GSM – What does it stand for and what weight to print on.

GSM is an acronym standing for ‘Grams per Square Meter’.  The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper. Being specific about the GSM weight you’re after can make all the difference when it comes to printing. Rather than just asking for thick or thin paper, there’s a whole lot more in between!

Although any GSM weight is available, you’ll most commonly find: 90gsm, 100gsm, 120gsm, 150gsm, 170gsm, 200gsm, 250gsm, 300gsm, 350gsm and 400gsm. This trend holds true across pretty much any printed product you can think of.

GSM in practice:

What paper thickness do different GSM weights represent in real life?  We are aware that selecting a paper weight can be a bit daunting.  Weighing is one option, but let us help and translate numbers into commonly occurring paper you will have bumped into before now:

35gsm to 55gsm: This is very thin paper indeed. Most newspapers will commonly be printed on this weight paper.

90gsm to 100gsm: This is the weight of most household printer paper. The paper you might pick up in packs of 500 sheets at the office.

120gsm to 140gsm: This range covers the paper thickness of most posters you’re likely to find on pub walls etc. Paper with this weight is sturdy enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear. It’s also the thickness of low-cost flyers you would expect posted through your front door as junk mail.

170gsm to 200gsm: This weight in our opinion is the minimum you want to consider for a flyer and would be IJ Graphics minimum recommendation to represent your business or promotion in a professional image and to be taken seriously.

250gsm to 300gsm: Moving onto premium flyers now.  This paper range is approaching card but will still have a bit of a bend when held with two fingers. Think of a premium quality magazine cover.  This would be IJ Graphics recommendation as a good quality flyer to stand out from the crowd.

350gsm to 400gsm: This GSM is essentially card. It will stand up under its own weight and is the best choice for your premium high end flyers, and the minimum starting range for business cards and wedding invites.

We hope this has helped! Get in touch directly for any further questions.


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