When you hear the word ‘paper’ you probably assume we’re talking about the stuff that comes from trees. But there’s also synthetic paper, which opens up so many possibilities for design, print and marketing materials.

Synthetic paper is a material that has typically been manufactured from resin, but the process of developing synthetic paper is quickly evolving, offering papers made from plastics and a variety of other materials. In essence, synthetic papers are similar to a plastic film, but they look and feel more like paper.

So why does synthetic paper matter? Here are 7 reasons you should consider using synthetic paper for your next print project.

1. Lamination Gets Expensive

Have you ever needed that smooth, coated surface on a print project and thought that lamination would do the trick, only to learn it was beyond your budget? It’s true, lamination provides added durability and water resistance, but so does synthetic paper. And using synthetic paper provides labor cost savings compared to a laminated print project. So why laminate paper when you can use a synthetic that provides the same quality and characteristics as laminated paper?

2. Water Resistance

Moisture can leak through even the best laminated materials. With synthetic paper, you can wipe moisture off the surface, dip it in water, and not worry that your printed piece will be harmed in any way. We’ve seen some cool water-friendly uses for synthetic papers, whether it’s signage for a scuba diving course or plant tags that can withstand watering, synthetic paper is a perfect option if the finished product ever comes in contact with water.

3. Reduces Production Time and Cost

If you need your final product to hold up well and you use traditional paper material, it’ll take extra time to laminate the paper, increasing your costs. Because synthetic paper provides all the benefits of laminated or vinyl materials, without any added production costs, you’ll speed up the production time and save money.

4. Tear-Resistant

Synthetic paper doesn’t tear. It delivers added durability. Some clients use synthetic papers for items like runner’s bibs, restaurant menus, or other things that need to stay intact and still look great through constant use or under extreme pressure.

5. Weatherproof

Synthetics aren’t just waterproof, they’re weatherproof. Use this material for outdoors items that will be exposed to dirt, sun and wind, and you’ll find that you can wipe the surface clean without experiencing tears or color fading. A good example is plant stakes or signage at outdoor garden centers. You can spray the signs with water, stick them in mud or let people walk over them without seeing the same damage you’d see with traditionally printed materials.

6. Erasable

Synthetic paper is great for brainstorming and jotting down ideas because it’s pencil erasable. Say you want to storyboard with your designer, or take notes on a blueprint of some sort. As long as you use a pencil, you can easily erase your notes, clear your canvas and make adjustments without ever harming the writing surface.

7. Digital Printability

Perhaps the most amazing capability of synthetic print materials is that they can run through digital commercial presses. At Alexander’s we run synthetics through our digital HP Indigo presses, providing clients with quick turnaround times and exact color matching.


Whether you’re printing parking passes, product tags or medical charts, consider using synthetic paper. It really makes your project stand out from the crowd while providing a durable, long-lasting print solution.

If you’d like to explore synthetic printing possibilities, please contact us. We’re happy to help.



Alexander's is a full-service print and fulfillment and marketing communication firm in Lindon, Utah.

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