Make the correct paper choice selections
When you are choosing a paper for your project,
what do all the paper terms mean? We are going to try and sort that out for you.
Weight in Pounds
Pounds is one of the most common paper measurements we use in the U.S. It refers to
how many pounds 500 parent sheets (1 ream) weighs.
Text weight parent sheets are typically 25×38”, while cover weight parent sheet are usually 20x26”.
That means that text and cover paper weights aren’t exactly measured on the same scale.
Most of what we print for business cards, invites and posters are cover weights,
while text weight comes in handy for letterhead and other marketing material.
Weight in Grams
GSM (g/m²) or grams per square meter is the paper weight in grams for 1 sheet that is 1×1 meter.
This is more common outside of the U.S. It is a great system since it’s the same for every paper grade.
Thickness in Points
Point are a caliber measurement of the actual thickness of the paper. For example
44pt chipboard measures at .044 inches thick.
Uses of Cover Weight Paper
Announcements, Brochures, Cards, Covers, Folders, Invitations, Proposals, Reply Cards, Table Tents etc...
Uses of Bond / Text / Writing Weight Paper
Brochures, Certificates, Envelopes, Flyers, Letterhead, Mailers, Newsletters, Posters, Product Sheets etc...
Coated - Gloss Finished Paper
Gloss-Coated Paper - treated with a layer of pigment designed to improve the paper's finish,
typically clay, to impart certain qualities to the paper, including weight, surface gloss,
smoothness or reduced ink absorbency. The coating on the paper reduces dot gain
by not allowing the ink to absorb into the paper. This allows for cleaner crisper printing,
especially in photos, blends and fine details.
Coated - Silk Finished Paper
A Silk-Coated paper is a non-glossy, flat looking paper with very smooth surface. Silk papers
are more opaque, it has a micro-textured surface that scatters the light reflecting off of it.
The coating still keeps much of the ink from being absorbed by the paper,
which produces excellent, vibrant color. Also called satin, matte, dull & velvet.
Uncoated paper stock is paper that has not been coated with a surface sealant.
Inks dry by absorbing into the paper. This paper type can dull the colors that
are printed. Uncoated papers comprise a vast number of paper types and
are available in a variety of surfaces, both smooth and textured,
laid and linen etc... Some of the common types are wove or smooth.
Paper manufactured from the waste paper stream. All Micro Format recycled products
contain a minimum of 100% recycled material including 40% post consumer waste.
Paper coated with special encapsulated chemicals that produce a duplicate copy
without the use of carbon paper.