Paper Weight – what the numbers mean
You’ve probably come across the term GSM before. If you’re ordering print of any kind. Whether that’s business cards, brochures, posters or flyers you’ll have already used the term, maybe without knowing it!
GSM means Grams per Square Metre. Basically it’s the measurement of the weight of paper. This means we can be a little more precise when we speak in terms of thick, thin or firm, flimsy!
It also allows us to mark against your item a specific measurement of what your item is printed on. Allowing for easier reprints exactly as we did them previously.
So if you’re new to this term – how can we make it a little more relative… well have a look below at the normal items and their standard paper weights. We’re just taking a look here at standard stocks used in Business Cards, Flyers, Magazines & Posters.
Paper Weights explained
- 450gsm – This is what we tend to print some business cards or flyers on.
- 400gsm – This is the weight of a premium business card. Not to be confused with some online printers that provide only around 280gsm card.
- 350gsm – A standard for Bar or Club Flyers. Needed for standing up to a night out.
- 180gsm to 250gsm – Imagine a Magazine Cover with this weight of paper.
- 130gsm to 170gsm – The majority of posters are printed using this paper.
- 90gsm – Majority of magazine text pages are using this.
- 35gsm – 55gsm – Newspaper paper weight
Hopefully that will give you some idea as to paper weights and what these numbers mean the next time you see them on your screen or in a print spec and it may even help you choose what weight of paper to go with on your next project.
Now, a word of warning, don’t be surprised if you have 2 different suppliers say they’ve printed on the same weight of paper and the items feel different, paper weight is relative, you need to make sure you have the same make of paper as well. The bulk of paper means that two 300gsm pieces may not feel the same thickness.