There are a lot of choices to make when you’re designing a flyer. How many colors do you want to use? Or do you want to go black and white? Is your message best broadcast using a lot of words, or are images king for your custom flyer? Should you use Helvetica, Garamond, or Comic Sans as your font of choice? Or do you want to go off the grid and scan a handwritten message to put on your flyer? Are you going to add hot specialty designelements like full-color foil printing, foil-stamping, spot UV, or silk lamination? What size should you make your flyer? The list of choices can seem overwhelming. But there’s one very easy choice to make amid all this chaos: what card thickness should you print your flyers on?

16pt Cardstock Flyers vs 14pt Cardstock Flyers

16pt Card Stock FlyersFor the most part, your printing company will give you two options: 16pt card stock  or 14pt card stock. The actual difference between the thicknesses is only just perceivable to the eye, but in the hand, it’s much more notable. Flyers printed on 16pt cardstock are almost rugged in their sturdiness. While they’re not totally waterproof, bend-proof, or tear-proof, they are somewhat resistant to all these elements; they can take a little slapping around and still maintain decent form. Also, you can often print these stronger flyers in lower quantities than you can the thinner 14pt cardstock; many printing companies only print the thinner flyers in bulk.

Flyers printed on 14pt cardstock, on the other hand, are not quite as tough, though they’re not flimsy either. No one would ever mistake a flyer printed on 14pt card stock for a standard piece of copy paper, that’s for sure. Flyers made of slightly thinner 14pt cardstock will serve most purposes, but there are certain instances where the 16pt cardstock is preferable, and the upgrade generally does not cost all that much.

You may want to ask yourself a few questions before deciding which base is best for your flyers.

1- Am I considering having these flyers double as postcards? Do I intend to put these flyers through the mail system?

2- Am I going to have these flyers out in the elements? Will someone be handing them out on a street corner, or in a place where it might rain?

3- Are these flyers to be distributed for a single event and then never used again, or do I intend to keep many of these flyers on hand for a long period of time?

4- Who will be receiving these flyers? Is this audience likely to appreciate a flyer printed on high-quality materials, or will this attention to detail be lost on them?

5- Is my flyer very driven by aesthetics? Am I printing detailed imagery that will be ruined if my flyer bends even slightly?

If you answered 1-yes, 2-yes, 3-keep on hand, 4-yes they will notice, and 5-yes, or if you gave even two out of five of those answers, you probably are a good candidate for an upgrade to 16pt cardstock flyers. If not, you’ll be fine sticking with the minimum thickness 14pt cardstock flyers.

Business Cards and Flyers printing on thick 16pt Card StockWhen you just want to print a lot of flyers and get the word out and when little details are of lesser importance than saving money, reach for the 14pt cardstock flyers – they will help you accomplish your mission while sparing you a little expense. But for a slightly higher cost, 16pt cardstock can offer a more lasting, durable base for your message. The 16pt cardstock also gives you a great base upon which to add specialty elements, like foil stamping, spot UV printing, and silk lamination.

Whatever cardstock you choose, make sure you trust your print job to a reputable printer. A good printer will not only give you a great finished product, but will help you if you have design questions along the way. Happy printing!