The Various Paper Types and Finishes and When To Use Them

You may not realise it, but the thickness and finish of your flyer say a lot about your brand. In fact the paper type sends just as strong a message as the content written on the flyer. Great content and design are essential for any flyer but the quality of the paper you’re using is just as important.

There are many flyer paper types and finishes available in the market. Certain flyer weights and flyer finishes are more appropriate for some events than others. Some flyer weights are more appropriate for person-to-person distributions. Some flyer finishes are more appropriate for trade shows and conventions.

Here is a quick guide that will help you choose the appropriate paper for your flyer.

Flyer Weight

First of all, let’s talk about GSM. Whenever you’re in a print shop or ordering from an online printer, you’ll often hear the term GSM. So, what is “GSM”? It stands for “grams per square meter”. It is a unit of measurement for measuring the weight of the paper. The higher the GSM, the heavier it is per square meter so the thicker the paper.

The thickness of your paper tells a lot about your brand. Using thicker paper can help a brand appear more luxurious and classy, while thinner paper may make your brand appear cheaper.

However, using thicker paper for flyers isn’t always practical even if it looks good. Flyers are print products that are generally distributed out in public from person to person. Usually, when a person receives a flyer, they’ll fold it up and store it in their purse or pocket. Flyers with thick paper don’t give them that option. Since they can’t fold it, they have to carry it around awkwardly.

Below is a chart that summarises which flyer weight would be most appropriate for your needs.

135 gsm
Flyers at 135gsm are good for advertising flyers. Papers with this flyer weight are very convenient for distribution. They’re cheap but sturdy enough to go through the distribution process and are less prone to wrinkling.

150 gsm
Papers with 150gsm are very cost-effective and last longer. Not only can they be used for flyers, but they’re good for brochures, pamphlets, and booklets as well.

170 gsm
Flyers used for business and conventions usually are 170gsm in weight. They are sturdy and thick enough that the paper doesn’t wrinkle easily but light enough to be distributed at business events and trade shows. 170gsm paper also gives off a professional look especially when it has a silk and gloss finish.

250 gsm
Flyers used for hospitality and retail industries usually use 250gsm paper. They’re nice, thick and very durable. Not only that, your flyer would look very classy and would stand out. However, with this thick of a paper, your flyer won’t be as easy to fold compared to lighter (thinner) flyers.

300 gsm
Now we are getting thicker and stronger, and this difference can be felt between your fingers. 300gsm is best used for a message that you want to last a little longer.

400 gsm
Papers with 400gsm are very strong and long-lasting. For the most luxurious message this is the one for you.

Flyer Finishes

Same as flyer weight, the finish of your paper also gives off a certain impression. Some give off a fancier feel than others but they don’t necessarily work for all types of content. There are different types of flyer finishes to choose from. Matt, and gloss are the most commonly used finishes for flyers.

Flyer Finishes

A matt finish gives off a more natural look. They’re good for handouts and convention flyers with lots of text as the matt finish does not have too strong a reflection or glare.

When you have a very visual flyer, go for a gloss finish as it gives off a high shine and will really bring your photo to life. It also gives off a flashy and luxurious look to your flyer.

Choosing the right flyer weight and finish can really give your flyer something extra. Now you can confidently make the best decision to take your flyer to a whole new level!