Paper Weight (GSM)

What is a paper weight in poster printing?

In general a poster paper weight (GSM) needs to be at least 170gsm in order to handle the weight and to prevent damage easily, however; most modern printers are cable of handling paper weights up to 700gsm. Big industrial printers are capable of handling more than 700gsm depending on the needs.

Most common paper weights:

These sheet-based posters are typically available in these weights:

  • 90 – 120gsm
  • 120 – 170gsm
  • 200 – 300gsm
  • 300-400gsm

Do not mistake GSM for the thickness or stiffness of the paper, these paper weights are measured in GSM or grams per square meter which is measured by the weight of a piece of paper measuring 1 meter by 1 meter. GSM is not measured by the thickness of the paper, although heavier papers typically tend to be thicker.

Guide to each paper weight:

  • 90 to 120gsm: Too light to be used on poster printing, 90 to 120gsm papers are what you’ll use on normal laser jet or ink jet printers for printing in A3, A4 and A5. This is a low cost option ideal for letterhead or other material they you can write on.
  • 120 to 170gsm: The cheapest and lightest option for poster printing, 120 to 170gsm is slightly thicker than 120gsm. It is also ideal for printing flyers; take away menus, event flyers and information sheets on a budget. Despite being low-cost, it looks and feels premium on any chosen finish.
  • 200 to 300gsm: Where look and feel really matters, 200 to 300gsm is the ideal weight of paper for poster printing. It’s a thick and sturdy paper which can feel like magazine when printed on glossy finish.
  • 300 to 400gsm: Perfect for street hand-outs, night club flyers, wedding or event invitation and business cards, 300 to 400gsm is close to card stock. Posters printed on these weights are usually priced on the premium range.

Posters with various weigth can be puched with these finishes:

  • Silk finish that is perfect for indoor use which offers a luxurious cloth like material which adds a touch of high quality feel to your posters.
  • Satin – This adds a slight sheen to your poster, making it perfect for photographers and advertisers. Suitable for indoor and outdoor uses.
  • MatteAn ideal finish for posters with number of text and images. A cheap alternative for those on a budget.

Photographic posters can be printed onto any custom sizes up to 33 x 46 inches. Photographs require punchy and saturated colours. Most poster printing companies use industry standard HP high quality metal-like inks combined with photographic paper to print your photographic posters.