Understanding Paper Weight

21 Jul

 

text-weight2Have you ever thought about paper weight and wanted to understand it a little better?  Anyone who understands paper can tell you that whether a note card is thicker or thinner is something that can be a little confusing.

There are two elements that go into determining Paper Weight:

1) The TYPE of paper stock (ex. BOND, TEXT or COVER)
2) The WEIGHT of paper stock (ex. 60 lb, 130 lb, etc.)

Just because an item has a higher weight doesn’t mean it’s thicker.  Here is an example:  A 100 lb. Text stock is actually lighter than 80 lb. Cover stock.

Examples of of paper types are often used:

Bond stocks are often used for note pads.

Text stocks are often used for note pads, Post-It® notes, light-weight note cards, and medium-weight note cards.

Cover stocks are often used for medium-weight note cards, heavy-weight note cards, holiday cards, business cards and invitations.

Board stocks are similar to cover stocks except they are available in much heavier weights. At 60 pt., board stock is extremely rigid and thick, similar to the cover of a hardcover book.

text-weightTo compare paper stocks, view the TYPE and the WEIGHT.
You can see the lightest weight stocks fall under the BOND column and
the heaviest weight stock numbers fall under the COVER column.

Further information for paper enthusiasts

So, why isn’t 80 lb. Text the same weight as 80 lb. Cover While the weight in pounds for most paper types is based on the total weight of 500 sheets, the dimensions of each individual sheet may vary for different TYPES of paper stock.  For example, Text stock is weighed based upon 25″ x 38″ sheets, while Cover stock is weighed based upon 20″ x 26″ sheets.   Also, due to manufacturing differences in paper, not all papers of the same type and weight will feel the same.

Paper weight in stationery and note cards is ultimately a personal choice.  Whether you select thinner or thicker stock is really up to the designer and the user.   Many people like thicker stocks, however, not all.  Bear in mind that some very fine, thinner stocks are made by the very best manufacturers and are beautiful in their own right.  Further, price is not necessarily determined by thicker or thinner stock in many situations, but rather by the process used for production and the specialty nature of certain papers.

No matter whether you note is written on thicker or thinner stock, I wish you happy letter writing!

Best wishes,

Renee

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