Choosing the right paper weight

Paper weight is measured by the number of grams per square metre (gsm) which refers to the area of paper that remains constant, irrespective of sheet size. 

Choosing the right paper weight is important however weight of paper shouldn't be confused with the thickness of paper.

Although two papers may be classified as having the same gsm, if one is a vellum, textured or parchment style which has more air and bulk, it will look and feel completely different to a plainer paper stock of the same weight.

Each paper supplier has a large range of both standard and specialty stocks, allowing you to choose the right weight and thickness for your printing purpose.   

There are many paper weight options that deliver a great result however there are a few standards recommendations which are generally used throughout the printing industry:

  • Flyers -  128 or 150gsm gloss
  • Business cards - 310 or 400gsm artboard 
  • Letterhead - 80, 90 or 100gsm bond
  • Posters - 200gsm gloss or silk.


  • If you are printing brochures that require folding, your brochure may have to be scored as well as folded if you select to print on a heavier weight stock.
  • If you are inserting various items into envelopes for a direct mail campaign, your mailout may require insertion by hand or cost more in postage if you choose a heavier stock. 
  • It is also possible for paper of the same advertised weight to have a different feel and appearance depending on the supplier. Formulas can vary slightly, resulting in unique paper handling properties.
    You should take this into consideration if you are trying to match an existing print job.

To determine which paper weight is correct for your print job, we recommend you contact one of our qualified print specialists, to discuss your options before placing your order. 

Choosing the right paper weight for printing
Choosing the right paper weight