Thickness of paper is specified by its weight in grams per square metre (GM or GSM). Low grade photocopier paper is around 80gsm; letterheads 100-120gsm with good quality letterhead around 120gsm. Business cards are around 350gsm and flyers around 300gsm-350gsm.

Print on the right paper stock

Choosing the correct paper stock to print your project on can be a daunting task if you are not familiar with paper stocks. There are a number of options in paper stocks, and it’s not always obvious what the difference is between them.

Two of the most common mistakes we see people make when choosing a paper stock are:

  1. To save money, they choose the lowest gsm paper, assuming it will save money.
  2. Choosing the highest gsm paper, under the assumption that it is of higher quality.

Whilst those two assumptions aren’t necessarily incorrect, it’s not the correct way to choose stocks. Different paper types are right for specific situations.

Types of Paper

Paper types refers to the finish of the paper, this affects the look of the pages rather than the feel or the weight.

Uncoated

This produces a matte finish. The majority of books that you read have an uncoated finish. Perfect for: novels, poetry books, anthologies, short stories, biographies.

Silk

Paper with a silk finish has a low sheen coating. This improves colours and sharpens images. Silk is somewhere between uncoated and gloss, it provides a high-quality look in a more subtle way than gloss.

Perfect for: photo books, posters, leaflets, brochures

Gloss

Paper has a higher sheen coating which further enhances colours and sharpness.

Perfect for: children’s books, colour inserts, photo books, recipe books

Common Book Printing Paper Grades and their uses:

  • Matt Coated Paper: Books containing high quality colour or black and white imagery alongside large areas of text.
  • Silk Coated Paper: Books containing high quality colour or black and white imagery alongside small areas of text.
  • Gloss Coated Paper: Books containing high quality colour or black and white imagery alongside minimal areas of text.
  • Bookwove: MonoBooks containing predominantly text with minimal imagery.
  • Bulky News: Mono Books containing only text.
  • Woodfree Offset: Mono Books containing predominantly text with some line imagery. Sometimes used to print books containing colour or black and white imagery alongside large areas of text where a dead matt effect is required.
  • Smooth sized woodfree (Pre-print): Mono Books containing predominantly text with some line imagery. Sometimes used to print books containing colour or black and white imagery alongside large areas of text where a dead matt effect is required.
  • One side coated board: Cover board of choice for paperback books.

Paper Stocks

IPG offers quality stocks, including several environmental options. All our standard stocks are FSC certified. Our house stocks include:

Coated: 80gsm, 90gsm, 100gsm, 113gsm, 128gsm, 150gsm, 170gsm, 200gsm, 250gsm, 300gsm, 350gsm and 400gsm.

IPG can source any Australian stock your project requires. Please speak to your account manager to get more details.

70gsm – Uncoated

  • Suitable for black and white printing.
  • Thinner paper gives a more traditional, ‘old-timely’ feel.
  • Lowers the weight of your book which can cut costs on international shipping.

80gsm – Uncoated

  • Our standard paper for black and white books.
  • Costs slightly more than 70gsm, but not significantly.
  • Perfect for novels, biographies and poetry books.

100gsm – Uncoated

  • Our standard paper for colour books
  • Works well as a heavier alternative for black and white books, particularly A4 books.
  • Perfect for autobiographies, anthologies, history books.

115gsm (Gloss or Silk)

  • Slightly heavier than 100gsm, but with a gloss or silk finish.
  • Works best in books / booklets with a lot of colour.

300gsm

  • A slightly heavier cover stock.
  • A little more expensive than 250gsm, but not significantly.
  • Works great for recipe books, manuals, workbooks and children’s books.

Paper Weight Descriptions & Uses

Weight Feels Similar to:
35-55 gsm Most newspapers
90 gsm Mid-market magazine inner pages
130-250 gsm A good quality promotional poster
180-250 gsm Mid-market magazine cover
350 gsm Most reasonable quality business cards

Standard paper weights are between 80gsm and 100gsm for common business applications; photo paper is much higher and goes up to 280gsm in weight.

Standard paper sizes

Standard paper sizes in Australia:

Name mm
Letter 216 x 280
Half Letter 140  x  216
Executive 184  x  267

 

name mm
Govt. Legal 216  x  330
Govt. Letter 203  x  267
F4 210  x  330
Broadsheet 457  x  610

 

Name mm
A0 841 x 1189
A1 594 x 841
A2 420 x 594
A3 297 x 420
A4 210 x 297
A5 148 x 210
A6 105 x 148
A7 74 x 105
A8 52 x 74
B0 1000 x 1414
B1 707 x 1000
B2 500 x 707
B3 353 x 500
B8 62 x 88
Name mm
B4 250 x 353
B5 176 x 250
B6 125 x 176
B7 88 x 125
C0 917 x 1296
C1 648 x 917
C2 458 x 648
C3 324 x 458
C4 229 x 324
C5 162 x 229
C6 114 x 162
C7 81 x 114
C8 57 x 81

If you need help choosing the correct paper stock to use, let our team of professionals help you choose. We can show you examples of stocks with tangible look and feel properties you can choose from. Contact us today!