It turns out that the cheap paper gets spotty and rusty a *lot* faster than the expensive stuff--I don't have an exact time span, but I think it's two or three years for the cheap paper, and I haven't seen it happen at all to the other paper if the button isn't excessively dampened.
I hate seeing that happen to buttons so I've been phasing the cheap paper out, but then it occurred to me to ask an unrepresentative sample of my customers. How much do you care if a button gets spotty in two years? Is it worth it in order to get solid background colors?
Some of my expensive papers have solid-colored areas, but if I don't use the cheap papers the proportion of solid-colored buttons will be a lot lower.
A possible data point: I've occasionally offered to replace spotty buttons and have generally been turned down. My impression is that by the time you've owned a button for that long, it's *your* button, spots and all.
How do you feel about black backgrounds? I've been phasing them out (except for black-related buttons like "I'm just wearing black untill I find something darker") because people keep asking me whether those buttons are available in any other colors.
Thanks in advance for all answers, but could you let me know whether you buy my buttons?
Note: Buttons aren't extremely moisture tolerant. If you run them through the laundry or store them in sealed plastic bags, they get rusty. On the other hand, they'll handle Philadelphia humidity pretty well.
Note for those who love crazed levels of detail: I don't use cheap goldenrod paper at all. Several brands develop red spots really fast--I assume they all use the same dye.
Update: How do you feel about white backgrounds?
I find it hard to put them in the trays because I think they're boring, but now that I think about it, white is a reasonably popular choice for custom buttons. This doesn't mean the whole world is bored with your white custom buttons, just that I'll grab such entertainment as I can get when I'm refilling trays.