Which Paper Stock Best Suits my Book?

A sentiment commonly expressed by book consumers is their initial love of the look and feel of a book. It is a tactile experience that cannot be replicated by e-books or e-readers. Whether it be a memoir, children’s book or coffee table pictorial your choice of paper stock is an integral part of the book’s overall look and finish.

Paper stocks come in three basic categories – gloss, matte and uncoated, ranging in weight from 45gsm up to 170gsm. Cover stocks begin around 200gsm and increase up to 350gsm.

All stock weights are expressed in grammage, whereby the weight of 1 square meter of paper is expressed in grams per square meter (gsm or gm2). Most paper stock is manufactured around the ‘A’ format, A4 being the most common and A1 (8 times larger than A4) being the largest.

As a general rule the weight of stocks reflect the size of the production run required and the likely lifespan of the material being printed. For example, your daily newspaper comes on uncoated 45gsm, while most magazines and catalogues with short windows of relevance generally use lightweight stocks between 55-65gsm.

Paperbacks are printed on uncoated ‘bulky offset’ ranging in weight from 55gsm to 80gsm, while something like a more upmarket cookbook will generally use heavier coated gloss-stock between 115gsm and 150gsm.

For more information and samples on the range of stocks available please contact us.

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