Printing: GSM vs. PT Unit System: What’s the Difference?


Units like GSM or PT are frequently used to measure printing materials.

However, what exactly are these unit systems referring to? What is the suggestion for your packaging and printing of these new technologies?

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to more accurately assess the weight and thickness of the paper or other material you intend to print on.

If you know this, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your printing options and how to balance “printability” and “durability” in your custom packaging.


Packaging and Printing PT and GSM Definitions

Its abbreviation is Grams per Square Meter, or PT, and GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter.

The thickness of a piece of stock can be expressed in either of these two units of measurement. For example, paperboard, cardboard, and other types of packaging can be used as stock. Folding cartons also use it. It is also necessary to consider the weight of the paper. For example, 500 sheets of uncut paper make up one ream (where the paper is at its original, uncut size). A ream of that paper will be marked as 80 lb or 80#, indicating that it weighs 80 pounds.

Using the point (PT) system, it is important to know that a point equals.001 inches, so 10 points would show a stock thickness of 0.01 inches.

It’s like points, but it’s based on the metric system instead of inches. So, if you’re looking at different paperweights, keep in mind that heavier doesn’t necessarily imply thicker packaging. As an outcome of this, the thicker paper will be produced with a higher GSM.

For example, how do you know how much printing material you’re dealing with weighs?

By examining the content in its natural form, the GSM weight of common materials can help you determine the thickness of the packaging that you’ll require.

Measurements of GSM Paper

35-55 GSM: Thin and delicate newspaper.

Printer paper, which has a GSM of 90-100, is more durable than newspaper, but it is not impervious to handling.

Posters and bulletins with a GSM of 120-140 are more resistant to the elements but will still degrade if left out in the elements on a regular basis.

Even when bent, 210-300 GSM magazine covers are better able to retain their shape.

In the range of 350-400 GSM: For printing invitations and business cards and packaging for retail goods, card stock is a popular material.

Converting The GSM and PT Unit System are interconnected.

These two, the PT system and GSM, are used to calculate the thickness of objects in close proximity to one another.

Although the stock weight is taken into account in the GSM system, it is not in the PT system, which does not. However, conversion charts make this process easier, and we can convert from GSM to PT and back again if necessary.

You can use this GSM to PT conversion chart to get a sense of what the procedure might look like in your specific situation.

Material Thickness in GSM 13-pound weight limit 200-gram paper, 14-point type. 270 gsm, 16 points, uncoated * 350 gsm 18 points C2S / Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS) A 24 point C2S 400 gsm paper 24 points uncoated 405 gsm SBS* 460 gsm C2S / Solid Bleached Sulfate

A score of 40 kinds of cotton with a grammage of 600

As an outcome of the widespread use of the metric system, GSM is more prevalent than SI units; however, both systems can be used interchangeably.

Read Also: What is Pantone

Paper Weight and Thickness Comparison

Despite the fact that the US system is more difficult to understand than the metric one, it does take into account uncut paperweight (“basis weight” of the ream) to help standardize packaging. As an outcome, if you see paper labeled “92#,” you’ll know it’s lighter than 230# paper.

What’s the point of knowing the weight of a piece of paper?

A lot of the time, the mailers you receive every day go unnoticed until you’re confronted with paper-related terms like “bond,” “text,” “book,” “cover,” “tag,” “index,” and others. But it’s actually a fine thing that there are so many different types of paper out there.

So many creative ideas have been tried to make the paper more durable and long-lasting over the ages. However, when it comes to making your packaging stand out from the competition, you can use proven methods right away.

What are the implications of these numerous unit systems for my product packaging?

One of the many decisions you’ll have to make when comparing different packaging materials is deciding whether or not to use points or grams per square meter.

What kind of packaging you choose will directly impact how it is printed, as well as what features you can include. For example, it is easier to print on some packaging materials because they have a smoother surface. For instance, rougher and coarser surfaces have a longer lifespan, but the ease of printing is compromised.

Additionally, the packaging must be durable because it must protect the contents while highlighting them in an eye-catching way.

Are there truly “best of both worlds” packages? Yes, that’s correct!

The best way to decide between the GSM and the PT unit system is to speak with an expert in packaging.

It can be puzzled to weigh the pros and cons of various paperweights, thicknesses, GSM systems, and PT systems and how to hit the right balance between long-term usability, printability, and other factors. Thankfully, you’re not on your own in this endeavor.

This is why we’re here at Refine Packaging to walk you through the entire design-to-print-to-packaging process and help you achieve an incredible end conclusion that perfectly positions your product.

It’s our goal to get to know you and understand what you hope to achieve with your product. We have the know-how, expertise, and experience to make the end truly exceed your expectations, whether it’s a unique plan that separates your product from the crowd or a sophisticated and elegant look that was born for unboxing.

Read Also: Mascara Box

We’d be happy to serve

We’d be happy to serve you with any and all aspects of the packaging design for your product. Our in-house graphic designers can help out bring your ideas to life. Even if you don’t know precisely what you want. As soon as the layout is finalized. We can assist you in selecting the best packaging material to safeguard your product. Now you can also be showcasing it to its full potential.

Aside from that, we have the ability to make your product stand out in terms of functionality as well. For example, we use cutting-edge printing technology to create options that are stunning to look at. Everything we do, from spot UV printing and foil stamping to soft-touch coating and lamination, is done. With your and your customer’s satisfaction in mind.

Are you focused on finding out more about the packaging design and printing services we provide? Get a free, no-obligation estimate by contacting us today. GSM versus PT in print or any other questions you may have will be answered by us.

If you’ve put in the time and hard work to create a truly exceptional product. Now it’s time to select custom packaging that’s equally impressive!