Paper: Sizes, Types & Weights
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Card Making ~ Paper: Sizes, Types & Weights
Paper weights can be very confusing and difficult to translate. With that in mind, I will try to give you a very general understanding of paper weights, according to my interpretation. There are two (2) general TYPES of paper; Text Paper and Cardstock Paper.
|Weight||Text Paper||Cardstock Paper(also called “cover”)|
|20#||Most often used in copy machines|
|24#||Most often used in office printers, as business letterhead or as stationary|
|28#||Good for brochures, presentations or 2-sided printing (w/minimal show-though)|
|32#||Perfect for brochures & presentations. Excellent for 2-sided printing|
|57#||Mass Mailing Postcards|
|65#||Great for postcards, menus and posters||Light Weight Business Cards and lightweight note cards|
|67#||Great for self mailers with a “Soft feel” quick drying surface|
|80#||Slightly heavier than Letterhead Paper||Typically used for Business Cards|
|90#||Typically weight of Post cards|
|92#||Great for small note cards|
|105#||Great for Business Cards|
|100#||Mostly used for flat cards or invitations.|
|110#||Index Cards and Greeting Cards|
Hopefully, this chart will help you in purchasing the correct type of paper for your project.
**A VERY IMPORTANT fact you need to remember is that 80 lb Text paper is entirely different that 80 lb Cardstock paper.
Not all paper types are available in all weights. Paper weight is very important for many reasons. Thickness represents a nice quality project with high durability, but can also add to the weight of your mailing, which may incur additional postage costs. It is important to determine the purpose of your project and the potential effects you desire vs. your cost of the completed mailing, when choosing you paper type.
**Also, when purchasing paper for projects, always make sure it is Acid Free, to prevent that nasty “yellowing”.
|A (Letter Size)||8 1/2 x 11|
|B (Ledger Size)||11 x 17|
|C||17 x 22|
|D||22 x 34|
|E||34 x 44|
|F||28 x 40|
|G||11 x (22 1/2 to 90)|
|H||28 x (44 to 143)|
|J||34 x (55 to 176)|
|K||40 x (55 to 143)|
The most common paper size you can probably guess; Letter Size (A) 8 ½ x 11. Ledger Size (B), the 11 x 17 paper is most times utilized within the legal system; rental contracts, lawyer’s summons and loan agreements, are a few examples.
I recently completed a wedding invitation order, in which I used paper size C (17 x 22). Because of the length of the paper, I was able to implement a “wrapped” style for the invitation, WITHOUT having to piece together any papers; one continuous “wrap”.
And of course, the larger size papers are wonderful for posters, banners and signs.
Acid Free Paper
Paper manufactured to a neutral pH reading (7). Used for fine art prints, limited edition printing, scrapbooking.
Random surface quality created by “felts” in the manufacturing process.
The basis weight of a paper is the designated fixed weight of 500 sheets, measured in pounds, in that paper’s basic sheet size. It is important to note that the “basic sheet size” is not the same for all types of paper.
Light reflecting property of paper when measured under a specially calibrated blue light.
Uncoated “plain” paper, free from impurities. Also referred to as “free sheet.” (i.e.: writing papers, including ledger, that accept ink readily and can be erased)
Solid or laminated heavy-weight printing paper made to a thickness of .006″ or higher. Bristol’s are often used for printed items that require repeated handling.
The thickness of paper when compared to its weight. A high bulk paper is thicker but less compact than a low-bulk paper of the same weight and size.
Part of the paper manufacturing process where the paper “web” passes between polished metal rolls. This increases the paper’s smoothness and provides a uniform thickness (caliper).
Caliper refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper expressed in thousandth of an inch. This measurement is taken with a micro meter. Normally, paper caliper should not have more than a + or – 5% variance within a sheet. Caliper is generally, the relation between caliper and basis weight; the greater the caliper (the thicker the paper), the greater the paper weight.
Book paper with a clay coating ensuring smoothness (i.e.: dull, satin, gloss, matte).
Paper coated and uncoated; used for book covers, brochures, etc.
Paper for copiers, ink-jet and laser printers, as well as high-end digital presses like Xeikon and Indigo.
While different paper types have different basic sizes, papers can still be compared by using equivalent weight.
A low-cost paper that contains unprocessed wood fibers.
Mill Bristol Paper
A board grade paper receptive to folding, embossing, and stamping.
Paper used for printing newspapers; highly acidic, degrades quickly.
Uncoated book paper treated with sizing to resist moisture.
Uncoated book paper treated to be less transparent.
Paper manufactured from the waste paper stream. All Micro Format recycled products contain a minimum of 100% recycled material including 40% post consumer waste.
Water resistant and foldable paper, used for tags.
Uncoated book paper (often of an interesting color) used for announcements and the like.
A paper coated with special chemicals that produce an image when heat is applied.