How heavy is my paper? (the only time it is appropriate to ask for weight)

 In Blog Posts

You read it, write it or fold it every day, and if you’re a fan of “The Office” I’m sure you’ve thought “Gee, if all these interesting characters are working at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, then paper must be really exciting!” Well let me tell you, paper is definitely more than meets the eye. I am here to give you the inside scoop on the different types of paper and how to understand and convert paper weight.

Graph-style notebook

First off, what is paper weight and what does that mean?

Paper weight refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper, not the actual weight of the sheet. Often times you may find the same “weight” paper may be referred to as two different things. For example, regular copy paper can be referred as a “20 lb bond” or sometimes “50 lb. text weight.” Confusing, right? In the paper business, measurements need to be exact, and this is why we use GSM (grams per square meter) as it’s a definite and universal measure of paper: the actual weight of the sheet.

By using GSM as the standard measurement of paper, we are able to communicate the product specifications to our suppliers in China with consistent accuracy. Our supplier relationships were built over many years of successful cooperation, mutual respect and customer satisfaction. Working with only the best printers and suppliers in China, we are able to reduce the turnaround time for our clients to deliver the best product, for the best price, in the shortest time possible.

Here’s the math to quickly convert lb to gsm:

1lb. of Text paper = 1.48 gsm (1 x 1.48)
1lb of Cover paper = 2.708 gsm (1 x 2.708)

Here’s a more detailed conversion table for you to keep handy:

Bond
Ledger
Offset
Text
Cover Tag Index Points *Calliper
(inches)
millimeters Metric
(grams/sq meter)
16 40 22 37 33 3.2 .0032 0.081 60.2 gsm
18 45 24 41 37 3.6 .0036 0.092 67.72 gsm
20 50 28 46 42 3.8 .0038 0.097 75.2 gsm
24 60 33 56 50 4.8 .0048 0.12 90.3 gsm
28 70 39 64 58 5.8 .0058 0.147 105.35 gsm
29 73 40 62 60 6 .0060 0.152 109.11 gsm
31 81 45 73 66 6.1 .0061 0.155 116.63 gsm
32 74 67 120 gsm
35 90 48 80 74 6.2 .0062 0.157 131.68 gsm
36 90 50 82 75 6.8 .0068 0.173 135.45 gsm
39 100 54 90 81 7.2 .0072 0.183 146.73 gsm
40 100 56 93 83 7.3 .0073 0.185 150.5 gsm
43 110 60 100 90 7.4 .0074 0.188 161.78 gsm
44 110 61 102 92 7.6 .0076 0.193 165.55 gsm
47 120 65 108 97 8 .0078 0.198 176.83 gsm
53 135 74 122 110 9 .0085 0.216 199.41 gsm
54 137 75 125 113 9 .009 0.229 203.17 gsm
58 146 80 134 120 9.5 .0092 0.234 218.22 gsm
65 165 90 150 135 10 .0095 0.241 244.56 gsm
67 170 93 156 140 10.5 .010 0.25 252.08 gsm
72 183 100 166 150 11 .011 0.289 270.9 gsm
76 192 105 175 158 13 .013 0.33 285.95 gsm
82 208 114 189 170 14 .014 0.356 308.52 gsm
87 220 120 200 180 15 .015 0.38 312 gsm
105 267 146 244 220 18 .0175 0.445 385.06 gsm

 

Wait a second, what’s Text paper and Cover paper?

These, along with writing/bond paper, are the three types of papers most commonly used for the following purposes:

  1. Text: These are the thinner, lightweight papers most often used in publications, sell sheets, stationery items like: post it notes, journals, day planners and letterheads.
  2. Bond/Writing: These are the typical office printer papers most compatible with copy machines and laser printers.
  3. Cover: Cover stocks are more heavily weighted, rigid and not easily folded. They’re typically used for publication covers, business cards, postcards, greeting cards, booklet covers, posters, and photo albums.

Wow, I had no idea. Please tell me more!

Gladly, I like keeners like you. The proper unification of design, thickness, texture and finishes can truly make or break a product. Want a super unique journal to carry around? Use a matte finish on a thick stock, add some gold foil on the edges of your journal page and gloss your custom logo on the cover to make it really stand out. That’s just one example, the combinations of different finishes and textures like satin, matte, holographic, and linen creates an endless amalgamation of unique concepts that allows true creative freedom for your next product. In addition to this, you can add other treatments to paper to make it pop even more! If you can think it, we can make it.

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