Sunday, 9 September 2012

Choosing the right GSM Paper for your printing

One question you need to answer before ordering any flyers or leaflets is, what thickness of paper do I need? Printers get all technical and use funny terms such as GSM. It is a common method to specify the ‘thickness’ (and as a result, quality) of a sheet of paper by measuring it’s weight in terms grams per square metre (GM or GSM)

Paper Thickness

A business card is around 280gsm, a postcard at 200gsm; a restaurant menu 130gsm; a good quality letterhead or compliment slip is around 120gsm. To put these figures into perspective, a low-quality sheet of photocopier paper is often around 80.

As papers are usually graded by weight, one manufacturer’s 150gsm paper may seem slightly bulkier or thicker than a competitor’s product. This can be down to factors such as the coating, or the type of gloss finish, if any. Despite this, a paper’s GSM rating is probably the best possible viewpoint as to how ‘thick’ or ‘stiff’ the paper will feel.

So, now that you are clear on the different types of paper qualities - which ones should you choose for the paper in your project?

Whether it is a gloss, silk or matt finish is mostly down to personal preference, but gloss paper is seen as producing the most vibrant of colour reproduction when printing. Different opinions on gloss range from classy to tacky. If you are creating a full-colour document featuring photographs or colourful illustrations, you’ll get the more vibrant and effective colours if you opt for a coated paper.

Do not use a glossy finish papers if your document is designed to be written on, as your ink may rub off
Items such as letterheads and compliment slips are almost always printed onto uncoated paper -  with 100gsm seen as the norm, and 120gsm adds s feeling of importance.

Finally, be cautious to the fact that colour reproduction will differ regarding type of paper the ink is printed on, as different types of prints may have different needs, so it important to consider exactly what you want before you go ahead with it.

Email us if you have any further questions on this topic.

What are the most used Paper Sizes:

A6 - 105x148mm
A5 - 148x210mm
A4 - 297x210mm
A3 - 297x420mm
A2 - 420x594mm
A1 – 594x841mm
A0 - 841x1189mm
Business Card – 90x50mm
DL - 110x220mm

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