Choosing the right card for a particular job is not difficult as long as you have a few simple facts to work with. Use this guide to make sure you understand the basics of card stock to allow you to make the right choice every time.
Card Stock Terminology
There are some words and terms you may come across that may need to be explained. ‘Cover paper’, for example, refers to heavier paper/card that is normally used for postcards, greetings cards, menus and business cards, amongst other things. This is often simply called card stock or sometimes card weight paper.
‘Finishing’ refers to the texture of the card. This may simply be glossy, matte or something more varied with added finishes such as antique or metallic.
Card Stock Thickness
Card is measured using a point (usually written as pt) system. This is based on the card’s thickness in thousandths of an inch. This means that one point is equal to .001 inch. Card is normally in the 8pt to 14pt range, with 8pt, 10pt, 12pt and 14pt all commonly available sizes. The higher the point value, the thicker the card.
Card and paper are also commonly measured by their weight in pounds or how much each square metre weighs in grams. Card usually weighs between 50 and 140 pounds.
What Weight to Choose?
Normal copier paper weight is 70-100gsm and card generally starts at 100gsm. Here are some basic references:
- 100-120gsm – This is heavy paper or light card that is suitable for a large number of home printers. It is lighter than an average greetings card.
- 120-150gms – This is widely used card suitable for everything from business stationery to invitations. It is generally suitable for home printers.
- 160gsm+ – This is as thick two pieces of 80gsm paper generally used to photocopy and print.
- 200gsm+ – This is as thick as three pieces of 80gsm paper the card generally used to make a cereal box and is best suited for crafts or handmade greetings cards or invitations.
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