What is paper weight and stock? When considering the cost to print books during the book printing process, it is important to know and understand your options. There are many different categories of paper, and therefore each has its own unique standard size. Measurement of paper thickness is also known as a “caliper”. It is measured as a point size in thousandths of an inch, so one point would equal 1/1000 of an inch.
The type of paper is key when determining the weight, as each type has a different standard size called a “folio”. Base paper weight is measured in pounds per 500 sheets for its type. For example, is 500 standard sheets weigh 100 pounds, then the base weight for the type of paper would be 100 pounds.
Types of paper include: light weight paper such as book pages or standard copy paper, medium weight paper, good for things like greeting cards, heavy weight paper for a thicker style card, and extra heavy weight paper. Each type of book has standard go-to weights, for example: uncoated stock used for novels is about 50lbs, 60lb uncoated stock and 80lbs matte stock for comic books, 100lbs coated stock for children’s books, 10-lbs for yearbooks, and 100lbs coated stock for cookbooks.
Matte stock is often the more popular choice for large quantities of prints such as booklets and articles. It also resistant to smudging and fingerprints, and has superior colour contrast and text clarity. Gloss print is ideal for prints featuring vibrant colours, and can produce quality photo prints, but is limited on its uses. Matte stays the most popular as it can be used in a variety of projects and allows for more durability over time.
Written By Emilia Vieni, Submitted April 7th 2021.