Paper weight is confusing. Our company describes the paper weights we’ve selected, but different print companies and manufacturers often use unfamiliar terminology and support varying paper types and paper weights. How does it all compare to each other? That’s what we will hopefully answer in this article with the below paper comparison chart (as far as thickness goes).
The first thing to understand is this: There are a few common methods for measuring paper weight and thickness: U.S. Basis Weight (Bond, Book, Index, Cover, Tag, Points, Offset ), Metric weight (GSM or G/m2) and, often interchangeable, Points or Mils (an actual Caliper reading of the paper thickness).
The U.S. Basis (not basic) Weights are the most confusing since the same paper can yield different values based on the “Basis Weight” applied while manufacturing the paper. And higher values don’t always equate to heavier/thicker print media. For example, a sheet of 100# Text paper is actually much thinner than an 80# Cover stock. You can learn more about the process paper manufacturers use to determine paperweight at okidata.com. For smaller formats of printing like brochures, postcards, flyers, and posters, the U.S Basis Weights system is what you will see most often.
Adding to all the confusion, print companies, retailers, advertising agencies, large corporations, and manufacturers often use varying terminology for weight across product lines. The five main categories of paperweights most commonly seen on offset and digital printing websites are BOND, TEXT, COVER, INDEX, and POINT. Others include book, bristol, tag and offset.
- Text papers are thicker than standard ledger and copy paper but are not as thick as to cover papers.
- The term, cover, is generally used to describe thicker paper stocks utilized for cards like business cards, postcards, invitations, and greeting cards.
- Bond papers are light-weight and are also known as ledger or writing paper.
- Index paper is a stiff paper, but not card stock.
- Specialty media is often specified in Points or 1/1000 of an inch. Media that measures 0.012 inches thick would be marked as 12-point media.
Now, to easily compare the paper-weights, use the below chart to help you gauge thickness especially when comparing prices among printers. However, paper-weight should not be used to gauge paper quality.
|Bond (Ledger)||Text (Book)||Cover (Card)||Index||Pt|
The values in the above table shown are intended to serve as a guide only. Similar weight papers may (and will) vary between different manufacturers.
If you have any questions about paper weight, please feel free to contact us.