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What Does a Paper's Weight Mean?

The standard weight of a paper is defined by the weight of 500 standard-sized sheets (such as 17.5" x 22") in pounds. Some different paper weight categories are:

Bond - Bond paper is what you would find around an office being used for a copy machine or for letterhead. It's typically an uncoated paper. 20lb. bond paper is the standard for copy machines today while 24lb. paper is usually used for letterhead.

Book - Book paper can be either coated or uncoated with 30100lb. weights for 500 standard-sized sheets. Book paper is typically used for lesser grade projects like books, magazines and posters.

Text i Text is a higher-quality paper than book paper and can be found in better-quality books, magazines and annual reports. A common weight for this kind of paper is 7080lb.

Cover Cover stock is the heaviest paper in this list and is typically used for postcards, business cards, paperback book covers, etc. Typical cover stock paper weights are 60100lb.

Sticker Sticker stock is intended to be printed on only one side. The reverse side is sticky and is covered by a peel-away paper. This stock can be either coated or uncoated.

Because it costs more to produce and transport, the heavier weights of paper usually cost more than the lighter ones. They also cost more to mail which can be an important thing to consider.

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