Paper Guide – What is GSM And How Do You Choose?

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GSM stands for “grams per square meter” and it measures the weight and thickness of paper.

Different types of GSM paper are suited for various uses based on their weight and thickness.

Here’s a breakdown of common GSM paper types and their typical applications:

35-55 GSM:

  • Usage: Newspapers, lightweight flyers.
  • Properties: Very thin and lightweight, not durable.

70-90 GSM:

  • Usage: Standard printer paper, letterheads.
  • Properties: Light to medium weight, suitable for everyday printing and copying.

90-120 GSM:

  • Usage: Higher quality letterheads, flyers, brochures.
  • Properties: Medium weight, good for documents that require a higher quality feel.

120-150 GSM:

  • Usage: Posters, higher quality brochures, covers for magazines.
  • Properties: Heavyweight, offers a premium feel and durability.

150-200 GSM:

  • Usage: High-quality posters, magazine covers, cards.
  • Properties: Very thick and sturdy, suitable for documents that need to be durable and have a premium quality.

200-300 GSM:

  • Usage: Business cards, postcards, premium quality invitations.
  • Properties: Very thick and stiff, highly durable and often used for items that need to withstand frequent handling.

300-400 GSM:

  • Usage: Greeting cards, very high-quality business cards, packaging.
  • Properties: Extremely thick and rigid, suitable for heavy-duty applications.

Above 400 GSM:

  • Usage: Specialty packaging, heavyweight presentations, art prints.
  • Properties: Extremely thick and robust, used for the most durable and high-quality print jobs.


  • Thickness and Durability: Higher GSM papers are thicker and more durable, but they are also more expensive and less flexible.
  • Print Quality: Higher GSM papers generally provide better print quality because they absorb ink better and offer a smoother finish.
  • Usage: Choose the GSM based on the intended use of the printed material. For example, everyday printing doesn’t need high GSM, but a business card does.

Selecting the right GSM paper ensures the best outcome for your print jobs, balancing quality, durability, and cost.

EPM Print Group, as a long term, local Queensland business and market leading print solutions agency, can assist with brand management and growth right across Australia. If your business would like to be supported by a professional, reliable, cost effective business solution, reach out to our team at

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