Grammes Per Square Meter or GSM is used as a measure when it comes to weighing the paper sheet sizes. Even though any paper of any weight can be printed on, a few unofficial guidelines are present to make sure that the final product is a marketable one. One good example is using low GSM paper to print a business card. The end result will be a flimsy one and give a negative result about the company. Conversely, it is not a good idea to print a poster into high GSM paper. The end result would be photogenic but impractical. The poster would be heavy and prone to fall down from where it will be hung.

Standard guidelines 

No wonder printers follow a few standard guidelines when they print standard items. Do understand that these are recommendations and are not set in stone. Every print project is unique and the needs must be factored in. The corporate brochure of 24 pages are usually printed on any paper from 170gsm to 300gsm. It is to be remembered that higher GSM paper increases the possibility of pages involuntarily opening. The brochure may also not lie flat. In contrast, the oversized A4 literature folder used by the company should be printed on paper from 350gsm to 400gsm. These folders find use in containing different items like note pads and datasheets. There is a need for these folders to be sturdy and strong. Any lightweight GSM paper will simply fall away under such a stress. 

Business cards and datasheets 

The common business cards are printed on stock ranging from 350gsm to 400gsm. These cards are usually the first piece of your company image to give to any potential client. It must suitably express your company values. A potential client may not like a flimsy business card. The card mirrors the culture of the company and its product quality.  An insert sheet or a datasheet should range between 170gsm to 250gsm. These promotes the products of the company. They are generally presented within the folders, literature dispensers or presentation wallets. The feel is of a medium weight document. 

The above are vital when it comes to selection of specialist paper stocks. The fibers in a few papers may not be as much compacted as in others due to their manufacturing processes. This may happen even if they have identical paper weight. Paper samples should be experimented on before going for bulk buys.