Beyond the Size

Unleashing the Power of Cardstock: Types Sizes and Quality Explained

Understanding Cardstock and its Different Sizes

Cardstock is a heavyweight paper that is commonly used for printing, crafting, and creating business cards, greeting cards, invitations, and other paper products. It is known for its surface appearance, caliper, and thickness, making it a versatile material that can be used for a variety of purposes.

In this article, we will explore the basics of cardstock, including the different types and sizes available, and how to determine its quality.

Definition of Cardstock

Cardstock is best described as a thick and heavy paper that is commonly used for printing and crafting. It typically has a caliper, which is a measure of thickness, of at least .010 inches, making it about three times as thick as regular printer paper.

Cardstock is usually made of the finest fibers and wood pulp, which makes it durable, long-lasting and able to hold up well against wear and tear. Cardstock vs.

Cover Stock

Cardstock is often confused with cover stock, which is another type of heavy paper. While they may look very much alike, they are not exactly the same.

Cover stock typically has a higher paper basis weight than cardstock, which means that it is much thicker and stronger. When compared side by side, cover stock typically has a slightly rougher texture than cardstock.

Determining Quality of Cardstock

The quality of cardstock influences the impression it creates on the receiver. When selecting cardstock, there are a variety of factors that determine its quality, including the texture, color, and thickness.

The type of fibers used in the paper also play a big role in the cardstock’s quality. Finer fibers lead to smoother texture and better printing quality.

Another key factor in determining the quality of cardstock is the amount of wood pulp used in the paper. The greater the amount of wood pulp used, the lower the quality of the paper.

As a result, it is recommended that one chooses cardstock made from 100% cotton or other natural fibers.

Cardstock Sizes

Card stock comes in various sizes, as it is intended to cater to different printing as well as crafting needs. Here are the most commonly available sizes:

8.5 x 11 inches or 216 x 279 millimeters

This size of cardstock is a standard letter size that is typically used for home printing, crafting, and creating A9 cards.

The dimensions are perfect for use in a standard printer and offer enough space to include a reasonable amount of text and design. 8.5 x 14 inches or 216 x 356 millimeters

The 8.5 x 14 inches cardstock is commonly referred to as legal paper and often used for creating certificates or small greeting cards.

This size of cardstock offers a little more space to add more content compared to standard letter-sized paper.

11 x 17 inches or 279 x 432 millimeters

The 11 x 17 inches cardstock size is often referred to as tabloid or ledger paper. This size of cardstock is ideal for creating restaurant menus, marketing ads, and projects that require a bleeding design.

Due to the large size, there is enough space for more extensive design and content.

12 x 12 inches or 305 x 305 millimeters

This cardstock size is popular for creating square cards, business cards, name tags, and other crafting and printing purposes. The square shape offers a unique aspect to the design and provides enough space to create an attractive design that stands out.


In conclusion, cardstock is a versatile paper that has a broad range of applications. It is widely used in printing and crafting for invitations, business cards, greeting cards, and other marketing materials.

When selecting a cardstock, consider its texture, color, and thickness to ensure you choose one that perfectly suits your needs. Additionally, understanding the different sizes of cardstock and their intended uses can be helpful when planning and executing a project.

Finally, do not overlook the importance of the quality of the cardstock, as this can have a significant impact on the final product’s appearance and durability.

Types of Cardstock

Cardstock is a heavyweight, versatile paper that can be used for various applications such as printing and crafting. The quality of the cardstock is determined by its weight, texture, color, and thickness.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of cardstock available in the market and their uses.


This type of cardstock is commonly used for creating pure-white cards, invitations, or any other paper product that requires a minimalist look. It is typically made from tree pulp and has a matte finish.

Solid-white cardstock is also ideal for printing colored cards, as the white background allows the colors to stand out and appear more vibrant.


Cotton cardstock is typically used for printing highly detailed designs and patterns due to its smooth texture. It has excellent liquid absorption, which helps to prevent smudging or smearing of inks or printing material.

Cotton cardstock has a matte finish and is perfect for printing wedding invitations, business cards, and other high-quality products.


Linen cardstock has a unique texture that resembles the appearance of linen fabric. It has a matte look and textured feel, which makes it ideal for printing products with imperfections.

Linen cardstock is also very forgiving, allowing printing errors to be covered and hidden. This makes it a popular choice for DIY printers.


Kraft cardstock is made from recycled paper and has a traditional paper bag look. It is available in both matte and glossy finishes.

Kraft cardstock is perfect for creating eco-friendly paper products such as journals, notebooks, or calendars. It can also serve as a rustic or vintage feel to invitations or business cards.

Cardstock Weight

The term “paper weight” refers to the overall weight of a paper sheet, while GSM (grams per square meter) refers to its thickness. Cardstock weight is determined by its thickness and sturdiness.

The weight of the cardstock determines the templates that can be used based on the capabilities of the printer:

Lightest (up to 170 GSM)

This weight is ideal for making envelopes and presentation notes. The paper is thin and flexible, making it easy to fold and trim.

Mid-weight (171-250 GSM)

This weight is used for travel brochures, postcards, and flyers. Despite its heaviness, it is easy to crease, making it a versatile choice for different projects.

Heaviest (251 GSM and above)

This weight is used for formal documents and high-quality invitations. This cardstock can be difficult to fold even with a bone folder but is thick and durable, making it a great choice for premium quality paper products.


In conclusion, understanding the different types of cardstock and their uses can help you make informed decisions when it comes to printing and crafting projects. Solid-white, cotton, linen, and

Kraft are the most common types of cardstock used for various applications.

Understanding the weight of cardstock is crucial in ensuring that the correct type of cardstock is selected for the intended project. This knowledge assists in achieving the desired result while ensuring that printing and crafting are done safely.

In conclusion, cardstock is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of printing and crafting projects. Understanding the different types of cardstock available, such as solid-white, cotton, linen, and

Kraft, along with their weight and uses can greatly improve the quality and overall success of a project.

Having a basic knowledge of cardstock can help you make informed decisions when purchasing cardstock for your projects. Here are some commonly asked questions about cardstock:


What is the difference between cardstock and regular paper? Cardstock is thicker and sturdier than regular paper, making it ideal for printing and crafting projects that require durability and a more professional look.

2. What does GSM mean?

GSM stands for grams per square meter and is used to measure the thickness and weight of paper. 3.

What is the best type of cardstock for invitations?

Cotton and linen cardstock are popular choices for printing wedding invitations due to their smooth texture and high-quality appearance. 4.

Can cardstock be used in a regular printer? Yes, most cardstock can be used in a regular printer, but it’s essential to choose the right weight and thickness to avoid damaging the printer.

5. What is the difference between matte and glossy cardstock?

Matte cardstock has a non-reflective surface while glossy cardstock has a reflective surface. Matte cardstock is best for projects that require a more muted or subtle look, while glossy cardstock is ideal for vibrant and bold designs.

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