100 lb Bookweight Paper vs. 14 pt. Cardstock – What’s the difference, really?
We live in a high speed multi-tasking, multi-choice society. While the array of choices you are faced with on a trip to the local coffee shop can be daunting – whip – no whip – heavy foam – light foam – or no foam on that coffee – printing and paper choices can be just as confusing. There are countless kinds of paper. Pts? Lbs? Bookweight? 100#? Cardstock? Arrgh! Let’s unravel some of the mystery and take a closer look at our two types of popular paper options – 100 lb bookweight and 14 pt. cardstock.
What is 14 pt. Cardstock?
Cardstock is a thick paper, also known as “cover stock,” and 14 pt is a measurement of thickness. One unit of thickness equals 1/1000 of an inch, so 14 pt. is actually .014 inches thick. While that might not seem like a lot, equate this level of thickness to a heavy-duty business card or postcard. The higher the points, the thicker the paper – so 14 pt. is noticeably thicker than 10 pt. and slightly thicker than 12pt., with each layer of thickness adding sturdiness and rigidity to the paper.
When should you use 14 pt. Cardstock?
Since 14 pt. cardstock is thick and sturdy, consider using it for projects such as high quality business cards and postcards, anything where it’s important that the paper doesn’t droop. The 14pt cardstock also tends to look more expensive. Consider whether you want the piece to be able to stand up on its own, like a table tent or a rack card. Also, if you plan on using the piece as a CD cover, a folder, or you intend to mail it without envelopes, then you’ll need the paper to be stronger and more durable like the 14 pt.
What is 100 lb Bookweight Paper?
Bookweight paper is the same as 100 lb and 100#. 100 lb book weight paper is measured in weight. The “100 lb” refers to the weight of 500 printer sheets of this paper and is considered a medium “text weight.” Our bookweight paper has a high gloss coating which allows it to perform well on the press for color and detail; however, it is floppier than the cardstock and does not stand up well on its own.
When should you use Bookweight Paper?
Glossy bookweight paper is thinner than cardstock, which makes it more flexible and ideal for projects that need folding, stacking or transporting (like if you need to take flyers to a tradeshows or you hand out to-go menus). Bookweight is great for booklets, brochures, loose flyers, menus, posters and sell sheets.
This information should at least help you make an educated decision between Bookweight paper and 14 pt. Cardstock for your next print project. As for the best cup of coffee choice, you’re on your own.
- If you want to read more about the complexities of paper read: Paper Weight & Size — When is 80# NOT 80#? by Steve Waxman
- If you want to become a total paper Geek and learn nifty things like the equivalent grams per sq. meter for 14 pt.* paper look at these tables
*according to the table on this site the answer is 308.52 gsm