The Definite Guide to Paperweights & Types

Paperweight Conversion Chart Paperweight Conversion Chart - Branding Centres

To make it a hassle-free experience refer to the chart above for paperweight conversion. This is helpful especially when if a paper is specified in one unit and you need to know what that means in another unit.

The history of printing goes back to 1450 and since then it has evolved tremendously. The invention of the movable type printing press back then helped increase knowledge wider and faster than ever before. It has revolutionized the world we live in making it more advanced. Compared to previous ways of distributing information, the printing press allowed it to be delivered accurately and fast. Printing is one of the pillars of our civilization, standardization of the alphabet, and the development of the paper.

Not only that, but the printing press also had a huge impact on education. As the number of newspapers, journals, magazines, and novels increased, so did people’s literacy levels.

Gradually, as printing presses developed and the use of colour was incorporated into the machines, the scope of work and knowledge increased even more.

In the contemporary world, it is hard to imagine a world without printed material – even in the digital age. A lot of innovations have been added to the printing press since its inception.

Why does paper matter?

Choosing the right types of paper available on the market is a key factor in achieving top-quality digital printing. You need to choose the paper type that is best suited to bringing out the visual and textual contents for your project.

In printing, each paper type has a weight, a processing type, and a finish, which determine its weight, thickness, level of opaqueness, feel, and durability.

In this guide, we will showcase different types of printing paper and how they differ from each other.


 Bond Paper

Bond paper is stronger and durable in comparison to others. Made from rag fiber pulp which makes it solid, this paper is especially suitable for electronic printing. Ideal for printing stationery such as envelopes, business forms, letterheads, invoices, and reports. It is fuzz-free and offers a great finish.

Offset Paper

Offset paper is a type of woodfree paper that is primarily used in offset lithography for printing books, magazines, manuals, catalogs, posters, calendars, flyers, letterheads, brochures, and envelopes. Offset printing paper is used in both sheet & web-fed printing presses. It is one of the most affordable and efficient printing processes in the printing industry for the mass production of premium quality.

Bright White Paper

The most common type of paper used with Inkjet printers (A printer that uses ink to print text, graphics, and images onto various types of paper). This ultra-smooth paper is relevant for web printing, emails, and other documents. The blue undertone on the paper displays a clear and crisp image. Best for daily business needs and personal printing needs, bright white paper is known for making printed images stand out because of bright and vivid colours.

Text Paper

Text papers are offered in a wide variety of colours, with multiple textures and a variety of surface finishes. Text papers are used for the inside pages of books, brochures, and magazines.The weight of Text papers is also used for advertising flyers at times.

Cover Papers

Like text papers, they are also available in multiple colours. They are commonly used for the covers of brochures, annual reports, and folders where extra bulk and protection are required. Other Cover paper uses include calendars, menus, invitations, and announcements.

Index Papers

Stiff, inexpensive paper with a smooth finish offers a high bulk but low weight, this paper is ideal for business cards.

 Tag Papers

It is a heavy utility paper and is best used to print hang tags for consumer goods such as clothing and accessories. It is strong and durable and delivers a strong performance on the press.

Coated Paper

The smooth, glossy surface paper is a mixture of materials such as calcium carbonate, Kaolinite, and Bentonite. It is ideal for high-quality printing needs with a shiny appearance. This type of paper does not absorb ink and lets it stay on the surface. Also, the ink does not spread, thus giving a better effect to the printing image.

Watermarked Paper

Used for high-quality printing needs, the paper is the one where the image is permanently impressed into the paper by attaching a wiring pattern during the manufacturing process. It is commonly used as a security feature by educational organizations, law firms, and businesses for printing important documents with their company.

Go for the right choice of paper. If you want a high-shine print, then go for a coated paper, and if text print, then chooses matte paper.


Just like paper types, there are different weights accessible for various employments.
Paperweight is estimated in ‘Grams per Square Meter’ (GSM) and is a measurement of the paper thickness or density.
The higher the GSM measurement of the printing paper, the thicker it is.  Different paperweights have various utilizations, with the thicker paper being utilized for increasingly common purposes.

Different paperweights are available for different uses. Below are some common paperweights and uses:

300GSM+ Premium quality business card, or heavy card media
180GSM – 250GSM Middle market magazine cover
130GSM – 170GSM Promotional posters
80GSM Standard issue daily office matte white paper
35GSM – 55GSM Most everyday newspapers

Paperweight alone does not adequately describe the weight of paper; the paper type plays an important role.

The paperweight, also known as Basis Weight, is measured in pounds per 500 sheets within the respective category. The heavier the paper, the thicker it is, and a paper’s thickness measurement is also known as its “Caliper”.

Common uses of Papers are:

Bond paper
  • Office copiers, printers, letterhead, and stationery
  • Lighter-weight paper for faxes, printing emails, tracing
  • Mid-weight paper for reports, presentations, double-sided printing, legal documents, proposals
  • Heavier-weight bond paper for double-sided printing, presentations, signs, flyers, contracts, resumes
Book paper Print books, booklets, catalogs, magazine publications, and posters
Cover paper Menus, Business cards, door hangers, invitations, postcards, rack cards, report covers
Index paper Index cards, postcards, tabs and dividers, sketchbooks
Tag paper Retail signs, price tags, file folders, door hangers, direct mail postcards, menus, posters, and timecards
Text paper Commercial printing operations for brochures, letterhead print jobs, stationery, internal memos, and thesis papers

Hope this article helped you in understanding the basics of printing and paperweights. Feel free to drop us a message. You can even call us at (416) 288-8661 or visit our showroom at 24 Ronson Dr, Unit 1, Etobicoke, ON, M9W 1B4.

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