Have You Chosen the Right Paper Stock for Your Brochure?


When placing an order for brochures with a printing company, they will ask you what paper stock you desire before they produce your product. Now I know what you are all thinking: There’s a right paper stock? Paper stock, what’s paper stock? Paper finishes? It all seems very confusing and intimidating to beginners but don’t worry I’ll explain it all to you!
Firstly I’ll start with explaining what paper stock is:  

paper stock refers to the thickness of a piece of paper and is measured in gsm (grams per square meter). Therefore, the higher the gsm of the paper the heavier or thicker the paper is, the same for when the lower the gsm is the lighter or thinner the paper is. The thicker the paper is the more of a professional look it gives to your campaigns, however thick paper isn’t always suitable for every task.    

To break it down a bit more here’s a few to show you what paper stock is more suitable for certain tasks:    

  • 35 – 55 gsm. This is thin paper which is typically used for newspapers, the thin paper is effective for lots of pages that are of low cost and that don’t need to last that long.   
  • 90 gsm is commonly used for magazine inners and for plans.   
  • 130 – 170 gsm which is your standard weight for a good quality poster. 
  • 170 – 300 gsm this thick paper is suitable for the majority of corporate brochures. However, if you have a large number of pages then you may need to go for thinner paper to ensure that the brochure lays flat and is not too bulky.   
  • 350 – 400 gsm which is thin card commonly seen being used for business cards, this is because using a light weight stock will be too flimsy and often gives the wrong impression of your business. 


The next step is what type of finish you want on your brochure.  

Now there are a few types of finishes you can have for your brochure;    

  • For more of an expensive look to your brochure ask for coated paper which can be treated to either give it a glossy or matte finish.   
  • If you would like to be different you can always ask for your brochure to be coated on one side.   
  • Untreated paper is ideal for everyday printing as it has a non-reflective surface   
  • Or for a high quality looking brochure have matte laminate with a bit of Spot UV to give a sophisticated look to your product. 

Once you have decided on your desired paper stock and finish to your brochure, the next step is to focus on the design and shape of your brochure.