurately. This can have positive or negative results. If your image is good quality, high resolution, well lit and in sharp focus, photo paper will show this quality at its best. However, if your image is of poorer quality, low resolution, or slightly out of focus, photo paper will also make these imperfections more noticeable.
If choosing a photo paper option, make sure the Birth Announcement company you have chosen uses only professional grade photo paper such as Kodak Endura Professional Paper, and that they print their cards at a professional lab. Matte finish works best for Photo Cards as they are easier to view and resist fingerprints.
Having your Announcements printed on card stock will cost a little bit more than photo paper, but card stock will give you a more formal look and sturdier appearance. An additional benefit is that you can often request to have the back side printed as well – perhaps with additional photos or a message of your choice. Or if you leave the back blank you can hand write your own messages.
Most online Photo Birth Announcement companies that offer press-printed card stock cards, typically offer several options to choose from. Many offer sample packs of their stocks but usually charge a small fee to ship these. Understanding the differences between the card stocks will help make choosing your preference easier.
Semi-Gloss – a heavyweight card stock with a smooth finish. This stock is not very glossy but has a slight sheen. Depending on what type of pen you use, this stock can be more difficult to write on than the matte stocks.
UV Coated Semi-Gloss – adding a UV coating to the Semi-Gloss stock will give it a high gloss (shiny) finish. Most companies will charge a bit more for this finish.
Matte Linen – a medium-weight matte stock with a slight linen texture. This stock can have a very elegant and formal feel, due to the linen texture, and is a very popular choice among consumers.
Matte Watercolor – a lighter weight stock with a slight pebbled texture.
Some stores also offer Metallic and Pearl finishes which give the card stock a metallic or luminescent finish, respectively. These finishes, while unique, can make some images look distorted when viewed at different angles. These printing finishes often look better for landscapes, abstracts, or artistic portraits, rather than for a baby's Birth Announcement photo.
When deciding where to order your Photo Birth Announcements, be sure to review all of the options offered by the online merchants you are considering. Having a sound understanding of the differences between these options will not only make your decision easier, but will help ensure that you are pleased with your final printed product.