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What is Bond Paper?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 16, 2024
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Bond paper is a strong, high quality, durable paper consisting of up to 100% rag pulp. Probably best known for its important role in offices as the paper of choice for letterhead, envelopes, and other papers for official business, it is also used for memos, announcements, manuals, flyers, newsletters, reports, personalized stationery, brochures, and postings. ATM, cash registers, and engineering and architectural drawings also use this paper. Acid free versions is used in preservation, for example, interleaving archival material. It is also available with preprinted designs or borders.

Arts and Crafts Uses

This type of paper got its name from its use in printing bonds and legal documents, but now it is used in a wide variety of arts and crafts. It can be used to create model airplanes, for example. Bond paper is also used to make drawing pads and easel paper for use with a variety of media including crayons, pencils, colored markers, and paint. It is available in white, as well as pastel and bright colors such as blue, buff, canary, lemon yellow, red, salmon, and watermelon, giving it added versatility for cutting and pasting projects, such as Christmas ornaments and cut-out snowflake decorations.

Bond Goes Green

Office bond is available in 500-sheet reams in letter or legal size and in a variety of weights and brightnesses. It is available in environmentally friendly versions, including partially recycled or 100% recycled options. Components of 100% recycled bond may be, for example, 25% cotton, 30% post-consumer waste, and 45% pre-consumer waste. Partially recycled paper may contain, for example, 50% virgin fiber and 50% recycled material in the form of 25% cotton, 15% post-consumer waste, and 10% recovered waste fibers.

Where Does It Fit in With Other Papers?

Paper weight is described in various ways. One system uses point sizes that measure the thickness of a single sheet in thousandths of an inch. Basis weight takes a measurement in pounds of the weight of 500 sheets of the standard size of the paper, but because the size of different types of paper is not consistent, comparing basis weights is complicated. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) paper industry standard, which measures weight in grams per square meter (gsm), is deemed the most consistent paper weight system for comparisons between paper types. Bond paper is in the medium textweight range.

10–35 gsmtissue paper
35–70 gsmlighter textweight
70–100 gsmmedium textweight, including bond
100–120 gsmheavy textweight/light cardstock
120-150 gsmregular cardstock
150-200 gsmheavy cardstock
200 gsmsuper heavy cardstock


Bond is sold in both reams and rolls:

  • 20-lb check plot bond paper for monochrome inkjet printing comes in rolls that are 24 to 42 inches wide (61 to 107 cm) and 150 to 500 feet long (46 to 152 m).

  • 21-lb universal bond for line drawings in black and color comes in 17-, 24-, 36-, 42-, and 60-inch wide rolls (43-, 61-, 91-, 107-, and 152-cm) that are 150 feet long (46 m).

  • 24-lb bond paper for monochrome and CAD inkjet printers, for line drawings and imposition proofing comes in 24-, 36-, and 42-inch roll widths (61, 91, and 107 cm) and 150 and 300-foot lengths (46 and 92 m).

  • 20-lb, 22-lb, 24-lb 500-sheet reams for copiers and laser printers.

Sheets of bond come in letter and legal size as well as the following:

  • 11 x 17 inches (28 x 43 cm)
  • 17 x 22 inches (43 x 56 cm)
  • 18 x 24 inches (46 x 61 cm)
  • 22 x 34 inches (56 x 86 cm)
  • 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91 cm)
  • 34 x 44 inches (86 x 112 cm)

Bond drawing pads are available in the following sizes:

  • 9 x 12 inches (23 × 30.5 cm)
  • 11 x 14 inches (28 × 37 cm)
  • 14 x 17 inches (37 × 43 cm)
  • 17 x 20 inches (43 x 51 cm)
  • 19 x 24 inches (48 × 61 cm)
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Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for HomeQuestionsAnswered, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
By audichick — On Jul 19, 2010

@Annapurna- the choice of paper can depend on a few different variables, such as cost and the look of the paper. While bond paper is more expensive than regular printer paper, it is cheaper than card stock because it isn't as thick. Bond paper has a rough texture without any gloss or coating whereas coated paper has a smooth, treated surface.

The main reason why someone would choose one over the other is the type of project they are working on. Does the project need a fancy, shiny paper? Does the paper need to be durable? The answers to these questions will help someone choose one paper over another.

By Annapurna — On Jul 19, 2010

Why would someone choose to use bond paper instead of card stock or coated paper?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
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