How to Choose Gift Certificate Paper

Posted on April 22, 2011 by

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Gift Certificate paper format

Gift certificate format is usually 8?4 inches so an A4 format (8?11 inches) works best. That means you can print 2 gift certificates per A4 paper sheet. Make sure to use a good paper trimmer to give a nice finish.

Ready-Made Certificate Paper or Not?

When considering to make printable gift certificates, you should choose some paper to print the gift certificates on. What you should choose depends what kind of gift certificate you want to print:

  • a blank gift certificate: you just want a simple gift certificate design with colored borders and that’s it. In that case, a ready-made certificate paper is best. You’ll have a choice between several colors and border styles, but the design won’t be stellar.
  • a printable gift certificate with no photo: you have a gift certificate design you want to print, but it has no pictures and doesn’t need to be of the highest quality. In that case, simple paper will work. You might want to choose an extra-thick paper though, if you can afford it.
  • a printable gift certificate with quality photography: a good photo paper will be the best option.

Now that we’ve covered different needs for printing gift certificates, we need to go into more details into how to choose gift certificate paper. You have to decide mostly about three things: paper weight, opacity and paper finish.

Paper weight

Paper weight is usually expressed in pounds (lb.) or as grams per square meter (g/m2).This ranges from light weight newsprint to very heavy cardboard. Most quality business paper should be about 20 to 24 pound- the greeting card paper is heavier, usually in the range of 60 – 65 lb. Gift certificate paper should also be in that range.


Opacity means how see-through is the paper. The more the opacity, less of the printed text will be visible from the other side. This is especially important for double-sided gift certificates. Photo papers have high opacity of about 94-97 usually.

Paper finish

Choose between matte and glossy. It’s mostly a matter of preference- the finish should be selected based on the look you want to achieve. A matte finish indicates more absorbent paper, consisting of paper particles, air and an ink-receptive coating. Glossy papers are far more complex with any number of chemicals added to create the reflective surface. Matte papers may be more stable over time, but glossy papers provide higher contrast and color saturation.


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