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Paper Weight Explained

March 14, 2014 | Kopytek

What Exactly is a Paper Weight (Paper Density, Basis Weight , Grammage)?
Paper Weight is a measure of the area density.

Paper products that let little or no light pass through are considered dense or heavy, these have a higher weight number.  Paper products that allow some light to pass through are considered lightweight and have a lower weight number.

A common paper weight range is 9lb to 200lb.

What types of Paper Weights Exist?
There are actually a good amount of different paper weights.

We have listed some of them below:

  • Bond
  • Bristol
  • Cover
  • Index
  • Label
  • Offset
  • Tag
  • Text
  • Writing

Explain the uses for each weight
Different paper weights are used for different types of press runs.

For example, a lighter weight of 20lb paper is what you will find most often in your office printer.

This is obviously used for your day to day printing of memos, non-critical letters or other simple documents.  But if we talk about 110lb paper, it is more likely being used for things like dividers or manila folders.

This is something that you should be very aware of and will make a big impact on your printed piece.

Poster, Postcards, Flyers, Book Covers, these are all printed and require different weights for their use.

Write to the cost differences?
Of course in most cases a higher weight paper will cost more, but it will also depend on your creative design.  How elaborate your artwork is can drive up cost even if it is done on a lower weight paper.

Prices can vary greatly based on quality of stock and the quality of the printing company you are using.  Be sure to use a reputable company with modern equipment, a first-class facility, and long-term employees and management.



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