Understanding Paper Weight Charts

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All you had to do for your printing tasks was bring in the file, hand it to the printer, and wait for it to be done. The next question, however, is not straightforward: “What paper weight should this be on?”

Next time you need printing done and you hear terms like “pounds” or “points,” you’ll be able to participate in the discussion and get precisely what you want out of the finished product.

In other words, what exactly is the weight of a sheet of paper?

There are two standard methods used in the paper trade for gauging inventory. Pounds and points (also written as “#” or “lb” for pounds and “pt” for points) are used for this purpose.

Here’s how to understand paper weight chart

1. Pounds

The term means precisely what you guessed: The weight of a sheet of paper is measured in piece pounds. The heavier the paper is, the broader the weight range, from around 20 to about 140 pounds, depending on the paper’s composition. The weight range for high-quality bond paper is 20–80 gsm, while that of heavier card field0 gsm range of 50–140 gsm is more typical. Cut sheets of paper are not considered for determining paper weight. Instead, it is based on the importance of a ream of blank paper. A standard ream of paper has 500 sheets, and each size is determined by the paper’s weight (such as a letter or legal). The item’s identity and classification are determined by its actual weight.

The thickness of a sheet of paper can be measured with a micrometer to get a sense of its overall heft.

2. Points 

It’s important to note that the points system is used to quantify the thickness of the paper rather than the weight, which is not necessarily precisely proportional to one another. Points are a more precise way to measure paper thickness, and modern technology allows measurements to be taken down to the thousandths of an inch. A sheet of 10-point paper is 10/1000ths of an inch thick, whereas a sheet of 16-point paper is 16/1000ths of an inch wide. Compared to other figures, that may not seem like much, but it will show up fairly clearly in the printed output.

Variables in Scale and Language

There are other, less typical paperweights you may encounter beyond points; paperweights that are gaining popularity in the industry are GSM, which stands for grams per square meter. Given that it is based on the metric system, which is more used in other nations, this unit of measurement is often employed abroad. Some papers are also known as “boards” or “board weight,” another phrase you could encounter. Papers board and the thick board material used for business cards and softcover books fall into this category.

Paper Fundamentals: softcover, you narrow down your options. We’ve broken down the many paper types into groups depending on weight, stock, and intended use. Cover materials and interior texts vary across categories. Gloss-coated and silk-coated papers are examples of coated papers. Gloss-coated and silk-coated, average weights range from 80 to 130 pounds, while silk-coated 80 to 100 pounds is typical. Pocket folders, packaging and display, and postcards are all potential applications.

Uncoated stocks — Uncoated postcards can range from thick and opaque to thin and commodity-grade. Some examples are thick and opaque to y finish, a linen finish, or a felted finish. The cover weights can be anything from 65 to 130 pounds, and the book weights can be anywhere from 40 t range from 65 to 130 pounds, and the book weights can range in variety.

Picking the Right Paper Weight

 One should be able to select the appropriate paper weight for your needs now that you know how we measure and classify paperweights. Of course, different people have different paper weight ideas about what paperweight works best for what, so although we’re delighted to offer our suggestions for what would print nicely for you, you’re also welcome to specify your choice of paper from our vast range of in-house possibilities well.

It is helpful to consider paper weight at the outset of the printing paper weight when determining the number of pages, paper size, and typeface; paper weight should also be taken into account. It’s recommended to use two different papers. Using two different paper weights for the cover and interior pages of a project with a cover is recommended; for instance, the surface is printed on heavier paper to body book heaviness and substance, while the text is printed on a cheaper, lighter paper to keep the price down and make it easier to read. This also applies to other publications that use these binders, such as catalogs, pamphlets, and periodicals. The most popular types of paper and card  stock, together with their ideal applications, are as follows:

Standard text paper thicknesses:

500 pages of text. Novels, workbooks, and most official papers are printed on this type. As one of the lightest options, it has a weight comparable to that of a regular copy or computer paper.

Weighty book of 70 pounds. A comic book, which often employs a gloss or matte paper of this weight, is the best example of a product printed on 70-pound stock. As a more affordable and portable option, it sees widespread use in massive catalogs.

Heavy writing (around 80 pounds worth). Periodicals, smaller catalogs, pamphlets, and even the text pages of hardcover volumes all use this weight.

A text that weighs one hundred pounds. This flexible thickness works great for either writing or covering. It works well for comic book covers, pamphlets, and text pages of children’s books, coffee table books, and art books. It’s not too hefty for a body but not too light for saddle stitching.

Standard thicknesses for cover papers:

Ten-point or one-hundred-pound cover. This cover stock is one of the lightest on the market, making it ideal for catalogs and other compact perfect-bound publications such as guides.

Twelve-point fabric weight, or one hundred and ten pounds. Famous for paperbacks, graphic novels, and other large perfect-bound covers.

Size 16-point cover or 130 lb. cover. A thick cover stock, ideal for catalogs, trade paperbacks, and prominent perfect-bound publications that will be handled frequently or benefit from a more substantial body.

Standard weights for card stock:

Paper weighted at 65 lb. Business cards, postcards, greeting cards, posters, and tickets can benefit from this paper’s lightweight.

Card stock weighing 80 lbs. Standard card stock is what you’d use for making business cards, postcards, folders, invitations, posters, table tents, and greeting cards.

Here Are Some Extra Suggestions for Working with Paper Weight

It’s essential to plan when picking a paperweight. Choosing a paper on the lighter end of what would work is sensible if you bulk mail or advertise your item in large quantities. Short-run or custom-made high-value printed products, such as invitations, where quality is paramount, benefit significantly from thick, sumptuous paper.

The final touches and layout can also make a difference. Paper weight makes it more challenging to cut, fold, and stitch. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the final product’s intended purpose when purchasing. Lighter papers, such as postcards and catalogs, might benefit from coatings that impart a sense of elegance and quality or shield them from damage. Lastly, always keep the end-user or customer’s perspective in mind. A heavier paper weight is associated with a higher quality impression.

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