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Paper Weights

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by linziloop, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Hi guys, I wonder if any of you ace printer guys on here could settle something for me?

    Would two different brands of paper (both 250gsm) feel very noticeably different?
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yes the manufacturer can make a difference, also the, coated (silk/gloss) etc
  3. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    and also if it's digital ... they often feel less bulky.
  4. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    So with a 250gsm matt laminate (sorry, should have been more specific originally) from two different manufacturers, would it be possible that one would feel a lot different (for example, more flimsy) than the other?
  5. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Yes - if the substrate (the stock that is printed on) is 'more floppy/flimsy' and the laminate is the same thickness - that can vary too!
  6. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Ok, fair enough, it seems bizarre to me that here we have two jobs, both with 250gsm matt laminate, one feels as I thought it should (quite rigid, nice weight) and the other feels flimsy and more like the inner part of the brochure.

    So, my follow up question is, as a printer, would you supply a client with two jobs each using a different paper supplier, when the quotes specified the same cover specs and they would be delivered together?! Seems mad, one feels totally different to the other, and they really shouldn't.
  7. gprovan

    gprovan Member


    The weight of card is just that - weight, not the thickness. So a 300gsm glossy paper will seem thinner than a 300gsm uncoated paper. This is because the glossy paper is more dense and contains less air.

    To be strict, apart from weight paper is also measured in microns which is the thickness. A 300gsm glossy paper may be 25 microns but a 300gsm uncoated could be 35 microns (made up figures!), but they're the same weight. People often get confused about this one.

    Another factor is with digital printing. An uncoated 300gsm paper can have the air squeezed out of it and the heat process can also contribute to this, so sometimes you can have a before and after difference.

    To add another factor into the bargain; lamination can be of a different thickness too.

    And this is all without taking into consideration silk card. I've often found that some companies will use silk card before laminating due to it sometimes being cheaper than a good uncoated board. This wouldn't be too noticeable apart from the thickness you experience.

    So, yes there could be a difference.

    Just my two pence worth.

    Graeme :icon_biggrin:
  8. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    It all depends, if the customer specifically requested a certain 'make' of stock or the same as last time then of course it would be run on this (if possible), failing that buyers will get offers on different makes etc and it just may be that they got a good offer on a different stock which unfortunately feels a little flimsy compared to the long as the weight/finish is as ordered by the customer then legally that is all the printer has to supply.

    ....or it could be that your printer ran it on 200gsm thinking that with the matt lam it would feel more like 250gsm, something I have seen printers do before, dodgy printers may I add!!
  9. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Thanks for clearing that up guys, explained this to the manager in the office before there is a full kick off!

    It was this particular printers first big job for us, we supplied them with an example of a past brochure and specified 250gsm matt laminate for the covers of both the brochures they were printing. Sadly it seems they have used a different paper supplier for each and they each feel totally different. We would have thought they would have realised this before sending, especially as they rang and said they were both looking fab and matched the old brochure :icon_confused:
  10. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    If the specs were the same and the work came from the same printer that is a bit odd!
  11. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Did you ask the printer for an explanation as to the difference?
  12. The trick is to get the jobs printed in the same place and chances are the printer will use the same stock on the same press, so you get a bit of continuity.
  13. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Yes and all they have said so far is "they each went on different presses"
  14. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    The two new documents were both printed by the same printer, and they were each different. We gave them an old copy to reference, and one of the new copies matches this, one did not.
  15. Is the printer based in the UK - did the box containing the print arrive from, say: Germany?
  16. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    No, it's a UK (Manchester) based reputable company who do all their own printing.
  17. Well it might just be that they had some separate stock that needed using up and they thought you would never notice - can happen.
  18. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    I really wouldn't expect that considering the size of job it was, the fact it was their first large job for the company I work for, (after us testing the water with smaller jobs) and considering that from this there could come thousands of pounds more work. You would think they would want to get it spot on, especially since we provided them with a sample of how we wanted it to be because we specifically wanted these brochures to match both the old brochures and each other! And thinking we would never notice is ridiculous - honestly, if you saw how different these were you'd be amazed!
  19. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    It does sound like two different stocks were used. A number of variables here. Could also have been a thinner laminate.

    Some printers jump around mills based on spot pricing. Always avoided this for consistency and supplier relationship building (which results in cheaper prices anyway).
  20. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    They do sound as though they have made a bit of a cock-up. Perhaps one of the minders picked up the wrong stock...and then they thought you'd never notice. Mistakes do happen. Are they putting it right, and quickly? It's how people react to mistakes that really tell.

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