Paper weights explained

The weight of paper that your literature is printed on can have a huge effect on the overall impact of your marketing and is important to help deliver your intended message.

Paper weights are measured in grams per square metre, most commonly referred to as gsm, and as different weights are perfect for different applications, here’s a helping hand to make your choice.

You will typically find 80-100gsm paper in your photocopier. This weight of stock tends to be used for internal documents, meeting notes and carbon copy forms.

100-120gsm is the most popular choice for business stationery, including letterheads and compliment slips, which are also often printed on an uncoated stock. 100-120gsm is also a common choice for printing presentations, business documents and occasionally lightweight throwaway flyers.

Ideal for lightweight flyers, leaflets and multi-page brochures, 130-150gsm is also a popular choice for catalogues.

160-200gsm paper stock is perfect for tri-fold leaflets, high-quality flyers and brochures. This weight of paper is a good paper choice for posters, providing rigidity without being too thick.

As a thicker paper stock, 200-300gsm is often used for technical data sheets, photos, brochure inserts, and postcards. Thinner inside pages can often be combined with thicker cover pages using 200-300gsm for a cost-effective quality feel to a brochure or booklet.

Paper stock over 300gsm is a popular choice for a range of items including business cards, greetings cards and menus. A thicker stock tends to give a luxury feel to a document, and so is ideal for VIP events, invites, certificates and wire bound proposal documents.

For extra luxury or thickness, applying a laminate, whether it be matt, gloss, satin or soft touch will also increase the weight and enhance the feel of your printed document.

The weight of paper your document is printed on will affect the overall weight of the document, which may be something additional to consider during a direct mailing campaign, taking into account delivery costs.

For further advice on choosing the right paper stock for your project