What’s thicker, 65# cover, 90# index, or 100# offset? It’s a question most print industry people know the answer to, but only after a fairly confusing learning period. GSM, g or g/m2 is a common term in European countries that’s gaining momentum here in the United States. These are the metric designations to indicate “grams per square meter” and quite simply, the bigger the number, the thicker the paper.
For reference, printing paper is generally between 60 and 150 GSM. 20# copy paper or 50# book paper is about 75 GSM. Anything heavier than 160 GSM is considered card/cover stock. Most digital equipment manufacturers specify minimum and maximum GSM for their paper capacity restrictions, and so more and more digital papers show GSM on their cartons or reams.
Micro Format Inc. has a fairly comprehensive paper weight conversion page at their website, along with international metric page sizes and other print/paper facts. www.paper-paper.com/weight.html
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.