Common paper weights range from 80gsm to 170gsm – anything above is entering the card weight region. If you're an avid card maker and love using heavy embellishments, you may prefer to use a heavier weight cardstock to ensure your design can stand up under the strain. However if you'd prefer to incorporate fun little paper decorations, a lighter weight may be more ideal.
Below is a little chart giving examples of what each weight is generally used for.
Paper and Card Weights Chart
|80 - 100gsm||Copy Paper, Printer Paper|
|120 - 170gsm||Parchment Paper, Premium Printer Paper, Card Inserts, Luxury Paper Pads, Background Papers, Foiled Papers, Envelopes|
|200 - 250gsm||Average Weight Card, Stamping Card, Embossed Card, Mirror Card, Printing Card, Decoupage Sheets|
|260 - 290gsm||Pearlescent Card, Topper Sheets, Designer Card, Kraft Card, Card Blanks|
|300 - 350gsm||Heavyweight Card, Luxury Card Inserts, Hammered Card, Centura Pearl Card, Luxury Designer Card, Luxury Topper Sheets, Decoupage Sheets|
At a higher weight, a second measure is sometimes used to indicate the thickness of a sheet: 'mics', or 'microns' (one micron is equivalent to 1/1000 of a millimetre). This measurement isn't often used as it tends to confuse matters – a higher gsm doesn't necessarily mean a higher amount of microns as that specific sheet could have a raised or embossed texture. The most common use of microns when explaining thickness is in reference to vellum – 220mics signifies a good vellum weight!