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:
- To save money, they choose the lowest gsm paper, assuming it will save money.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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:
|Letter||216 x 280|
|Half Letter||140 x 216|
|Executive||184 x 267|
|Govt. Legal||216 x 330|
|Govt. Letter||203 x 267|
|F4||210 x 330|
|Broadsheet||457 x 610|
|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|
|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|