28 Mar
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Understanding Paper Weight

Determining the proper weight and finish of your paper will help you get the best results for your project.

It can be challenging to determine which paper is best for your project. The characteristics of a paper can significantly impact the final result, including the look and feel of the print and its durability. This week, we bring you some pointers on some aspects of paper to help you determine the best printing medium for your collateral.

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Consider the purpose of your project
The first thing to consider is the purpose of your project. Are you printing a business card, a brochure, or a flyer? The purpose of your project can help you determine the weight of the paper you need. For example, a business card will likely be printed on a heavier paper than a flyer, as it needs to be more durable.

Look at the paper’s thickness
The thickness of the paper, also known as the caliper, is a measurement of its weight. There are two main types of measurement for paper stock. “Pounds” and “Points” (abbreviated as “#” or “lb” for pounds and “pt” for points.) Generally, the thicker the paper, the heavier it is.

Pounds refer to the weight of paper, measured by how much 500 sheets weigh in its uncut size. Thicker paper equals heavier weight, ranging from 20-80 pounds for bond paper and 50-140 pounds for card stock.

Points indicate the thickness of each sheet of paper, measured with calipers. Each point is 1/1000th of an inch, with common sizes ranging from 8 to 16 pt. Higher points equal thicker paper.

Consider the finish

The finish of the paper can also play a role in its feel. Papers can come with various coatings, including silk, matte, gloss, and satin. Gloss is a clear, shiny coating, while matte, silk and satin are dull coatings. Paper can also be uncoated, meaning the sheet has no protective coating. Coatings can be applied to both sides of the sheet or—in the case of heavy stock sometimes called “board”—to just one side.

Reach out to us at printing@copycentraltc.com, and we’ll help you select the right stock for you project.