In the modern world of digital marketing, paper products are often overlooked, despite the fact that direct mail marketing, flyers, and other paper marketing materials are still incredibly effective.

But to truly stand out from the competition, your business needs to use distinctive, unique paper products – as well as professional, gorgeous designs. Let’s take a look at 6 unique paper types now, and discuss how they can help your business differentiate itself from the competition!

1. Cardstock

Cardstock is heavyweight paper that’s often used for a variety of direct mail applications. With a heavy weight design and a durable, thick construction, cardstock is useful for creating flyers, paper displays for cash registers, and marketing materials for conventions and professional associations.

Cardstock is available in a wide variety of finishes and weights. From uncoated, lightweight cardstock, to heavy-duty cardstock used for product packaging, you have an enormous variety of products to choose from.

2. Matte Finish Paper

Matte finish paper is any type of paper that’s finished using a unique chemical coating. This coating results in a flat finish that’s unique and visually appealing, and a roughened surface texture.

Matte paper is an ideal choice for flyers or materials that require high-quality photographic reproduction. This is because it’s resistant to fingerprints and smudging, and allows for the production of crisp, visually-striking designs and images.

Related: Unique Print Folds You've Never Considered

3. Glossy Paper

Glossy paper is a perfect choice for sleek, professional flyers or direct mailers. Glossy papers generally have a unique plastic coating applied to them that makes them shiny and bright – perfect for photographs, text, and illustrations.

Glossy paper is especially popular for signage. The glossiness of the paper helps draw the eye of customers, and because the paper is so bright, bold colors stand out and provide a striking contrast.

4. Reflective/Metallic Paper

Reflective and metallic papers have a thin layer of foil applied to them during the production process, resulting in a reflective finish that can be used for a variety of different purposes.

Most commonly, metallic paper is used as an accent for marketing materials. It’s possible to incorporate small amounts of metallic paper into a standard flyer or direct mailer. This lends contrast and visual interest to your marketing materials, and makes customers more likely to take notice of your marketing message.

So while metallic paper can’t be used effectively on its own, it’s an incredible compliment to other unique types of paper.

Marketing Paper Types - Inronmark, Annapolis Junction, MD


Linen finish paper is a fantastic choice for businesses that are marketing high-quality, luxurious products. Using an advanced plastic coating, linen finish paper has a matte finish with a subtle, embossed texture.

This crosshatched texture lends instant visual appeal to the paper, reminiscent of fine linen – hence, the name. Often, linen finish paper is used in marketing materials for upscale restaurants, boutiques, bridal shops, and other establishments which focus on the finer things in life.

6. Post-Consumer Recycled Paper

Recycled, post-consumer paper can be a great choice for businesses that emphasize environmental friendliness. These papers are made from the cellulose fibers of previously-recycled paper, cardstock, and cardboard.

Post-consumer recycled paper is generally more rustic and rough than traditionally-manufactured paper, and is usually unbleached. This results in sturdy paper with a visible fibrous texture and an appealing, dark-brown color.

This makes it perfect for businesses who focus on natural products. Not only is it good for the environment, post-consumer recycled paper can make you stand out among other companies who use dyed, fully-finished paper products.


The Bottom Line

Use these paper products to your advantage – market your business more effectively!

No matter what business you’re in, your paper marketing materials can be enhanced by choosing the proper paper for the job. So if you’re creating a new, paper-focused marketing strategy, don’t settle for boring, plain paper. Choose one of the above unique paper types – and set your business apart from the competition. 

Have a question? Talk to an expert at Ironmark to help get your next marketing campaign going!

Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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