Paper grammage refers to paper density. Basically, how thick the sheets are. Whereas business cards need to withstand a pocket at a networking event and represent your company, letterheads need to be light so they can be folded neatly into envelopes.
Grammes Per Square Metre (GSM) is the measurement for the weight of paper. Although different paper grammage can be used for printed items, there are a few unwritten rules we follow in order to make sure your print is as effective as intended.
A Flash Guide to Grammage
In case you’re unfamiliar with paper grammage, this is a quick guide to the different types and what they’re typically used for.
If you’re already pretty clued up on all things GSM, you can click here for more information on their relationship with different printed materials.
- 80-100gsm: You’ll find this weight used in standard office paper, typically for forms and pricelists. It’s rare that it makes an appearance in brochures.
- 110-120gsm: Letterheads, compliment slips and general stationery are best suited for this grammage.
- 130–170gsm: Durable, heavier paper typically used when printing posters, leaflets, flyers and the pages inside your brochure.
- 170 –200gsm: Halfway between paper and card. Typically used for brochure covers, it’s great when used for more luxurious posters or quality double-sided flyers.
- 200–250gsm: This weight is the starting point of heavier card (board) and can add a quality finish to a brochure if used as a statement cover.
- 300–400gsm: Anything over 300gsm falls into the board category and is usually suited for business cards. Board can be also used as a heavy-duty cover for brochures but it’s important to remember the stitching and folding implications of using a weighty board as a cover.
- 400gsm and above: Some high-end business cards are printed on weights of up to 1200gsm which is incredibly thick. Any business cards would be considered luxurious printed on a paper grammage above the typical 400gsm.
If you’re not sure what would work best for your printed material, you can request a paper sample from your printing partner. This will help you have a better understanding of how the finished product will look.
Corporate Brochure & Prospectus
Anything between 170gsm and 300gsm
Before a potential prospect even turns the front page, they’ll be making a judgement on the perceived quality of your brochure. From the binding to how it feels in their grasp. Elements like paper grammage are often forgotten about but it’s essential when it comes to the overall look and feel of your printed materials.
It’s not just about the tactile side of things either. The weight of the paper will be the main factor in determining the final weight of your brochure, impacting the delivery cost if you have decided on doing a direct mail campaign alongside your online efforts.
You don’t want to go to the trouble of spending a lot of time and effort on the design of your brochure - only to sacrifice its wow factor with really light, thin paper.
For authoritative brochures that demand the attention of readers, we recommend a heavier GSM than your average office stationery. Not only does this avoid the dreaded show through when the page is double-sided with important content, but it establishes your brand as high-quality and trustworthy.
From 170gsm to whatever your print specialist advises
Mail outs can be your first introduction to a potential client. They need to express your company and ethos effectively. To a customer, it’s an accurate representation of your business offering.
One thing to consider when choosing the grammage of the paper for your mailout job is that the thicker heavier paper may need creasing rather than a just a fold to give it that professional finish, which may have an additional cost.
The higher the grammage the higher the possibility it must just spring open if it hasn’t been folded professionally, so it's worth making sure the job is done properly or you should look to choose something a little lighter. The weight of your mailout ultimately will increase the price of the overall job.
It may sound obvious, but if it's a job that you’re going to send to prospects, it's worth doing the maths to make sure it's not tipping into the higher postage category and costing you more than your marketing budget allows.
Print specialists are clued up about paper grammage and mailing costs and would look at the project as a whole. This way they can make sure you're choosing the weight that enhances your marketing collateral but is still cost-effective. Some printing professionals will even handle the delivery for you.
Customers like to use their senses when deciding on purchases and the sense of touch can often influence their decision. When it comes to finalising the requirements of your next printed material, be sure to consider the weight of paper and other elements like colours, techniques and even binding options.
Grammage to Grayscale: Everything You Need to Know About Printing for Your Business
Print is still a prominent contender in today’s marketing world. Direct mail campaigns are somewhat of a rarity nowadays, but there’s no better way to cut through the digital noise.
That's why we created our Business Printing Guide. It highlights just how important the process is, along with other vital steps you need to take beforehand to make your business printing spectacular. Learn about how print can be effective alongside your digital efforts by downloading the guide below.