Keeping Paper Weights Straight


Paper has it’s own vocabulary and it’s good to know a few things to help make sure you get the paper you need. Most paper is defined by its weight. But paper weight, and the numbers used to define the “weight” actually refer to how thick and sturdy the paper is, not the actual weight of the sheet.

There are two main grades of paper – Text and Cover – that are most used by businesses.

In the U.S. we use a pound system for paper weight, but it can be confusing because sometimes the pound number can be the same for a Cover stock and a Text paper, even though the Cover is much heavier. 

For day-to-day use in the offices and companies we serve, the following are the most typical paper types in use:

Text paper is durable and flexible, easily rolled or folded. It’s what you see most around the office:

  1. 20lb (or 20#) Bond is usually found in an office copier
  2. 24lb (or 24#) Bond is considered multipurpose paper and most often used in office printer/copiers

Cover paper is heavier and thicker than Text/Bond paper and does not roll easily. It must be scored (creased) before it can be folded:

  1. 65lb (or 65#) Cover is a light cardstock used for (bound) presentation covers, postcards and posters
  2. 80lb (or 80#) Cover is a sturdy, heavier cardstock, typically used for business cards 

For more information about printing services offered, contact SumnerOne for more information. 

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Originally published April 5, 2017, updated August 1, 2018


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