Tips on how to Select the Proper Paper for Your Print Tasks


What Is Paper Weight?

So what does paper weight imply to your design venture? Earlier than we leap into issues like “what’s paper GSM”, let’s begin at the start. What does the burden of paper imply anyway—and why does it matter?

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What’s paper weight? Inventory photograph from Envato Components

Paper weight usually refers back to the thickness of a sheet of paper. It is extra than simply “how thick it’s”, nonetheless—this additionally elements in issues like sturdiness and what’s most acceptable for the venture at hand.

Paper is often measured in GSM (grams per sq. meter), lbs (kilos), or factors (pts). This is a vital measurement as a result of it impacts issues like high quality and suitability.

For instance, for example you are seeking to print a enterprise card. You’d must make an acceptable paper choice. One thing like an 80 gsm piece of copy paper—one thing just like commonplace workplace printer paper—could be means too skinny for a enterprise card. Not solely would it not really feel unusual and unprofessional, but it surely would not be sturdy sufficient and will rip. That will be inconvenient handy out and share because it would not be very sturdy.

What Is GSM (Paper)?

So what’s GSM? Paper is usually measured in GSM—grams per sq. meter. It is a unit of measurement that describes the thickness—or weight—of your paper. The upper the GSM, the thicker and heavier the paper is. 

For instance, for example you have got a sheet of paper that’s 80 gsm. That will imply that one sq. meter of this paper weighs 80 grams. This specific weight is reasonably gentle and would work properly for one thing like commonplace pc printer paper. Workplace paper or copy paper would doubtless be round this weight.

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Typical workplace copy paper is round 80 gsm. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

However, one thing like 140 gsm paper could be a lot thicker, and a stronger selection for one thing like a premium flyer or a poster. It nonetheless would not be as thick as one thing you may want for a venture like a greeting card.

Listed here are some frequent GSM values you may see:

  • 80 gsm could be a light-weight paper.
  • 100 gsm could be commonplace workplace paper. It is lighter, however acceptable for many workplace duties.
  • 120 gsm could be a bit thicker, and acceptable for one thing like a brochure.
  • 200 gsm could be a a lot heavier paper. Taking a look at these values, take into consideration one thing double the thickness of normal workplace paper—so this is able to be extra like a cardstock. 

What Is Paper GSM vs. Kilos (lbs)?

Paper GSM (once more, grams per sq. meter) is a standard technique of measuring the burden or thickness of paper. Kilos (lbs) is one other unit that’s generally utilized in an identical means. Every unit mainly gives a method to quantify the density of your paper. Completely different areas of the world could favor completely different items of measurement, however they nonetheless serve the identical goal.

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Paper is usually measured in kilos, as effectively. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

Paper GSM, for instance:

  • Paper GSM tends to be a extra globally prevalent unit for measuring paper weight and thickness. Once more, it’s the weight of 1 sq. meter of paper.
  • A better GSM worth means thicker and heavier paper. Likewise, a decrease GSM worth corresponds to thinner and lighter paper.

Kilos, then again:

  • In america, paper weight is usually measured in kilos (lbs). This can be a frequent unit of measurement on this a part of the world, usually.
  • 500 sheets of paper is often used to measure the paper’s weight in kilos. 
  • Like GSM, the upper the quantity of kilos, the thicker the paper. Likewise, the decrease the quantity, the lighter and thinner the paper.

This is a short comparability of the 2:

  • 20 lb paper could be round 75 to 80 gsm. 
  • 100 lb paper could be round 145 gsm.

You could find free calculators on-line, if you wish to attempt changing one measurement to the opposite. Typically, it is simply necessary to notice that the upper the quantity, the thicker the paper. Whether or not you utilize kilos or GSM to measure paper weight is dependent upon your choice and/or what’s regionally frequent. Each can be utilized equally to pick out acceptable paper to your venture.

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The upper the burden, the thicker and heavier the paper. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

What About Textual content Paper vs. Cowl Paper?

You might also see the phrases “textual content paper” and “cowl paper” to explain completely different papers. They’re mainly common phrases to explain the paper, based mostly on weight and thickness. 

Textual content paper is often lighter and thinner, and appropriate for issues like the inside of a ebook or journal. These could be papers round 80 gsm—lighter and thinner.

Cowl paper, then again, could be paper that’s thicker and extra appropriate for issues like the duvet of a paperback ebook. These could be papers like card inventory—thicker and extra sturdy.

However Wait… What About Factors?

There’s one other technique of measuring paper weights—factors. For instance, you may even see paper described as 14pt cowl inventory. So how does this examine to GSM and kilos?

Factors, when measuring paper, usually refers back to the thickness once more. Nevertheless, one level is equal to 1/one thousandth of an inch. That is usually extra prevalent with thicker papers, like cardstock and even cardboard. So 14pt cowl inventory could be paper that’s 0.014 inches thick. 

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Paper can be measured in factors. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

What Is Coated Paper?

What’s coated paper vs. uncoated paper? That is one other necessary side of selecting the best paper to your venture. 

Coated paper, because it sounds, is a sort of paper that has a layer of coating utilized to its floor. This coating can provide the paper a distinct end, similar to clean, shiny, and even matte. This all has a major impression on how the paper appears, in addition to printing and sturdiness. Coated paper is usually used for high-quality printing as a result of it will probably yield crisp, stunning outcomes. The coating on the paper impacts the print—it is much less porous because of the coating. This leads to notably crisp dots per inch.

