What is GSM in Paper? – GSM in paper printing stands for ‘grams per square meter’, denotes the paper’s weight. A higher GSM typically means a thicker and heavier paper.
If you’re considering printing materials like flyers, Menus or business cards, you might have noticed that the type of paper used is often characterised by a term known as ‘GSM’. On our website products, you will see an option to choose paper type.
To assist you in selecting the ideal GSM paper for your print projects, we’ve put together this simple guide for beginners on GSM paper and paper weight.
what does gsm for paper mean:
GSM, which stands for ‘grams per square meter’, denotes the paper’s weight. A higher GSM typically means a heavier paper, often translating to a better perceived quality.
This weight measurement is also known as the paper’s ‘grammage’.
Take, for instance, a flyer with 150gsm. It’s relatively thin and can be easily bent or folded, whereas a flyer with a 250gsm is much thicker and requires more effort to fold.
The GSM is determined by weighing a square meter of the paper. When the paper is cut into a specific size (like A5 for an A5 flyer), the weight decreases, but the GSM remains consistent because it’s measured per square meter. So, the gsm of paper does not depend on the size of it but we can say that it relates to thickness of the paper.
For understanding, standard printing paper is 90gsm while business cards are printed on 450gsm paper.
Why Different GSMs Are Used
Different GSMs are suitable for various products. For instance, greeting cards are typically made from heavier paper than posters, as they need to stand upright when displayed, while posters are often mounted or framed.
Consider letterhead papers; they should be substantial enough to convey a premium feel but also thin enough to be compatible with standard office printers.
For mass distribution, such as flyers for letterbox drops or takeaway menus, thinner, more economical paper stocks are used. In contrast, restaurant menus often use thicker paper due to their repeated handling.
Thinner paper is often perceived as lower quality, whereas thicker paper feels more luxurious. This is why our top-tier business cards are made from 450gsm paper, which is thicker and of higher quality than the standard 350gsm offered by many printers.
Choosing the Right GSM
Cost vs. Durability Our GSM guide suggests that lower GSM might be more cost-effective, but it’s important to consider all factors.
A heavier GSM paper lasts longer. For example, a 120gsm A5 flyer is perfect for short-term promotions like an event happening tonight, helping to reduce costs. However, for flyers meant for exhibition goodie bags, where longevity is key as they are shared in offices, a sturdier 350gsm might be a better choice.
Different GSM Paper Weights Explained
Here is a breakdown of various paper weights available for printing and their typical uses:
- 70-90gsm: This light paper is often used for the inner lined pages of personalised notebooks, Duplicate Invoice books pages.
- 90-100gsm: A common weight for everyday household and office printers.
- 120-150gsm: Ideal for lightweight flyers, takeaway menus, and posters printing.
- 200-300gsm: A bit more rigid but still flexible, used for magazine covers, quality flyers, and menus.
- 350-450gsm: A thick, card-like material, harder to bend, used in business cards, greeting cards, postcards, and table talkers.
What is the gsm of printer paper?
The GSM (grams per square meter) of standard printer paper varies, but it typically falls within a few common ranges:
- Standard Office Printer Paper: Usually around 80-100 GSM. This weight is suitable for everyday printing, such as for documents, reports, and emails.
- Lightweight Paper: Some printer paper might be lighter, around 60-70 GSM. This type is less common and might be used for internal documents where paper quality is less of a concern.
- Premium Printer Paper: For higher-quality documents, such as professional reports or resumes, printer paper might be slightly heavier, around 100-120 GSM.
It’s important to note that the suitable GSM for your printer also depends on its specifications and capabilities. Some printers might not handle very thick paper well, so it’s always a good idea to check your printer’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended paper weight.
120 gsm Paper
120 GSM paper is considered a mid-weight paper, thicker and more substantial than standard printer paper, which is usually around 80 GSM. It’s commonly used for high-quality stationery, such as letterheads, resumes, and professional presentations. This weight offers a more luxurious feel, providing a balance between the thinness of regular paper and the heaviness of card stock. It’s suitable for double-sided printing without excessive show-through and adds a touch of elegance and professionalism to printed materials. 120gsm paper is used for printing letterheads, compliment slips, notepads.
200 gsm Paper
200 GSM paper is a heavier, more substantial paper quality typically used for premium flyers, posters, light card products, and brochure covers. Its thickness and sturdiness make it ideal for items that require durability and a high-quality feel. This weight is not as thick as cardstock but offers a more luxurious and robust feel compared to lighter paper weights. It’s an excellent choice for marketing materials and other prints where a strong visual and tactile impression is important.
450 gsm Paper
450 GSM paper is one of the heaviest and most robust paper weights available in the standard paper market. It’s akin to card stock and is often used for high-end products like premium business cards, invitation cards, and postcards. Due to its thickness and durability, 450 GSM paper conveys a sense of luxury and quality, making it an excellent choice for materials where a strong, lasting impression is essential. Its rigidity also makes it less prone to bending or folding, ensuring a professional look and feel. Our business cards are printed on 450gsm paper.