What stock should you be using?

We’ve had lots of answers to our question of “What kind of stock do you have in mind?” ranging from “What’s stock?”, through “Something kind of card weight, but foldable and maybe shiny”, to “160gsm, white, flat, matt” through the years. We appreciate that it can be a bit like ordering a coffee from a bewildering list on a coffee shop wall for a non-coffee aficionado, so here’s our rough guide to choosing the right stock.

Stock is our term for the material to be printed on, usually paper or card or somewhere in-between, it can be described by colour, weight/thickness measured in gsm (grams per square metre), texture and finish.


Although bespoke colours are possible, they can prove to be very expensive. We do have a range of standard colours in different weights and finishes. We can help you to match these standard colours to your requirements and you can always pop in to see them in reality. Alternatively, you might have a pantone (specific colour and shade code) colour in mind which we could match up for you.


  • 80-90 gsm – ideal for forms, letters and handouts.
  • 90-100 gsm – standard home/office printing paper thickness.
  • 100-120 gsm – better quality, offering less transparency. It is good for letterhead, compliment slips and professional documents such as reports, presentations, etc.
  • 120-150 gsm – thicker than standard office printing paper. Often used for presentations, reports and brochures etc.
  • 150-170 gsm – almost card thickness. Ideal stock for brochures, posters and quality flyers.
  • 170-200 gsm – thicker paper, almost card. Perfect for document covers.
  • 200-250 gsm – card. Ideal for booklet or brochure covers.
  • 300-400 gsm – thick card. Used for business cards, invitations greetings cards and thicker covers.


This is often a personal preference or a branding statement, with texture options ranging from flat and smooth, organic and natural, ridged and bumpy, and linen styles. There’s a wide range to choose from if you’re looking for something a bit different.


Stock finish can be different to the final finish of the material if you choose to apply any lamination or spot UV techniques. The basic options are:

  • Matt – flat colour, no shine. Usually uncoated.
  • Gloss – reflective colour, high shine. Coated.
  • Silk – mid shine, a little reflective. Coated

So, what’s in stock? Stock is not just something you print on, it can reflect your brand, your taste, your personality. It can be a value statement about how much you value your communications and the people who receive it. Make sure you make the right statement and remember we’re here to help and guide you to find the stock that suits you.