One of the most common questions that we are
asked is, “How can this lightweight sheet be labeled 80 pounds and this heavier card
stock also be listed as 80 pounds?” The quick answer is that after each of the weights that
are given, there’s usually a grade of paper. So in this case, for the lighter sheet, the
grade of the paper would be text. So it would be listed as 80 pound text where as for this
one, it would be listed as 80 pound card stock. I’m not quite sure who developed this system
(which I think is somewhat overly complicated), but it happens to be the system that’s used
in the U.S. and throughout North America. It has a few different variables that it takes
into account to determine the weight. The first thing is you find the grade of paper.
There’s different grades of paper. You can have text weight like this lightweight sheet.
There’s card stock. There’s news print. There’s bond, index… I’m not quite sure exactly
how many different grades of paper there are, but there’s quite a few. In each of these grades of paper is also assigned
a basis size. In this case of a text weight, it’s assigned 25 by 38 sheet. And the card
stock is assigned 20 by 26, so the text weight is substantially larger than the card stock. And the third variable happens to be the ream
and a ream is 500 sheets. So the way that the weight is determined is that you would
take 500 sheets of a particular grade–text weight–25 by 38, and you would weigh it.
And if this weighs in at 80 pounds which it does, it’s given the label of 80 pounds. And
in this case, you would take 500 sheets of a 20 by 26 and weigh it. And in this case
it comes out to 80, so it’s also considered 80 card stock. Fortunately, there’s actually another measuring
system out there. It happens to be the European system and it’s based on the metric system
and I can go through that at some other time. But that’s basically how we determine how
we label card stocks and papers here in the U.S. If you have any questions or comments,
feel free to send them over. We’ll try our best to answer them. Thanks.

## 10 thoughts on “Text Weight Paper, Card Stock Paper – Paper Density Explained?”

@megalenellmith You look in your printer's manual and it should down you the minimum and maximum weights it can manage.

2. LCI Paper Video Page says:

Thanks, we plan to add another video with a brief explanation of paper weights using the metric system.

3. jordantrevayne says:

Hi there! I had a business idea where I would mass produce music theory flash cards. What kind of paper would you suggest for that kind of project? I would also want UV high gloss on both sides. I'm very new to this and only picked up a few terms by browsing printing websites. The size of the flash cards I'm considering is 3" by 5". Thanks, Jordan

4. Hedi Salm says:

So how do people compare the 2 systems, LB to GSM? Say I want to buyfrom US a card stock that here in Europe would be equal to 300 gsm? And if paper is not labeled "text" or "cover/cardstock" and is only labeled 80lb how do we determin which one it is, or is it ALWAYS labeled text or cardstock/cover? It is just too damn confusing to understand when buying online (as in the shop you could touch and kind of know what weight it is). Thanks 🙂

5. Ojibway Dreams says:

Well, thank you for your video and what is frustrating is that Retailers do not have a method in place in their Packaging for consumers to Identify it properly, and when I ask for assistance, more than half the time they are more clueless than I am, I don't have all day to stand in the aisles trying to figure it out, no wonder the public is frustrated!!!

6. Bertrand Labelle says:

so what is the difference with 100lb cardstock, im guessing they would be thicker since its heavier

7. Shantinath Khidrapure says:

How to find paper density?