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Guide on how to choose paper for printing

For digital, offset or screen printing, there is generally a wide range of papers and thicknesses to choose from. It is very difficult to figure which paper is right for you. Read on to figure out how to choose paper for printing.

Paper thickness is measured in GSM, which stands for Grams per Square Meter. Take one square meter of a particular sheet of paper and weigh it. The weight of that particalar square meter of paper, in grams, is used to guage or understand how thick that paper is. Obviously the higher the GSM, the thicker the paper.

How to choose paper for printing

When you talk to any printer, one of the first questions he is going to ask you is, what GSM of paper do you want the print on. Here is a table that you can use for reference…

Here is a rough guide…


100 gsm

letterheads, handouts, inner book pages, receipts


130 gsm – 170 gsm

leaflets, posters, inner book pages (if the number of pages are not very many) tickets, coupons, fliers, leaflets


250 gsm – 300 gsm

book covers, visiting cards, book covers, invites, price tags


Textured / metallic paper

invites, certificates, visiting card

Applications of papers of varying thicknesses


It makes sense for a 100 page book to have its inner pages printed on 80 – 100 gsm.


Any thicker and it will be way too bulky. On the other hand, if you had to print a 8 page brochure or booklet, you would probably opt for a paper between 150 gsm – 170 gsm


Any thinner and it would probably droop in the customers’ hands. The covers of a book need to be 250 gsm thick. Getting them laminated also creates a good impression. Talking about impression, something like a certificate has be jaw dropping. Consider spending a little extra. Opt for the metallic or textured stock available at your printer.


Do drop in at our print shop in Shaniwar Peth, Pune. Have a look at our sample book and make the right choice.