How Do I Choose Paper Thickness For Printing?  

If you are a graphic designer, business owner or work in marketing, you need to understand the different types of card stock and the thickness of paper in pt. 

The term ‘PT Thickness’ or points describes the thicknesses of paper. This guide explains pts so you can choose which thickness of paper is best for your print project.

confused customer


What Is PT thickness?  

Pt is a unit of measurement to describe the thickness of paper. The difference between 16 pt thickness and 18 pt makes a huge difference to your business cards.

A thicker card stock such as 32 pt makes an even stronger impact for high quality branding. Therefore, understanding PT thickness will help you get the most out of your print projects. Read on to discover which pt thickness is best for your printed materials. First, let’s look at how points are measured and why it’s important to understand pts before sending artwork to the printers.


Before we explain the thickness of paper in pt and how thick business cards and flyers should be. Our concise table summarizes how you choose paper thickness for printing. This PT thickness guide will explain the thickness of paper in pt and which points value is best for your printed materials.  


magnifying glass on paper


How Is The Thickness Of Paper Measured?

We are often asked how is paper measured to get a PT value for the paper. The PT or points are calculated by measuring the card stock with callipers, which denotes the paper thickness.  


Each point represents 1/1000 of an inch. For example, paper that measures a thickness of 0.012 inches is 12 pt paper. 17.5 thickness in paper means that there was a micrometre reading of 0.0175 inches thick.


What Does PTs Stand For?

Pt or pts is just an abbreviation of points. Points are units of measure for the thickness of stock, line weight and font size. In the US, the higher the points, the thicker the paper will be.

Our most popular paper is 16 pt for business cards. Paper that is thinner than 16pt will feel very thin and flimsy, so we simply don’t offer anything below this thickness for business cards.


range of paper types and thicknesses

Which PT Thickness Should I Choose?

The answer to the above question is that it depends on what you’re printing. While there are no rules when it comes to choosing a paper type, different printed items generally have a pt thickness range that is most suitable in terms of cost, practicality, and quality requirements. Below, our paper thickness chart will give your some idea of which pt will be best suited to your business cards, flyers, invitations and other printed items.  

6.6pt 7.3 pt and 7.8 pt

This paper thickness is typically used for cheap single sided flyers. While we always recommend care and attention go into choosing the right paper type, this is still a good budget option. Takeaway menus are also a common printed item on this paperweight.


8.8 pt 10 pt and 14 pt cardstock thickness

Now we’re getting into the higher quality paper stocks. Best suited for flyers or wedding invitations where a weightier look and feel is important. It’s not quite a card, but rather a thick and sturdy paper, much like the covers on glossy magazines that you’ll see in newsagents.


14 pt 16 pt and 18 pt cardstock thickness

We’ve now approached card territory where 14pt would be what we deem as a minimum for business card printing. Usually, your average business card is 16 pt paper thickness offers a nice sturdy paper which will last in a wallet or pocket. 18 pt  This card will also stand up under its own weight so is perfect for greeting card printing.


18 pt cardstock thickness up to 32 pt

If you’re looking to impress with your business cards, then we have tons of paperweight that are between 18 pt and 32pt. All of these paper options are double thickness and made in house. We essentially fuse two lighter papers together which gives us an ever-thicker result. We often see people opt for this thickness for wedding invitations too.  


What Is The Difference Between GSM and PT?

Gsm is the weight of paper rather than the thickness of the stock. GSM stands for grams per square meter. It is used outside of the US to indicate the thickness of the paper, but it actually measures how much the paper weighs.

A kraft business card will be thicker than a silk paper version that weighs the same. This is because the paper fibres are not as compact. Therefore, in the US, it is customary to use the points value to be clear how thick a piece of paper should be for printing.