Understanding Paper Weight... Mysteries Revealed!
A few months ago we posted a 2-part Blog about Choosing the Right Paper but we still get a lot of questions about one VERY confusing topic: Paper Weight and Thickness.
FACT: It’s complicated!
ANOTHER FACT: It’s complicated for NO GOOD REASON!
Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing wrong with you… it’s just that there are a lot of terms used in the world of paper. Some of them mean the same thing, and some of them don’t. But here’s the good news! Universal Printing is FILLED with people who love paper, know paper, understand paper, and deal with paper DAILY; and we’re more than happy to share anything we know about it with YOU!
Paper Weight Comparison Chart
Here’s a handy-dandy comparison chart to help you figure which paper weights are equivalent.
Dying to know more?
For the sake of this blog, we’re not going to talk about color, shade, texture, finish, or anything else like that. We’re JUST talking about weight and thickness. But to start, we’ll break it down to 2 main categories:
Weight and Thickness are DIFFERENT
The different classes of text or cover each come with their own “weight” determined by Basis Weight. Basis Weight is the weight of 500 sheets, at the base size for that type of stock. Bond or Writing paper has a Base Size of 17” x 22”, so if 500 sheets weighs 20lbs than it’s called 20# Bond or 20# Writing no matter what size it’s cut down to. Offset and Text sheets have a Base Size of 25” x 38”, so if 500 sheets at that size weighs 50lbs, than it’s called 50# Offset or 50# Text.