Paper Weight. Why is it so Important?

Paper weights matter. We aren’t talking about that green monstrosity you have to keep on your desk that your kid made. The one that you still don’t know what it is because he cried for 20 minutes when you called it a frog. No, the other kind.

We mean the weight of the paper itself. The thickness and quality of the paper. It’s important for several reasons. It will matter for what you are having printed.

With everyone hitting the DIY bottle pretty hard these days, people are trying to make their own fliers, poster, and business cards in their small office or at home. Guess what? We can tell. 

Here’s why paper weight matters and why you need to trust your professionals. 

The Weight of Paper

Paper is weighed by grams per square metre, which really means per sheet. That’s GSM in printerese. We won’t bore you with all the numbers, but there are a lot, and there is a lot of a reason. 

Different paper for different things. The type of paper used reacts differently to different inks, hold up better when laminated or printed on both sides. Different printing needs will need their own types of paper.


You can’t and shouldn’t use the same paper for everything you are printing. Printing up a price list or something in your office is fine when using standard office paper. But not for everything.

Letterhead, office stationery and other forms are fine on the lighter papers. You certainly wouldn’t want to print business cards or wedding invitations on the same light paper. 

When you are printing materials for promoting your business, you want them to look the best they can. Shoddy printing on your business flyers makes your company look cheap and shoddy, as well.

The Thick and Thin of it

A thick paper might seem a lot nicer but it isn’t always the ideal choice for your project. It’s more costly so you wouldn’t necessarily want it for your flyers. Just like you wouldn’t use the regular thin type of paper for your booklet cover or new baby announcements.

Text Paper: 

This is thin paper, but available in different thicknesses. It’s used for copy like letterhead, flyers, newsletters and your everyday printing. This paper is better for just black and white printing but not big jobs requiring colour. 

These are perfect for your office or home printer. It’s not recommended you do your own promotional printing, even if you think you can.

Cover Paper:

Cover paper is thicker and normally used for just what the name suggests. Again, these are available in varying thicknesses and are used for covers on booklets and places where you need something heavier. These papers handle colour much better.

Card Stock:

These are used for invitations, Thank You cards, baby announcements and events you want to make a big deal about. No ‘group text, BYOB send’ for Auntie Sheila’s 50th. She’s only going to have three, four tops of those in her lifetime.

Get them coated or not, but rest assured, they will be great quality. Auntie Sheila is worth it.

My Laminations

Having your printed material laminated will help preserve it and get a long life out of it. Thicker paper is better, although if it’s important, the thinner paper will work, too.

Gloss or Matte

These are options to consider when having your order filled. Matte and gloss are both finishes on paper. Gloss finishes reduce the amount of ink absorbed, allowing for great colour definition.

Matte is a finish that looks flat but still keeps the paper from absorbing as much ink and still gives an excellent finish and defined colours.

Weight For It

Confused? Don’t be. Contact us or drop in to chat with us and find out which paperweight is best for your next project.