I love paper, all kinds of paper. I love paper like most women love shoes.
Some specialty papers are preprinted with color borders and themes and all you need to do is run them through your desktop printer or copier to add your content. There are many products designed for business applications: letterhead, brochures, business cards and envelopes. You could get the whole color scheme to match from letterhead to envelopes. There are a lot of fun preprinted specialty papers also. Papers whose themes are for the holidays, seasons, sports, weddings, and many other events. Matching envelopes, invitations, place cards, tickets and even napkins, which can be personalized for your event, are available.
Other types of specialty papers include papers with different finishes or textures such as linen, wood grains, metallics, parchments, translucents, vellums, Japanese prints and the list goes on and on. And most of these are available in multiple colors.
When buying specialty papers be sure they can be used with your printer. There are papers that are designed specifically for laser printers or inkjets and some that need professional equipment such as an offset press or HP Indigo machines. The thickness or weight of the paper can be a factor to consider when using desktop printers. Some printers can handle heavier paper while others will not. Most online stores either sell or will send you some samples to try before you buy. Samples are also good because the color you see on your monitor is not necessarily the color you will get.
Paper Direct was one of the first specialty paper companies I came to know when I first started desktop publishing. I purchased from them for years not only for their preprinted papers, but also for their laser foils. Their line of business communication papers include heavier weight paper, linens, parchments, gradients, earth tones, border papers, foils, and watermarked designs. I chose one of their designs and found 18 matching items available. They also offer that you can create your own design online and they will print and ship your paper, note cards, envelopes and even post-its in two different sizes. Along with specialty papers Paper Direct also carries literature displays, business card cutters, vinyl banners... well I think you get the picture!
Idea Art also carries a large selection of preprinted papers and accessories themed for all kinds of events. If you are looking for business designs, I think that Paper Direct has a more professional, business feel to their line of business papers. Other than that, Idea Artís papers are attractive and they also carry a selection of matching products. They have some very colorful file folders as well.
The Paper Mill Store sells papers from various paper manufacturers that are not preprinted but special in their own way. Rich textures, metallics, and many colors and weights are available. Most of their papers need to be printed on professional presses, so be sure to check their printing tips before ordering. Samples of their papers (7 sheets) can be purchased to try them before purchasing a whole package. The papers they sell are used for crafting and there is a page on their website showcasing projects utilizing their paper. They also offer a perforating service with 45 different perforating formats, from business cards to tickets, to shelf talkers, and will ship them two to four days after your order.
LCI Paper also carries a large variety of specialty papers. There were several things I liked about their site. First, they have video tutorials on designing and printing on their paper. They have even taken different papers and tried them on several printers including inkjet, laser and professional and give you full reports as well as visuals to see the difference in print on the paper. They offer sample paper kits of each type of paper in all the colors available. You can also purchase their swatch book which includes 130 different paper samples and $30 worth of coupons towards future purchases of their products, thus covering the cost of the swatch book.
Two of the specialty paper stores listed above were picked at random from a search on Google. In the past I have used Paper Direct and more recently I ordered from the Paper Mill Store for a project I was working on. Both places provided both excellent products and customer service. All four stores only have some of their products or services mentioned here. If I went into everything they offer I would be writing for a lot longer time!
Links for the online specialty stores above: