Choosing paper weights & finishes

Choosing paper weights & finishes
When choosing paper stocks for your print job, here are some pointers which you might find useful.

Paper weight
Paper weight is described in gsm or grams per square metre of paper. The lower the gsm, the lighter and thinner feeling the paper will be. For example, 130gsm paper is a light weight thin paper, 170gsm paper feels more substantial whilst 300gsm is a card. A leaflet printed onto 300gsm stock can work really well if you are looking for a high quality presentation.
If you want to fold your leaflets, speak to us first. A heavy weight paper may ‘crack’ on the spine when folded so creasing the job before folding will minimise this.

A handy reference to paper weights and uses

  • 80gsm – often used as office copier weight, low cost and good enough for internal use.
  • 100gsm – premium office paper and a standard letterhead weight.
  • 120gsm – premium letterhead and lightweight flyers and leaflets.
  • 130gsm – bulk flyers and leaflets, typical takeaway menu grades.
  • 150gsm – a standard grade for booklet text, leaflets and flyers.
  • 170gsm – replacing a 150gsm with slightly more weight and better feel. 170gsm and above weights will require creasing prior to folding to avoid cracked spines.
  • 200gsm – a light card, often used for booklet pages and even covers also works well as A4 product and service sheets.
  • 250gsm – ideal for booklet covers and text pages on premium presentations, perfect for product and service sheets, also useful for concertina/zigzag brochures as it will crease and fold without too much springing open.
  • 300gsm – heavy booklet covers, tent cards. postcards and many more uses, 300gsm is a heavy card but it will still crease and fold.
  • 350gsm – as the 300gsm but heavier and more rigid.
  • 400gsm – perfect for business cards, not so good at folding and lying flat.
  • 450gsm – a premium business card board.

Did you know that 16 A4 sheets of paper is a square metre in area? So 16 A4 sheets of 170gsm paper will weigh 170g! Knowing that you can calculate the weight of your paper in a print job. It’s good to know.
If preparing a mailing piece and you need item weights for mail price banding please get in touch, we will check the weight for you. By reducing text paper weights we have helped clients save £’000 on mailing costs (as well as by managing the mailing for them).

Paper finish
Paper finish on our standard paper types are uncoated, gloss or silk. We print on high quality papers to give enhanced colour reproduction and give a crisp printed image. Silk paper gives a more muted presentation than gloss. Uncoated papers are an alternative to silk or gloss and are popular when looking for a softer image for a piece. Uncoated paper generally has more bulk than a gloss or silk for the same given weight so this may be something you might want to consider if you are posting your leaflets.

Paper sample book
Print and paper is very tactile and can really help your prospects and clients engage with your company. We are happy to give our recommendation but if you are not sure on what to choose, our paper sample book is a quick and simple reference guide to help you choose.

Contact us on 0151 356 3066 or email sales@bellgraphics.co.uk and we will gladly send you a copy for reference. 

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