Guide to Paper Basis Weight and Thickness @ Print Peppermint

Think about the best business card you’ve ever been handed. Beyond how it looked, how did it feel? Was it heavy, dense, or inflexible? Graphic design is certainly hugely important when it comes to creating business cards, but it’s not the only thing to consider.

Paper basis weight and thickness have less to do with how a business card looks, and more to do with how it feels. Before you select which type of cardstock you’ll use for your business card, take the time to study up on precisely what all those terms you see next to the paper options mean.

Basis Weight

The idea of measuring paper by weight might seem odd considering it’s such a light material. If that’s your inclination, then you’re correct, which is why basis weight is measured using 500 sheets of paper. Of course, the standard sheet size varies based on the type of paper, so this measurement is somewhat skewed.

Because of this,  equivalent weight can be a better measure of a certain paper’s actual weight in comparison to others. To help simplify the confusion that often surrounds paper weight, we created a paper weight conversion chart to offer you a clearer picture of what we have to offer.


Unlike basis weight, thickness is something that most everyone can wrap their head around pretty easily. While it’s commonly believed that a thicker business card translates to a more luxurious one, that’s not necessarily true.

It’s important to bear in mind that beyond thickness and basis weight, there are different types of paper on which you can have your business cards printed. For example, we offer silk matte, suede/soft touch, black suede, and cotton. Each type of paper has its own unique characteristics.

Of course, this range of materials also translates to a range of thicknesses. Our silk matte paper comes in 18 pt, 32 pt, and 48 pt, making it the most diverse of any of our paper stock. Suede/soft-touch comes in 32 pt and 48 pt, making it relatively thick either way. Black suede can be purchased in 22pt, and cotton can be purchased in 50 pt.

Now, let’s take a step back. In all likelihood, the concept of measuring paper thickness in “points” is foreign to you. To determine the right size for you, consult our custom paper thickness chart. There you’ll see that 30 pt is about the thickness of a credit card, which should give you some idea as to your ideal thickness.

Remember, thicker isn’t always better. If you’re someone who hands out business cards frequently and has to keep a large cache of them present all the time, a thinner card will prove more cost-effective and convenient. If, on the other hand, you’re someone who rarely gives out your card but you want to make a lasting impression when you do, by all means, go for as much thickness as you’d like.

When choosing which Print Peppermint paper offering you’re going to select, you should also keep in mind any additional design elements you play to include. Letterpress may look better on a thicker card, but bulked out holographic foil may make a more tasteful impact on a thicker card.

Basically, there are many, many factors to consider when you’re trying to decide which type of paper is right for your business card. If you’re feeling lost in the process, you can always reach out to a member of the Print Peppermint team for some extra guidance.


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