Understanding Basis Weight

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visual journal mixed media

Why is Strathmore Visual Journal Mixed Media 90 lb. much heavier than another mixed media pad that is 98 lb.?

U.S. paper weight standards can be confusing. The measurement is based on "basis weight" of paper which is calculated by weighing a bunch of sheets of particular paper.

The confusing part is that the sheet size that is weighed to determine the basis weight varies by paper type. For example, watercolor paper weight is based on a 22" x 30" size sheet. Drawing paper is based on a 24" x 36" size sheet.

The paper weight for our Mixed Media Visual Journal is based on watercolor paper standards. It is likely that other pad you mention is based on a different basis weight standard. Fortunately, there is a way to compare apples to apples. If you look at the metric measurements of g/m2 (grams per square meter), you can directly compare paper weights regardless of the paper type.

For example:
Visual Journal Mixed Media: 90 lb. paper = 190 g/m2
Other Paper: 98 lb. paper = 160 g/m2

In this case, the 90 lb. paper is actually heavier than the 98 lb. paper.

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