Uncoated paper, then again, lacks this coating. Do not write that off as a detrimental trait, nonetheless. For those who’re searching for one thing textured and smooth, uncoated paper may very well be an ideal selection. In contrast to coated paper, the floor is extra porous. It might even be a extra comfy selection for initiatives that require the consumer to put in writing on it—think about writing on a shiny floor, for instance. Uncoated paper can nonetheless have a end—for instance, you may have a clean, vivid, uncoated paper versus one thing with a extra textured really feel.

What Is the Finest Paper Selection for My Challenge?

What does the burden of paper imply to your venture? Let’s check out a couple of easy examples and see what paper recommendations may be a powerful selection for every.

Instance 1: Poster Design

To illustrate you are designing a poster for an occasion. It must be massive and exquisite. Perhaps you additionally wish to promote or distribute the posters—being such a big format, it may be advantageous to ship them rolled up (as delivery them flat may very well be an enormous problem). 

On this case, it might in all probability be finest to decide on a decrease paper weight, so the posters will be rolled up (too thick and it would not roll and unroll with out injury). Nevertheless, too low and the paper may be too fragile. One thing at 120 gsm or 80 lbs would in all probability be a powerful selection—and contemplate if you need a coated, shiny floor, which is usually a well-liked selection for posters.

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Obtain this poster design template on Envato Components

Instance 2: Bill Design

Subsequent, for example we’re designing an bill for our enterprise. It would not be sensible for an bill to be printed on actually thick paper—it might in all probability be advantageous to print this on one thing light-weight, like a 75 gsm paper, as a result of it is very very like a receipt. It is also one thing you might want handy mark or write on, so uncoated paper would doubtless work effectively too. 

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Obtain this bill design template on Envato Components

Instance 3: Enterprise Card

As I discussed earlier, enterprise playing cards are designed to be dealt with—we share them, we put them in holders, and we take them out to test a contact. You may need this to be on heavier paper, like a cardstock with some important weight. Many enterprise playing cards will go all out with pretty ending and coating. Loads of this may depend upon what most accurately fits your model. 14pt inventory may work effectively for a venture like this. 

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Obtain this enterprise card design template on Envato Components

Instance 4: Resume Design

To illustrate you are getting ready handy out a bodily copy of your resume. What could be paper weight? Once more, take into consideration what your purpose is right here—you need this to be simple handy out, however not essentially fragile. That is additionally a state of affairs the place you are aiming to impress—so a less expensive, thinner paper is not going to speak issues like “high quality”.

Contemplate one thing larger than a replica paper’s low weight, however card inventory would doubtless be unusually thick. One thing between 90 gsm and 120 gsm could be a powerful, skilled selection. 

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Obtain this resume design template on Envato Components

Instance 5: Menu Design

Menus are designed to be interacted with. Whether or not you are making a menu that folds and unfolds or a menu that is a strong sheet, that is one thing that will probably be dealt with by clients. For those who go along with a light-weight paper, it will have put on and tear reasonably shortly. That is fantastic if the menus are designed to be disposable (however most menus usually are not). Even an advertisement-style menu must survive the mailbox.

Contemplate a thicker inventory right here, like one thing you’d contemplate for a brochure. You might even need some further ending, coating, and even lamination in case you foresee your menu going by way of quite a lot of intensive use.

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Obtain this folded menu design template on Envato Components

However, for example your menu is designed for luxurious—this is able to be a really completely different state of affairs, would not it? You may even wish to go along with an uncoated paper for an expensive texture. Nonetheless, you’d doubtless desire a thicker paper.

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Obtain this menu design template on Envato Components

Widespread Paper Questions Answered

What Paper Weight Is Cardstock?

A typical paper weight query is: “What paper weight is cardstock?” Let’s begin at the start.

What’s cardstock? The phrase “cardstock” is used to explain heavier papers which are thicker than what most individuals would contemplate “regular” paper—such as you may use for drawing or printing on an workplace printer. 

There isn’t a single weight for cardstock—however you may usually discover that cardstocks can run round 50 lbs or 140 gsm to over 120 lbs or 300 gsm. For instance, you possibly can use a medium-thick cardstock round 50 lbs, and this might work effectively for a venture like greeting playing cards. However, you may want what you are promoting card to make use of a a lot heavier cardstock—one thing like 100 lbs or 240 gsm. This is able to be even thicker and extra inflexible.

So, whenever you see paper described as cardstock, know that it is thicker, however it’s best to nonetheless test the paper’s weight to see simply how thick.

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Cardstocks are sometimes a sensible choice for issues like enterprise playing cards. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

What Dimension Is Printer Paper?

You may be questioning “What dimension is printer paper”, however understand that not all printers are the identical. Normal printer dimension can also fluctuate based mostly on what’s frequent in your a part of the world. For instance, many house workplace printers in america take paper that’s 8.5 inches huge by 11 inches tall, on the largest.

When many individuals seek advice from “printer paper”, they’re speaking about commonplace copy paper, which is often known as “US Letter” (8.5″x11″). A4 is a comparable dimension (8.27″ x 11.69″) that’s extra frequent internationally.

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You may as well test your printer’s specs for its most paper dimension. Inventory photograph from Envato Components

Coated vs. Uncoated Paper: Which Is Higher? 

Bear in mind, it is not likely a contest relating to coated vs. uncoated paper—identical to there is not any one good paper weight both—and each are available in various weights with various choices. It is about what would finest profit your venture. Uncoated paper is just not routinely cheap-looking or a lesser selection than coated paper. It is simply necessary to understand how they differ, so you can also make the strongest selection to your venture.

Be taught Extra About Printing and Design Methods

Wish to study much more about print design? There’s loads extra to study, proper right here at Envato Tuts+. Take a look at these free tutorials, and proceed studying proper now:



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