Paper Weight Guide

We have put together this visual paper weight guide to better help you understand what weight paper some of the most common printed products are produced on.

Paper Weight Guide

This guide provides the vast range of paper weights available for printing. Whilst there are some lower, higher and some in-between this guide, the majority included are the most common used for forms of printing and approximate weights.

What does GSM mean?

The abbreviation GSM stands for Grams per Square Metre and is the measurement of paper weight used in the UK.

Printed products by paper weight guide

60gsm paper

Used commonly for carbon copy pad, NCR pads and some news print. It is one of the thinnest papers

80gsm paper

The most common type of standard copier paper found in retailers – used in home, office printers and budget business stationery.

100gsm paper

Also another common weight used – often the defacto standard of letterheads, compliments slips and other business stationery items. It is also used in gloss and silk forms for printed leaflets and flyers at the budget end of the scale.

120gsm paper

A premium paper weight which gives a noticeably better quality feel, guided towards premium printing letterheads, compliments slips and other business stationery items.

130gsm paper

For standard printing leaflets and flyers. It is also often used for internal pages of brochures, magazines for booklets that require a lot of pages. This is supplied as a gloss of silk material.

150gsm paper

Is thick enough to ensure show through (ink from the reverse page) is not visibly seen through the page. This is supplied as a gloss of silk material.

170gsm paper

As a guide this is the thickest paper weight and also the thinnest card. It is the break even between paper and card. It is used for printing quality leaflets and flyers, for internal pages of brochures and magazines. It is also used for covers or self cover booklets.

Printed products by card weight guide

200gsm-250gsm card

A thin card as used as per 170gsm for the same applications.

300gsm card

The entry point for budget business cards, loyalty cards and appointment cards. It is also a good choice for brochure and magazine covers to give a quality thicker feel to the product. Available in uncoated, gloss and silk finishes.

350gsm card

Is used for standard presentation folders, corporate folders, business cards and thicker covers for brochures, booklets and magazines. It is also used for producing postcards and a range of good quality leaflets and flyers.

400gsm card

Ideal for quality business cards, presentation folders, corporate folders and is noticeably thick. It is too thick for most copy shop printers to print on.

450gsm card

Reserved for premium business cards. Its great for invitations and premium leaflets and flyers which really need to grab the users attention. Due to the thickness it can take more wear and tear especially if a matt, gloss or soft touch lamination is applied both sides.

600gsm+ card

Used for letterpress printing and is too thick to print on through digital and litho printing methods. It is used for invitations and unique business cards. It has many more applications subject to the users requirements. Material thickness can go beyond 1000gsm by gluing more than one piece of card together using high amounts of pressure, creating outstanding results. Our article Luxury Printing Services | Luxury Papers | A review of specialist papers with wow factor! explains more.

This paper weight guide does leave out other options. For further information read our articles on Print Paper Types | A comparision guide of available paper for print and Coated Paper Vs Uncoated Paper.

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