Guide To Paper Basis Weight And Thickness From Print Peppermint

Thinking about designing your own custom business cards, flyers, brochures or other printed materials? Not sure what to make of common metrics like paper “basis weight” and thickness? These terms can be confusing and difficult to understand. 


So if you’re looking for a custom paper thickness chart and a guide to the basics of basis weight and thickness, you’re in the right place. In this article, the team from Print Peppermint will provide you with all the information you need to know about these common measurements. Let’s get started.

Paper Basis Weight

What Is Paper Basis Weight?


Paper is a very light material, so it may seem a bit strange to measure its basis weight. But this is still a useful metric for determining the overall quality and weight of paper. But because an individual piece of paper is so light, individual sheets are not measured to determine basis weight.


Instead, basis weight is measured using 500 sheets of paper. So if, for example, you see a box of paper labeled as “20 lb” or “20#,” this means that 500 sheets (or a “ream) of paper weighs 20 lbs. Weights of 20-32 lbs are common for stationary and printer paper.


However, this can get pretty confusing. There are also different standard sheet sizes, such as Bond, Book, Text, and Cover, which can affect the weight of paper. For this reason, it’s sometimes hard to determine the relative weight of a certain type of paper when compared to others. 



If you want more detailed information about paper basis weight and want to compare the weights of different types of paper, Print Peppermint has put together a custom paper thickness chart you can use. Click here to take a look and compare common paper basis weight measurements.


What Is Paper Thickness?


Paper thickness is much simpler to understand and measure, since it’s relatively self-explanatory. Paper thickness measures the overall thickness of a particular sheet of paper. The most common metric for paper thickness is “points” or “pt” for short. 


This measurement is equivalent to 1/1000th of an inch – so a piece of paper with a thickness of 32 pt is 32/1000ths of an inch. Confusingly, the term “mils” is also used synonymously with “points.” They both refer to the same thing, though – a paper that’s 32 mils in thickness will also be 32 pt in thickness.


Cardstock and paper can have a wide variety of thicknesses. Thin, more inexpensive cardstock may be only 10 pt, while more expensive materials can be up to 32 and 48 pt in thickness. Standard business cards are usually 18 pt, but thicker materials are usually available from companies like Print Peppermint for a more luxurious feel. 


Does Paper Basis Weight And Thickness Matter When Designing A Business Card? 


Yes. The weight and thickness of a business card both influence how it feels in your hand. A thicker, more heavy-weight card stock can make your card feel more premium and high-quality. They also help ensure your card won’t get folded or damaged as easily.


However, thicker and heavier cards are not always better. 36 pt paper is twice as thick as 18 pt paper – so if you carry a lot of business cards and hand them out regularly, it’s easier to keep them on-hand if you have thinner cards that do not take up as much space, and won’t weigh you down.


Know The Basics Of Paper Basis Weight And Thickness Before You Design Paper Products! 

Whether you’re designing business cards, flyers, brochures or any other paper product, it’s important to understand your options for paper basis weight and thickness. For more information or to check out some common paper options, check out Print Peppermint now. You can even order print samples to see their products for yourself before you start designing your own printed products.

Nicholas F. Matson

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