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Choosing the Right Paper for the Job


There are many contributing factors to selecting the right paper for printing on. Who’s it for? What are you printing with? What type of document is it? We also need to consider the environment and ensure that the paper we choose won’t have a negative impact on our carbon footprint.

Different jobs call for different types of paper. If you are trying to impress a client feel, weight and colour can all contribute to the message that you are trying to send. On the other hand, if you are just printing for your own records, then you probably want to keep costs down and use something that is slightly lower quality.

When you’re faced with the task of purchasing supplies for your office, ordering the correct type of paper can be daunting with so many options available. Don’t fear! We’re here to help. And if you don’t find the answer below, one of our dedicated team members will happily talk you through it.

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Paperweight, or grammage, is measured in grams per square meter (gsm) or simply in grams (g). The bigger the number, the thicker the paper. For example, photocopy paper usually has a weight of between 60gsm and 90gsm, while paperboard ranges from 150gsm to 350gsm.

The weight of the paper also affects its opacity, becoming less transparent the heavier it gets.

While the weight of the paper does affect its thickness, there are other factors that can affect this too. The type of processing, the wood fibre content and additives used in the manufacturing process can all contribute to the paper’s thickness.


Whether you’re printing brochures, business cards, a simple flyer or a book, every piece of printed media has its recommended paperweight. Selecting the wrong paper for the job can ruin the final effect.

90gsm paper

90gsm paper is usually a natural, wood-free paper which does not undergo any chemical treatments. This paper is ideal for printing large quantities of text and produces a relatively thin printed document.

130gsm paper

This paper is the perfect choice for reproducing high-quality colour images for glossy magazines, brochures, posters and folded flyers and is fairly resistant to ageing.

170gsm paper

170gsm is a fairly light paperboard with a pleasant texture and excellent colour rendering. Paper this weight is great for printing catalogues, presentations, certificates and posters.

350gsm paper

Perfect for printing business cards, presentation folders and invitation cards, the thickness of this paper makes it strong and durable.

380gsm paper

This is a cardboard used for packaging, rigid book cover and folders. It is very shock-proof and dent-proof.

All of the above are available in environmentally friendly or recycled versions to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Global Office Supplies specialise in cutting down costs on the products your office consumes on a daily basis. As well as this, we offer excellent recycling services to help companies lead the way towards their green energy targets and help turn their office into an eco-friendly working environment.

In most cases, we can deliver all of your office supplies, including paper, the very same day.

If you are still unclear on the best paper type for the job, the Global Office Supplies team will be happy to help. Give us a call on 0845 519 1556 today.