The short answer is really simple. GSM means the “Thickness” of the paper. Let’s take two standards. 130GSM is quite light, and flimsy. Where as 350GSM would be closer to card, and be more rigid.
GSM is an acronym standing for ‘Grams per Square Meter’. Really simply, it allows clients and us to know exactly the quality of paper that you are ordering. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper. The “industry” standard sizes are: 55gsm, 90gsm, 100gsm, 120gsm, 140gsm, 210gsm, 250gsm, 300gsm, 350gsm and 400gsm.
We understand though, that unless you have worked with all the different types of thickness, it can be hard to know which one to choose. We are here to help! Below is a handy guide to roughly what GSM you should be considering for your next project.
35gsm to 55gsm: This is very thin paper. A lot of newspapers will usually be printed on this paper thickness.
120gsm to 140gsm: This GSM range covers the paper thickness of most large printed documents, like posters. However it is also the most commonly used thickness for flyers. Paper with this GSM is strong enough to withstand a bit of wear and tear but is quite light to the touch.
210gsm to 300gsm: Moving onto high end flyers that are intended to keep. This GSM range will cover most of the higher quality flyers you will find. This paper is much less bendy, however is not super rigid.
350gsm to 400gsm: This GSM is essentially card. It will not be bendy and stand up under its own weight. This GSM is very common with business cards. As well, it is likely to be the paper that high-quality gift vouchers are printed on.
Hopefully this gives you a bit of an insight in to the world of paper GSM. There is enough information here to make your next project with us much more informed on the thickness of paper you would like!