200 GSM Paper

Understanding the Basics


Printing paper, also known as stock or substrate, can be categorized into two types: coated and uncoated.


The paper weight serves as a guide to determine the thickness of the sheet. Generally, the heavier the paper weight, the thicker the sheet. However, the true thickness depends on the density of the compressed fibers within the sheet.


GSM, or grams per square meter, is the metric unit used to describe the paper’s thickness. It is also referred to as grammage. While GSM indicates the thickness of the sheet, it actually represents the weight of one square meter of the paper.


The calliper refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper. It is measured using a micrometer, also known as a calliper. Modern digital callipers can accurately measure the thickness of a sheet in millimeters, starting from a minimum thickness of 0.01mm.


Inches or Mils

In the UK, metric measurements are commonly used. However, in the United States, imperial measurements are still prevalent.


Exploring Types of Stock

What is the Difference Between Coated and Uncoated Paper?

Uncoated paper is made without a surface coating. As a result, it is more absorbent and has a softer feel compared to coated stocks.

Coated paper, on the other hand, has a surface coating made from materials like clay, chalk, and latex. This coating affects the paper’s absorbency, smoothness, gloss, and weight. It enhances the printing of text and images, resulting in sharper details and brighter, denser colors. Additionally, the coating can be used to achieve different levels of glossiness, such as Matte, Silk, or Gloss finishes.

Examples of Coated Stock:


Uncoated paper is simply paper without any additional coating or finishing. It lacks surface glare, making it ideal for prints with extensive text or reading materials. This type of paper is the most porous, allowing for smudge-free writing with a wide range of pens and pencils. Uncoated paper is commonly used for bond stock.


Matte coating is a light coating that enhances photo contrast while minimizing glare. It provides a smoother appearance compared to uncoated paper and offers a softer look than glossy sheets. Matte-coated sheets are suitable for visual designs with a more subdued layout and color palette, as they minimize glare often associated with glossy coatings.

Silk / Satin

Satin and silk finishes fall between gloss and matte. They possess a subtle sheen (especially satin), offering a slight shine without the mirror-like reflection of full gloss finishes. Ballpoint pens can be used to write on these finishes, making them more user-friendly than glossy coatings.


Gloss coating provides a high level of shine, resulting in enhanced contrast and color vibrancy. This type of coating is perfect for full-color images that demand vibrant colors. It gives a professional and polished look, making it suitable for marketing materials or any prints that aim to showcase vibrant colors.

Why Does the Type of Stock Matter?

The choice of paper significantly impacts the appearance and feel of the final printed item. It plays a crucial role in determining how the printed piece looks and feels in the hands.

  • Capitalize on the senses and link to memory by incorporating unique stimuli.
  • Thin paper requires a particular path when printing, often guided by rolls.
  • Magazines typically use paper with a weight of around 70-130gsm for the main body and 170-250gsm for the cover.
  • Gloss paper is commonly used for photographs.

Weight of Stock

The term “paperweight” refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper, rather than its actual weight. Paper stock can be classified into two weight categories: paper weight (up to 200gsm) and board weight (over 200gsm).

Determining Paper Weight in the UK

Weight in the UK is determined by GSM (grams per square meter). It measures the weight in grams of a paper sample if it were a 1 x 1 meter sheet. For example, if a 1m x 1m piece of paper weighs 180 grams, then the weight is 180gsm, even if it is the size of a business card. In this system, higher numbers indicate thicker paper.

The average weight of A4 printer paper used in offices falls between 70-100gsm. Most printer paper typically weighs around 80gsm, providing a sense of its thickness.


Quick Answers to Common Questions about Paper Weight

How Thick is 200gsm Paper?

200gsm paper is relatively thick, making it unsuitable for home printers. It is commonly used for posters, high-quality leaflets, menus, and similar applications.

What is the Thickness of Cardstock?

Cardstock typically starts at 300gsm and goes beyond. A 300gsm weight is similar to that of a greeting card, while 300gsm and above are average thicknesses for business cards.

Find Out More

For further information on paper weights, you can visit the following sources:

Quill And Fox