20 lb Bond: Your Standard Copy Paper

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Last updated on May 20th, 2022 at 04:33 pm

20 lb bond is the “standard copy paper” that you buy from your office supply store and use for your desktop printer. When you see a stack of blank white sheets at the workplace, it is generally 20 lb bond.

20 lb bond is simple and inexpensive

The virtue of 20 lb bond is that it is a simple and inexpensive sheet, useful in all sorts of applications. 20 lb bond is most popular in printing but is very useful when you want to write a note to someone, sketch an idea, or use it for a simple art project.

20 bond paper that you’ll use with your home printer is commonly uncoated sheets. The paper has a natural feel that can appear slightly textured. The uncoated finish makes it the perfect choice when the sheet is intended to be written on. 20 bond is also a great choice for flyers or worksheets that you know will be discarded.

The reason for its popularity is because 20 lb bond is the cheapest possible white paper that can be used in an office environment. You’ll see brands like “HammerMill” and “Mohawk” as providers of 20 lb bond paper.

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20 lb bond = 50 lb uncoated text — 2 names for the same paper

When you purchase from an office supply store, they’re going to call the paper “20 lb bond”. Tell a sales representative at Staples, and they will know exactly what you mean—simple.

However, some printing companies have a different name for the paper: 50 lb. uncoated text. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it has a higher paper weight—it is the same paper. This is due to basis weights: a confusing and arcane system of measuring different types of papers in different manners. It is a nearly identical sheet of paper, but is produced in a slightly different manner.

Types of paper similar to 20 lb bond

If you like the uncoated feel of 20 lb bond, but you want something higher quality for presentation purposes, you should check out the thicker forms of bond paper:

  • 24 lb bond, which is equivalent to 60 lb Uncoated
  • 28 lb bond, which is equivalent to 70 lb Uncoated

When to choose 20 lb bond?

20 lb bond, or 50 lb text uncoated, is commonly used for flyers due to being low in cost. It’s best practice to print on this paper type when the design is mostly texts. Images/photographs printed on 20 lb bond will tend to bleed through the back of the paper (because of the thinness of 20 lb bond), the thicker sheets will hold their color perfectly fine.

Printivity has many kinds of paper types available for lots of different print jobs. Contact us today to speak with a customer service representative to see if 20 lb bond/50 lb Uncoated is best for your next project!


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