Don’t feel bad if picking the right weight it doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing wrong with you… it’s just that there are a lot of terms used in the world of paper. Some of them mean the same thing, and some of them don’t. But here’s the good news! **Printpapa **is FILLED with people who love paper, know paper, understand paper, and deal with paper DAILY; and we’re more than happy to share anything we know about it with YOU!

**Paper Weight Comparison Chart**

Here’s a handy-dandy comparison chart to help you figure which paper weights are equivalent.

**Dying to know more?**

For the sake of this post, we’re not going to talk about color, shade, texture, finish, or anything else like that. We’re JUST talking about weight and thickness. But to start, we’ll break it down to 2 main categories:

Bond |
Cardstock |

**Weight and Thickness are DIFFERENT**

The different classes of text or cover each come with their own “weight” determined by ** Basis Weight. Basis Weight **is the weight of 500 sheets, at the base size for that type of stock.

**Bond**or

**Writing**paper has a

**of 17” x 22”, so if 500 sheets weighs 20lbs than it’s called**

*Base Size***20# Bond**or

**20# Writing**no matter what size it’s cut down to.

**Offset**and

**Text**sheets have a Base Size of 25” x 38”, so if 500 sheets at that size weighs 50lbs, than it’s called

**50# Offset**or

**50# Text**.

You’ll notice, that in our comparison chart further down, the **20# Bond** **and 50# Offset** are the same thickness, which now makes perfect sense, because the ** Base Size** of

**Offset**is over double the size for

**Bond**… so the

**for**

*Basis Weight***Offset**will also be more than twice the weight of

**Bond**.

**GSM – Grams per Square Meter**

Whether you’re familiar with the metrics system or not, you probably know that one of the principles is to keep the math simple and make all things equal. **GSM** is the metric systems classification for paper, because they don’t care about how it’s made or what it’s used for. They just want to know a simple way to determine volume. So one sheet of these same papers (**20# Bond** or **50# Offset**) cut to 1 meter x 1 meter, will weigh 75 grams (which is **75gsm**… grams per square meter). Again, this isn’t a measure of thickness…. but generally speaking, the more **grammage** a single sheet has at a fixed size the more density it has, which often relates to thickness of the sheet (but can also involve bulk and manufacturing process).

Again… it can get very complicated. If you’re interested in knowing even more, you’re welcome to explore some of our previous posts, or you can always speak with any member of our helpful staff.