B is for Basis Weight
Welcome to our #OKalphabetseries where we will be visiting paper and printing terms daily. Come back each day as we weave our way through the alphabet and share our 110 years of knowledge with you.
B is for BASIS WEIGHT
Paper is commonly identified using basis weight - 24 Writing or a 80 Text, 100 Cover. Weighing 500 sheets (a ream) of any grade of paper in its standard basic size will determine its basis weight. To put it simply, 500 sheets of 17 x 22 (the basic size for a writing grade paper) of 24 lb. writing paper will weigh 24 pounds. Each type of paper has a standard basic size determined from over a century of manufacturing these different type of sheets. As printing presses and machinery changes, these basic paper sizes do not.
- Text, Book and Offset paper’s standard basic size is 25 x 38
- Writing, Bond and Ledger paper’s standard basic size is 17 x 22
- Cover paper’s standard basic size is 26 x 20
- Newsprint, Tag, Tissue and Board’s standard basic size is 24 x 36
The basis weight of a paper strongly influences the strength properties and paper traits such as thickness, opacity and runnability.