Paperweights explained in design and printing. GSM stands for ‘Grams per Square Metre
GSM stands for ‘Grams per Square Metre’, It’s a measurement of paper quality which allows for printers to be far more precise than they could be with wooly terms like ‘thick’, ‘thin’ and ‘kinda in the middle’. As the name suggests, it tells you how much a square metre of the paper or card you’re using would weigh (in grams, believe it or not). Although everyone tends to think in terms of thickness, with premium print being on thicker paper, it’s a good means of standardising the business and making sure that customers know what they’re getting.
Here’s a basic layman’s translation of some of the most common paperweights.
350GSM – This is what you might expect a reasonable quality business card to be printed on.
180 to 250 GSM – Like a mid-market magazine cover.
130 to 170 GSM – A good quality promotional poster. Something that you’d expect to last a couple of months in most conditions.
90GSM – Mid-Market magazine inner pages
35 to 55 GSM – Most newspapers
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