Help with paper weight selection for brochure

Hey there everyone,

I am a new member here and I want some expert opinion on printing paper weights.

So I am working remotely with this company in Mexico and they want to print brochures for an upcoming conference. I don’t have experience with paper weights and all so I thought I’d seek out some advice from the pros. As far as the research I have done online, I have found that 170gsm is the best weight for bi-fold double sided brochures. However, the printing company in Mexico from where we get our prints, says that they only have 90, 130, 270 and 300 grams. 300 and 270 are cardboards so let’s leave them out. 90 seems pretty low so we are only left with 130 grams couche paper. The printing company says that 130 grams couche is the best one for our purpose.

I am super confused. Is 130 grams couche a good quality paper? We don’t want the flyers to look cheap.

Your help will be highly appreciated. If you have already used this type of paper and can confirm it’s quality, that’ll be awesome.

Thanks & Regards

When working with any print company remotely, have them send samples.
130 grams couche could mean any number of paper suppliers. I believe it simply means 130gram gloss paper.
Since it sounds like you don’t have much of a choice anyway, short of switching printers…
Have you or your company used these guys before?

Thank you for the reply. Yes we have used this printer, but that was for a kind of a postcard. And it was 300 grams cardboard.

170gsm is a fairly heavy weight bordering on being cover stock. The most common weights for brochures/leaflets/flyers would be 130 to 150gsm. 80 or 90gsm is about the typical weight you’d see coming out of a copy machine. Good letterhead/stationery paper might be in the neighborhood of 100 to 130gsm.

These aren’t measurements of quality, though. These weights just refer to the heft of the paper and can vary a bit from one paper company to another or between types of paper stock.

Like PrintDriver said, it’s best to get a sample. It sounds like the printing company quoted you on their in-house stock. It’s a routine request to ask and have a sample delivered. I don’t know how it works in Mexico, but most printers can custom order whatever paper stock you need too.

Ahh I see. Well we have asked them for the samples now. Hopefully we’ll get those. If not, then maybe we’d go with another printer.
Thank you for the clarification.

Oh man, I could talk about paper all day. Sadly, I’m not kidding.
From your line up of choices the 130gsm paper should do the trick. It’s a peculiar GSM, but if i had to guess I would say this would be 100# Text.

Our 100# Gloss Text here is at a density of 148gms. Which is a bit more commonplace. Our 80# Gloss Text comes in at 118gsm. Now, the gsm scale is only the density of the stock. It’s not a thickness. Caliper would be the actual measurement of the stock thickness. The 100# Gloss Text i have here gauges in at about 5.5pt. The grain of the paper can also create an illusion to thickness. For example if I run my business cards long edge with the grain of the stock, they feel significantly thinner (flimsy) compared to if I run them long edge against the grain.

Even the coating can effect overall feel. 100# Gloss cover is never as “thick” as 100# uncoated cover, and 100# matte cover will fall somewhere in the middle.

The pound scale is an archaic figure that is almost useless in determining any data about the stock. Take this into account:

20# and 50# are the same ‘weight’
24# and 60# paper are the same
28# and 70# same
32# and 80# same

If anyone is interested i could go into detail on where the pound system came from. But… i think i’ve rambled enough.

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