Paper texture and different grammage

Today I got to learn the importance of paper. To be more specific the weight and the material. When you have a magazine with thin and shiny pages you feel the relatively cheap aspect of it. And indeed this type is actually the most inexpensive one. But on the other hand when you have a flyer from a huge company, you most likely have a thicker and more robust feel of the paper. It’s like you can actually feel the higher quality.

All those things depend on several aspects of the paper. One of which is the grammage. The weight in grams per square meter –> gsm

The most commonly used grammage is probably ranging from 50-200 gsm. In this category you can find magazines, advertisements and books pages. Cards like business cards, folders, and covers are made of thick, cardboard like paper weighing in on 200 and plus gsm.

Try to get a feel for the thickness/ grammage and the overall feel of certain sheets of paper next time you have one in your hand. You can even find whole folders full of samples of the different types of paper. Asks your local print shop, they gladly show them to you.

 

After we got to know those variation, we had to experiment with paper ourselves.

Our task was to make textures by ripping, cutting, folding and crumpling up sheets of paper.  Its was great fun to see how much you can actually make with ordinary paper and a bit of stress release. Here a couple of my textures up close.

 

paper texture 01 0011

 

Why don’t you just grab a piece of paper, crumple it up and see how it looks are make more of them and put them together in a collage. Another great idea, which originally came from my teacher, is to scan those textures and use them in Photoshop. Give it a try, and in case you have kids, let them be a part of the process, they will love it!

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2 thoughts on “Paper texture and different grammage

  1. I have no idea why scanning a crumpled piece of paper never occurred to me until I saw your post. And I actually thought of it even before I read your suggestion at the end to do so. In the past I have always photographed the textures I needed for my artwork. I forget what an amazing tool a scanner can actually be!

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    • I know exactly what you mean, I used to photograph my textures as well. But as you said, the scanner is indeed a great tool! A small tip for you in case you want to scan white paper, set the scan option to photo (300dpi) and reduce the brightness. I had even go to almost -80 on the brightness scale. But you can try what works for you the best.

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