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Complete GSM Paper Guide: What is GSM Paper and How do you choose?

The article gives complete guidance for the right GSM Paper for your printing material
GSM Paper

If you’ve ever printed your own business cards, flyers, or other marketing materials, you might have observed that the stocks—or the paper—are identified by a term known as “GSM.” What is a GSM paper, is a question that might have come to your mind. 

Selecting the appropriate GSM paper for your printed products is crucial, so to help you get started we’ve put together this brief beginner’s guide to GSM paper and a guide to paper weight. 

What is a GSM Paper?

Complete GSM Paper Guide: What is GSM Paper and How do you choose?

“Grams per square metre” (GSM) is a unit of measurement used to describe paper weight. In general, the better the perceived quality of the stock, the heavier the paper and the higher the grams per square meter. 

This is sometimes referred to as the “grammage” of the paper. 

A 150gsm flyer, for instance, is thin and bends or folds easily, whereas a 250gsm flyer is much heavier and requires more work to fold.

A square meter of the paper is weighed after it has been cut to size to get this measurement. It will certainly weigh less when trimmed to the proper size (A5 for an A5 flyer), but as GSM is measured per square meter, it will still have the same GSM.

GSM paper Guide: Why are there various GSMs?

In short, distinct items are compatible with different GSMs. For instance, a greeting card must have a thicker material than a poster since it must stand alone when shown, whereas a poster is typically framed or affixed to a wall. 

Letterheads are yet another excellent example. When a client receives letterhead paper, it should feel substantial and premium yet still be thin enough to print the letter on a typical office printer.

Restaurant menus are printed on thicker stocks since they are more likely to be used again, but bulk flyers for posting through letterboxes or takeout menus are for one time use and typically produced on a mass level. So to make it more economical, they are printed on thinner stocks.

Thicker stocks feel more impressive, while thinner stocks typically imply a lower quality. Because of this, our premium business card line is offered on 400gsm silk paper, which is significantly thicker and of higher quality than the 350gsm cards that the majority of printers offer. 

How to choose the correct GSM paper?

Complete GSM Paper Guide: What is GSM Paper and How do you choose?

Going for the lowest GSM could save you some money, but choosing the right GSM paper for your business depends on its purpose. You should make sure to weigh all of your options before making a decision.

This is due to the extended lifespan of a heavier GSM. For instance, if the main purpose of the flyers is to advertise an event that is happening tonight, a 120gsm A5 flyer would be the most economical option. But if your flyer is to be included in an exhibition goodie bag, you’ll want your flyer to hold up as it gets distributed throughout the workplace. A 350gsm might be preferable in this situation.

What are various GSM paper weights?

Complete GSM Paper Guide: What is GSM Paper and How do you choose?

Here is a list of all the paper weights that are available when printing online with discoverprint, along with an explanation of their potential uses.

  • 70-90gsm – This is a thin paper that is usually used for a notebook’s lined inner pages. 
  • 90-100gsm – The majority of printers in homes and offices use this paper weight.
  • 120-150gsm – This weight of paper is used for printing movie posters, most thin flyers and takeout menus.
  • 200-300gsm – Even though it’s stiffer, this weight can still bend. It’s widely used for more upscale flyers and menus, as well as magazine covers.
  • 350-450gsm – This is a thicker, more pliable stock that resembles cards. It is utilized for a variety of print products, including table talkers, postcards, business cards, and greeting cards.

Still not sure which GSM Paper is best for your product? Don’t worry! Here on our blog, you can find a comprehensive list of all the different paper stocks we offer for each print item we sell, along with comparison images.

Never forget that our helpful customer support team is available to assist you if you’re still unsure or need guidance on a particular product!

Also Read: Ultimate Guide on Flyer Size

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