About Paper: paper weight, paper finish, paper size
We often get the question, what type of paper should I use? There is a lot more to paper than you would think. We are going to cover the basics. The right type of paper can make all the difference, hopefully we can help you in the right direction.
On our product pages we have an extensive compare table for all its features. When it comes to paper/poster we state the following.
Weight what? Effectively it’s the thickness of the paper what people are referring to when talking about paper weight
We recommend a 135 grams paper. This means the paper weights 135 grams per square meter (g/m2 or GSM). For comparison, you usually use 80 grams paper in your office or household printer. An A0 sheet of 80gsm paper will weigh 80 grams, an A0 sheet of 100gsm paper will weigh 100 grams and so on. From 145-165 grams paper onward it’s considered to be cardstock.
This is the ISO 536 standard, used in Europe and most parts of the rest of the world. When you use US Paper sizes (USA & Canada and some parts of Mexico) you are accustomed to using basis weight. This is usually specified in pounds (lbs). The basis weight is the weight of a 500 sheet ream of uncut paper.
Our 135 grams paper recommendation is the equivalent of 36lb bond stock paper.
Below a quick conversion table for the two types of measurement.
|74||20lb bond/50lb text||Most often found in your everyday copy machine.|
|90||24lb bond/60lb text||Generally multipurpose paper used in the office printer. Also the most popular business letterhead or stationary weight.|
|105||28lb bond/70lb text||Perfect weight for brochures and presentations. Excellent for 2-sided printing with minimal show through.|
|120||32lb bond/80lb text||Perfect weight for brochures and presentations. Excellent for 2-sided printing with minimal show through, while being slightly heavier than the 28lb.|
|145||67lb Bristol||Often considered the lightest of the cardstocks, great for self mailers with a flexible “soft feel” quick drying surface.|
|165||90lb index||A durable cardstock with a smooth, hard surface for medium applications.|
|175||65lb cover||A sturdy stock with a superb “soft feel” fast drying surface. Great for postcards, menus and posters.|
|200||110lb index||Both 90 and 110lb index are the common weights for tabs, dividers and manila folders. The average weight of an index card for heavier applications.|
|215||80lb cover||A heavy cardstock, your most conventional business card weight. Available in a wide variety of textures and finishes. This sheet is printed on 80lb cover.|
|255||140lb index||For super heavy weight applications.|
|260||100lb cover||A noticeably heavier cardstock often used for flat cards or invitations.|
Types of paper
There are many types of paper, we are not going to cover them all. But this list will give you a quick overview of the most used types. Keep in mind, these are the American names!
This paper type was originally produced as writing paper and was highly absorbant due to a high cotton content, however its cotton content has reduced in recent years following the advent of modern copying and printing technology. This is the sort of paper that will be most commonly found in offices and is used primarily in business correspondance.
Book paper is named after its primary use in book printing, it is designed to be a strong lightweight paper which is suitable for double sided printing.
Cover is really what many people would call card (it is also known as Cardstock) and again takes its name from one of its primary uses in the covers of paperback books. It is often used for files, file dividers, business cards and post cards.
Index card is a stiff medium to heavyweight card that absords ink well. The weight of cut sheets are similar to those of Cover stock.
Lightweight paper using a lot of recycled material used almost exclusively in Newspapers.
This is used in offset litho printing as the paper is resistant to tearing.
Text paper is generally coloured and has more surface texture than Bond stock.
Ultra lightweight paper, often coloured and used in art and craft work.
If you want to know about a whole range of other types of paper, check out this pdf.
Then of course there is also toilet paper and paper towels.
Have you ever wondered why it says in every public restroom that you should never flush paper towels down the toilet?
It’s demonstrated very clearly in this video :
Paper finish refers to the smoothness or texture of the paper. It can be very rough of extremely soft to the touch. It is that texture or “finish” that we are referring to.
There are two types of paper that we cover in this guide, coated and uncoated paper.
Generally a more absorbent type of paper. Ink spreads out more.
- Rougher than coated paper
- More porous than coated paper
- Used in your office or household printer
- Used for enveloppes, letters and printed material that requires a somewhat prestigious look and feel.
This paper roughness is one of the reasons we recommend coated paper. The roughness of uncoated paper can, over time, create very smal scratches on the inside of you Windo product (FloorWindo, PromoDek) when pressure is applied. A DeskWindo usually has a lot les pressure to endure, that’s why uncoated paper wont be much of a problem.
Surface of the paper is coated with clay or some other type of mineral and has a glossy or matte finish.
- Coated paper is usually very smooth and can have a subtle shine (matte), or be either very shiny (high gloss).
- Coated paper is more resistant to dirt, moisture and wear.
- It makes the printed material more shiny. That is why it is generally used in the printing of magazines, book covers, glossy photos and art books.
- Coating restricts the amount of ink that is absorbed by the paper and how the ink is absorbed into the paper. This is desirable for sharp and complex images as the ink stays on top of the paper and will not wick or bleed reducing the sharpness of the printed material.
This is is also why we recommend to let the ink dry for at least 24 hours. Coated paper is less absorbed so it will take slightly longer to dry completely.
There are many more types of (true) paper finishes. Like felt, vellum, columns and many more. These are in most cases not your best option for your Windo poster display.
When it comes to paper sizes there are again two standards we use. The ISO 216 standard (EU/World) and the US Paper Sizes (North America).
We will cover the ISO A-sizes standard and the US letter and Tabloid size.
The A Series paper size chart gives a visual representation of how the sizes relate to each other. For example A4 is half of A3 size paper and A2 is half of A1 size paper.
A-series paper sizes. Image by Wikipedia
For your reference, these are the standard poster sizes for some of our poster displays.
- 4A4 – basically 4 A4’s in portrait next to each other.
- US Letter
A4 and US letter are roughly the same size. The same goes for A3 and Tabloid.
B-line 2 sizes:
- A5 landschape height (148mm) by 1 meter.
We recommend 135 grams coated paper for all of our poster displays. This includes our PromoDek floor systeem!
It ensures your brand or advertisement message stands out and will keep you Windo poster display in the best possible condition.
Of course the size of the poster/display depends on your needs and the space available.
We have only touched the surface of the world of paper. Please see our sources if you want dive in even deeper.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please feel free to contact us!