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Understanding Paper Weight: Card Stock vs. Letter Paper

In the world of printing and design, paper weight plays a crucial role in determining the look, feel, and durability of a printed piece. Whether you're creating business cards, invitations, or brochures, choosing the right type of paper is essential for achieving the desired outcome. One of the key considerations in selecting paper is its weight, often expressed in pounds (lbs). In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between card stock and letter paper in terms of weight and provide insights to help you make informed decisions for your projects.


Understanding Paper Weight

Paper weight refers to the thickness and sturdiness of a sheet of paper, typically measured in pounds (lbs) or grams per square meter (gsm). The weight of paper can vary significantly, ranging from lightweight options suitable for letterheads and flyers to heavier stocks used for business cards and invitations.

Card Stock: Heavier and Sturdier

Card stock, as the name suggests, is a heavyweight paper that is thicker and more durable than standard letter paper. It is commonly used for products that require extra rigidity and durability, such as business cards, postcards, and invitations. Card stock is available in a wide range of weights, typically ranging from 60 lbs to 110 lbs or more.

When choosing card stock, the weight indicates the thickness and sturdiness of the paper. Higher weight card stock is thicker and more substantial, providing a premium look and feel to printed materials. For example, a 100 lb card stock will be thicker and sturdier than a 60 lb card stock.

Letter Paper: Lightweight and Versatile

Letter paper, also known as text-weight paper, is lighter and more flexible compared to card stock. It is commonly used for everyday printing needs, such as letterheads, flyers, and brochures. Letter paper typically comes in weights ranging from 20 lbs to 80 lbs or more, with 20 lb being the standard weight for most office printers.

While letter paper is lighter than card stock, it still offers good print quality and versatility for a variety of printing applications. It is suitable for documents that need to be folded, mailed, or distributed easily.

Choosing the Right Paper Weight

When selecting a paper weight for your printing projects, consider the following factors:

  • Project Requirements: Determine the specific needs of your project, such as the intended use, and desired durability.

  • Appearance: Choose a paper weight that complements the design and aesthetics of your printed piece.

  • Budget: Consider your budget constraints and the cost implications of using heavier or specialty paper stocks.

In conclusion, understanding paper weight is essential for selecting the right type of paper for your printing projects. By considering the specific requirements of your project and weighing the benefits of different paper weights, you can make informed decisions that enhance the overall quality and impact of your printed materials. Whether you opt for the sturdiness of card stock or the versatility of letter paper, choosing the right paper weight is key to achieving successful printing outcomes.

Questions or Concerns? Contact the Experts.

Contact our Customer Service Team by emailing your questions to or calling 877-228-7768 and we'd be happy to help you choose the right paper!

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