What is the difference between Text, Book, Bond, Offset, Cover, Bristol, Index, Tag, and Card paper?
Paper can be grouped into two main grades based on weight and thickness: Text and Cover.
"Text" is a generic name for a variety of lighter, thinner paper stocks
that includes Book, Bond, Writing, Ledger, Offset paper. Text paper is
flexible, can be easily rolled and folded and is used for printing
flyers, handouts, letterheads, book pages, etc. The paper used in ink
jet printers would be considered Text.
"Cover" is a generic name for a variety of heavier and thicker paper
stocks that includes Bristol, Index, Tag, and Card paper. It is more
durable than Text paper. Cover paper is more rigid and must be scored
(i.e., dented or creased) before it can be folded. This type of paper is
usually smooth, but can have a texture. It can have either a matte or
glossy appearance. Cover/Card stock is often used for mass mailed
postcards, business cards, playing cards, invitations, program covers,
greeting cards, door hangers, catalogue covers, presentation covers,
scrapbooking, etc. At its heaviest, Card stock would be similar to
material used for a cereal box.What's the difference between gloss and matte paper?
Paper with a gloss finish is smooth and shiny while matte paper is flat
with little or no shine. Gloss stock makes colors look smoother, deeper,
richer, with great color-contrast. Photo's and graphics tend to look
better on gloss stock, while text heavy documents and artwork are often
use matte stock.
Text is more easily read on paper with a matte finish. The softer
looking dull surface of matte paper provides color contrast and clarity.
Unlike glossy paper, matte stock is more forgiving of fingerprints,
smudges and dust.What's the difference between lb, #, gsm, g/m2 and g/m2?
Besides a generic "Text" weight or "Cover" weight, descriptions often
include a number to refer to the weight of the paper. The higher the
number, the heavier the paper. Heavier paper is typically thicker as
There are two systems for indicating the weight of paper; an
international metric system and a North American system. The North
American system for paper weight uses pounds (expressed as either # or
lb) while the metric system uses grams per square meter (gsm or g/m2 or
), often called "grammage". The North American pound
rating is based on the weight of 500 sheets (a.k.a. a ream), while the
metric rating is based on the weight of a 1 meter by 1 meter sheet.
The U.S. system is a bit confusing because the same pound number can be
used for both lighter (Text) paper and heavier (Cover) paper. For
example, 80# Text paper and 80# Cover paper have the same pound number
even though the Cover stock is almost twice as heavy! The metric system
in comparison is more straight forward. For example, 80# Text Paper
weighs 104 g/m2
while 80# Cover Stock weighs 218 g/m2
. The Cover stock is clearly more than twice as heavy as the Text stock.
The reason actual weight of Text and Cover stock of the same pound
rating will be different is due to the way the pound rating is
determined. Both use the weight of 500 sheets for the pound rating, but
they use a different size sheet. For Text stock, 500 sheets measuring
25" x 38" are used. While for Cover stock, 500 sheets measuring 20" x
26" sheets are used instead.Sometimes I see "10 pt" or "12 pt" paper stock listed. Is this a paper weight?
Sometimes the thickness of Cover/Card stock is used instead of its
weight. In North America, paper thickness can be displayed in points
(1/1000" or .001"). For example, a 10 pt. Card stock is 0.010" thick
(about the weight of a 140lb Index stock) while 12 pt. Card stock is
0.012" thick (about the weight of a 100lb Cover stock).Paper Weight Comparison Chart
(lightest to heaviest)
|50lb ||75.2 g/m2||Book/Text/Offset|