I also see a weight associated with the art paper I buy.

For example: I have Bristol Board that is marked 100lbs, Pastel Paper marked 98lb, Sketch Paper marked 50lbs, etc.

What does this mean?

1 Answer 1


The weight is the weight of a ream (500 sheets) in the unit of uncut size, which varies with the stock type (see here, for example).

A more consistent measure of paper weight is the grams per sq metre value (gsm) which is what it says, the mass of 1 square metre of the paper, which is the area density of the paper.

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    As a reference, standard copy paper is 80 gsm, 120-160 gsm is thick paper, 300 gsm is cardboard or thick watercolor paper while tissue paper can be around 40-60 gsm. These are approximate ratings, so actual weight of a square meter of two paper types both rated 80 gsm may actually differ. Still, these rating offer some idea of whether you are dealing with thin tissue or thick cardboard. May 27, 2016 at 8:57

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