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Does the thickness of paper matter for business literature?

  05 January 2018 | By

As an experienced printing company, we are often asked for advice and guidance on whether the thickness of paper really matters when it comes to leaflets, handouts and other essential business marketing materials.

For most businesses, their literature is given out at first meetings, business events and in key marketing campaigns such as leaflet drops. This means that one of the first impressions your business makes on potential customers are these materials.

How does thickness of paper make an impact on the first impression?

Imagine you’ve come through your door after a long day and there are two leaflets on the floor – one has been torn, crumpled and when you hold it up to read the text you can see straight through the paper.

The other has kept its shape, feels much better quality in your hand and the information can be read easily without seeing the design from the other side through the paper.

Both companies are offering the same services for the same price – which one would you choose? That’s the important difference that the thickness of paper can make.

Thickness of the paper correlates with the quality of the business literature, and how much has been spent on the materials.

Often companies that take the cheaper option of thin paper for their marketing materials fail to make a good impression on potential customers, especially when they are being compared to their competitors in situations such as the above.

Spending slightly more money on your business literature can lead to attracting more customers due to the high quality and professional impression that your business is able to make on potential customers.

Which paper thickness should I choose?

Thickness of paper is measured in grams per metre (GSM) starting from 35-55 GSM, which is the thickness of newspaper, ranging up to the thickness of card at 250 GSM and above.

Obviously, each type of literature will differ in terms of ideal thickness of the paper. Leaflets, brochures and booklets all have different ideal thicknesses. We would always recommend asking for samples from a printer before choosing a paper thickness, that way you can feel and compare them before making a choice.

To give you an ideal on GSM we have delved into three of our most popular products and shared what we think are the ideal paper thickness for each item.


For leaflets and flyers, the thickness of paper depends on the purpose of the material, for example takeaways often have a much lower GSM as they don’t need to be a high-quality piece of business literature.

However, for a professional services company such as a law firm or an accountant we would recommend a much higher paper thickness such as 135+ GSM. This is important to give potential clients the correct impression of a high quality professional company.

Business Cards

We’ve all been to events and been handed a high-quality business card that’s left a lasting impression – don’t let yours be another that’s put into a pile of forgettable cards.

Business cards are the definition of a first impression and because of this we’d recommend a thickness of no less than 250 GSM. There are also other elements that you can add to your business cards such as spot UV, foiling and silk or gloss finishing to add that extra wow-factor.


For companies that often use postal campaigns as part of their marketing activities, letterheads play a big part in the first impression. The GSM of letterheads needs to leave a good impression on potential customers whilst also being light enough so that the cost of postage doesn’t sky rocket.

We’d recommend somewhere between 80-100 GSM, remembering that if the letters are double sided the paper should be slightly thicker so nothing shows through.

Need more advice on printed marketing materials?

If you need more advice on the marketing materials for your business our friendly team are here to help. With over 20 years of experience in the printing industry there isn’t a question we haven’t been asked.

To speak to a member of our team email or call 01254 311215.

Offer Alert: 10,000 150gsm A5 flyers double sided £150 including design!

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