Common Types of Paper and Uses

  • Bond Paper – office copy machines/printers, letterhead, stationery; heavier bond paper for double-sided signs, fliers and resumes.
  • Book Paper – books, booklets, magazines
  • Cover Paper – business cards, menus, invitations, postcards
  • Index Paper – index cards, postcards, manila folders
  • Tag Paper – retail signage, price tags, direct mail postcards
  • Text Paper – brochures


  • US Basis Weight – measures the weight of 500 sheets of paper size in its uncut form. I.e., An uncut sheet of Bond paper is 17 x 22 inches, while an uncut sheet of Cover paper is 20 x 26 inches. If 500 sheets of Bond paper (17 x 22 inches) weigh 20 lbs, then a ream of paper cut to Letter size will be labeled as 20 lb. And if 500 sheets of Cover paper (20 x 26 inches) weigh 65 lbs, then a ream of this paper trimmed to tabloid size would be marked as 65lb.
  • Metric Weight – weight of a sheet of paper cut to a 1 x 1 meter square, measured as grams per square meter (GSM).
  • Points/Mils – uses a caliper to weigh the exact thickness of a given piece of paper, measured as thousandths of an inch (the thicker the paper, the higher the paper weight)