Deciding on the right type of paper for your customs prints can be confusing. If you're like me you have one of those handy print sample books you get from a company and can compare the thickness and style of different papers and card stock before making your choice.

There are so many different paper type names like card stock, text stock, cover paper, bond paper, etc. Each one sometimes described differently. Are you wondering what the difference between a 10pt cardstock paper and a 100 lb cardstock paper. These papers are not the same. What's the difference and what is the different measurement used here?

Let's start with the different types of measurements. The 3 standard measurements are by Weight, by Thickness, and you might also see Grams Per Meter. Simply stated, the larger the number, the thicker the paper.

Let's look at this table comparing thickness & weight:

  Cardstock by Thickness       Converted to Inches      Cardstock by Weight  
   • 8pt Cardstock
   • 9pt Cardstock
   • 10pt Cardstock
   • 12pt Cardstock
   • 14pt Cardstock 
   • .008 inches
   • .009 inches
   • .010 inches
   • .012 inches
   • .014 inches
   • 60 lb Cardstock
   • 65 lb Cardstock
   • 80 lb Cardstock
   • 100 lb Cardstock
   • 104 lb Cardstock


Basis weight of a paper is the designated fixed weight of 500 sheets, measured in pounds, in that paper's basic sheet size. In this case, card or cover stock is measured by the weight of 500 sheets of its basic sheet size of 20" x 26" paper. It is important to note that the "basic sheet size" is not the same for all types of paper. You may also see weight abbreviated with the # sign, so 100 lb = 100#.


Cardstock isn't the only major player here. There are tons of different types and categories of papers. Here are a few popular types you might come across:

Bond Paper: The name comes from it having originally been made for documents such as government bonds. Today it's a standard paper used for letterheads, stationary, and general printing. 

Offset Text: Used in offset printing, a printing technique in which the inked image is eventually transferred (or "offset") from a plate to the printing surface. You'll see offset printing offered when large quantities of something is being printed.

Cover or Cardstock: A heavier, thicker, and more durable paper. Typically used for items like business cards, and postcards.

Of course many of these types of papers have their own sub categories and finishes like gloss, matte, textured, smooth, colored, different shades of white, etc.

 

Back to weight and thickness. Paper stock is also measured using other systems including grams per meter. While different paper types have different basic sizes, papers can still be compared by using equivalent weight.

The following table shows the closest equivalent for several types of popular papers and measurements: 

Bond / Text Offset Text Cover / Cardstock  Tag  Index  Points  Calipers (inches)  Millimeters  Meteric
(grams / sq. meter) 
16 40  22  37  33  3.2  .0032  .081  60.2 gsm
20  50  28  46  42  3.8  .0038  .097  75.2 gsm
24  60  33  56  50  4.8  .0048  .12  90.3 gsm
28  70 39  64  58  5.8  .0058  .147  105.35 gsm
29 73 40  62  60  .0060  .152  109.11 gsm
36 90  50  82  75  6.8  .0068  .173  135.45 gsm
43  110  60  100  90  7.4  .0074  .188  161.78 gsm
47 120  65  108  97   8 .0078  .198 176.83 gsm
53  135  74  122  110  .0085  .216 199.41 gsm
54 137  75  125  113  .009  .229  203.17 gsm
58  146  80  134  120  9.5  .0092 .234  218.22 gsm
65 165 90  150  135  10  .0095  .241  244.56 gsm
67  170   93 156  140  10.5  .010  .25  252.08 gsm
72  183  100  166  150  11  .011  .289  270.9 gsm
76  192  105  175  158   13 .013  .33  285.95 gsm
87 220  120  200  180  15  .015  .38  312 gsm


Puma Prints prints on the best and highest quality paper for your specific sign. Contact us for more info!