What Is GSM?

What does GSM mean? What GSM is normal paper? Is 220 gsm thick?

Every day we are asked questions about paper weight gsm, and for good reason. We pride ourselves on having one of the largest printing selections available, which of course includes a lovely variety of unique paper stocks with corresponding gsm of paper. But what does gsm stand for?

We want to make your life easier, so we have compiled all our gsm of paper knowledge (which sure is a lot) into one place. From choosing the best business card gsm to providing a gsm paper guide, we have all bases covered in this post. So, let’s dive into the world of paper weight gsm to help you to make the best choice for your new folded menus and invites.

What Does GSM Stand For And How Is GSM Measured?

After selecting one of our paper stocks, you’ll be prompted to choose a gsm of paper. But what does gsm mean? GSM of paper means Grams Per Square Metre and is the standardised unit of measurement that we use across each of our paper stocks. To calculate the GSM of each paper, the total weight is taken of a 1 metre x 1 metre sheet of paper. Heavier paper stocks will have a higher GSM figure and lighter paper stocks will have a lower gsm figure.

This does mean that GSM is NOT a measurement of paper thickness. It is instead a measurement of weight across a square metre sheet of paper.

Thickness Of Paper In GSM

Now that we know that gsm doesn’t represent paper thickness, how do we determine what gsm paper is best for certificates or flyers. Although two paper stocks can have the same weight, one might be thicker than the other. But how do we know which gsm of paper is thicker? This is where knowledge of different paper properties comes in handy.

As an example, lets compare two of our most popular paper stocks – silk and uncoated. A 400 gsm silk and 400 gsm uncoated paper both are the same weight, but the uncoated paper is thicker than the silk. The reason behind this is due to the way that the paper is produced.

Silk paper fibres are densely packed together, while uncoated paper fibres are spongier, with small air pockets within the fibres. These weightless air pockets increase the thickness of the uncoated paper without increasing the weight. So, although both paper stocks weigh the same, the spongy nature of the uncoated paper increases its thickness.

Now, we don’t expect you to have expert knowledge on each of our paper types. Instead, we’ve created a quick run down of each of our different stocks which can be found here.

GSM Paper Guide

Wanting to know what gsm is card or the best business card paper weight gsm? Well, we can’t make the choice for you, everyone has different preferences. But what we can do is provide a paper thickness gsm chart that you can use as a comparison to help you decide the paper gsm for wedding invitations or business cards.

100GSM - 150GSM

This group of paperweights are the thinnest that we provide here at Aura Print. Lower GSM papers are typically used for letterheads and compliment slips, as they can be rerun through the printer you may have at home or in the office.

200GSM - 250GSM

200GSM and 250GSM is typically used for large quantities of flyers and disposable menus. The 200GSM paperweight family is thicker than the printer paper that you may have at home, but is thinner than the card used for greetings and Christmas cards.

300GSM - 350GSM

300GSM is arguably one of the most popular paper weights, being found on greetings cards, playing cards, folded business cards, and brochure covers, to name just a few. A midweight paperweight is the most versatile of all the paper stocks that we have here at Aura Print.


If you're after a professional looking business card, 400GSM is one of the best paperweights you can choose. This thick card stock is perfect for a business card to impress in your company meetings and to hand out at trade shows


Stand out from the stack with a 700GSM paper. This double-thick card stock provides a strong backdrop for your business cards and tags.

We always recommend requesting a sample of our paper types before proceeding with an order. This way, you can see in-person the paper quality, appearance, and most importantly - the paper thickness.

What Is GSM In Paper?

Understanding what is gsm is a step towards choosing the right paper weight for your next printed business cards or greetings cards. We know that not everyone is familiar with different paper stocks and paper thicknesses and may need some help in making the right decision.

Our on-site team are here to help you to navigate through our different paper stocks to land on the right one for your next print. Simply get in touch via email: info@aura-print.com or give us a call for advice on our different paper types.