Types of Heavy Stock Paper

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People use heavy stock paper when they need a durable product, such as business cards.
People use heavy stock paper when they need a durable product, such as business cards. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

People use heavy stock paper for making menus, business cards, greeting cards, boxes, painting, drawing, matting pictures and crafts. Items like menus, business cards and greeting cards require an attractive, durable paper because people move and handle the finished items. Boxes require a heavy stock paper that is strong and durable, so it holds the weight of the items placed inside. Art papers created for drawing, painting, matting and crafts need to be strong, durable, and attractive and accept materials like paint, markers and glue.

Paper Weight

The weight of a paper gives you an idea of its use. Standard 20-lb. weight paper is used for printing, such as making flyers or memos. Letterheads commonly use 24-lb. paper, and envelopes use 28-lb. paper. Heavy stock paper uses 65-, 80-, 100- and 120-lb. paper. Paper numbers that fall in those numbers are known as cover stock paper. Cover stock is heavier than standard printer paper, and it is noticeably heavier. People use cover stock for folders, business cards, greeting cards and postcards.

Tag Paper

Tag paper is a thick, strong paper that isn’t easily torn. It is sturdy and water resistant. Stores use tag paper for price tags on their products. Tag paper has a smooth, matte finish, and some types have a glossy finish on one or two sides of the paper. Tag paper’s standard weight is 65 lbs., but it is available in heavier weights.

Poster Board

Poster board is heavy stock paper similar to tag paper, but it comes in larger sheets. This paper comes in several sizes, but the most common is 24 by 36 inches. Good quality poster board weight is 65 lbs. or higher. It is thicker than tag paper, but the fibers aren’t pressed as hard. This makes the paper tear easier. Schools use poster board for displaying school projects or making signs. It is slightly water resistant, but tag paper resists water better. Pen, pencil, marker, temper paint or acrylic paint work well on poster board. If you use permanent markers on poster board, it bleeds through to the back of the paper.

Board Paper

Board paper is heavy stock paper made for bonding several layers of thick, heavyweight paper. This gives the paper more strength. Packaging boxes commonly use this type of paper. Boxes made with this type of paper support heavy items. Board paper is commonly called cardboard or chipboard. People use chipboard as backing board for picture frames, and make craft projects out of the material. It accepts glue, paint and other craft materials easily without damaging the paper.

Art Paper

Art paper comes in a wide variety of weights, ranging from 20-lb. to 180-lb. paper. Many art papers have a high rag content. This means the paper has cloth fibers in the paper, which makes the paper heavier, stronger and allows it to accept any type of water media easily. Watercolor paper, Bristol board and printing paper are all heavy weight paper that is used for many artistic endeavors.

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