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Shop Paper & Cardstock by Weight | How to Choose the Right Weight Paper

Paper Weights Explained by the Pros at LCI Paper

Specialty paper comes in an endless variety of weights of thicknesses and there are so many technical terms to describe them – text, cover, pounds, grams, caliper, density – and the list goes on. It’s a lot of info, and if you need help understanding paper weights and thicknesses and choosing the right weight paper for your project, you are not alone!

 

 

On this page, get help understanding paper weight and find the right weight paper for your creative project.

Shop Paper (Text) & Cardstock (Cover) by Weight

Paper Weight Explained
Understanding Paper Weight & Thickness

LCI Paper supplies paper in many weights and thicknesses! If you aren’t familiar with paper weight, or aren’t sure which weight paper appropriate for your project, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!
This is why we created this quick guide to paper weight basics. It’s all you need to know about paper weight and selecting the right weight for your project. Think of it as Paper Weight 101.

How is Paper Weight Defined? A Very Quick Lesson

At LCI, we split our papers into 4 weight categories – Light, Medium, Heavy, and Extra Heavy. To understand the weight ranges that fall within each category, you must first understand how weight is defined.

Paper Weights Split into Text & Cover Scales

Within these four paper weight categories, papers are split up into two main scales – text weight and cover weight.

Text Weight Sheets: Thin, flexible sheets similar to ordinary office paper, or the pages of a book

Cover Weight Sheets: Thicker, sturdier sheets, commonly referred to as card stock

Within the Text/Cover Scales, Paper Weight is Indicated by a Number of Pounds

Paper weight is indicated by a number of pounds within each scale – for example, an 80lb cover, or an 80lb text. The higher the pound number, the heavier, and usually thicker, the paper.

However…it is important to note that:

Text & Cover Weight Paper Scales are Completely Separate, Unrelated Scales!

For example, an 80lb text weight sheet is much lighter and thinner than an 80lb cover weight sheet, even though they are both 80lb sheets.

Confused by Paper Weight in Pounds? Check out the Grams per Square Meter Instead!

 

If you find paper weight by pounds confusing, you can compare paper weights by looking at the g/m2 (or gsm) instead! An 80lb text weight paper is 118gsm and an 80lb cover is 216gsm. You will find both lb and gsm weights listed on the LCI Paper website.

Got the basics down? Great! Now let’s cover what you’ll find in our paper weight categories.

Lightweight Paper – Light, Flexible (For Letterhead, Resumes)

Our lightweight paper category consists of light, thin, flexible paper – like copy paper, only thicker and prettier. Lightweight paper is easy to print and fold and is great for resumes, brochures, letters, and insert sheets.

Medium Weight Paper – Substantial Yet Printable (Like your Average Greeting Card)

Medium weight papers are a collection of lighter weight cover stock sheets, or card stocks. Papers in this range are similar to a standard greeting card. Medium weight papers are thick enough to be used for cards while still being able to run through most home printers. Papers in the medium weight category make great folded greeting cards, economical invitations, and program covers.

Heavyweight Paper – Thicker, Sturdier (For Invites, Business Cards & Packaging)

This category consists of heavyweight card stocks that are considerably thicker than those in the medium weight category. Though they do not easily compare to an everyday item, they are best described as being heavier and thicker than the average greeting card, but not quite as thick as a cereal box. Due to the weight and thickness of these sheets, we recommend ordering sample to test print prior to purchasing a full pack.

Extra Heavyweight Paper – Ultra Thick (Close to a Cereal Box)

Extra heavy card stocks consists of cover weight papers that are 115lb and up, a weight comparable to a cereal box. Some papers in this category are double-thick, making them nearly as thick and rigid as chip board. Extra heavy paper stocks make great letterpressed invites, presentations, business cards, packaging, and more.

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