The use of coated vs. bond paper is a matter of looks, cost and performance. Either paper is capable of fulfilling basic printing needs, but each has distinct attributes and advantages.
Coated paper has a smooth surface coating, usually of clay, and is available in numerous finishes from matte to high gloss. Bond paper has a rougher texture with no additional surface coating.
Coated paper is used mostly for full-color printed goods that are subject to repeated handling such as magazines, brochures, book covers and post cards. Bond paper is used for books, stationery, printer and copy paper, and general single or multiple color printing.
Coated paper is usually heavier than bond paper, even if the paper thickness is similar, because of the denser clay coating. Bond paper has the advantage of lighter weight, even with thicker papers.
Coated and bond papers are available in many thicknesses to suit the application, from thin paper for leaflet and publication use to heavy card stock for covers, packaging and utility use.
Coated paper is more opaque than bond paper because of the coating, which keeps second-side printing show-through to a minimum. Heavier coated papers such as those used for packaging can be completely opaque.
Feel and Printability
Coated paper is smooth and slick, and allows printing ink to sit on top of the paper for a sharp look--particularly with photograph printing. Bond paper's rougher texture is well suited to page turning and paper handling. While photograph and multi-color printing is also done on bond paper, the colors are not as bright as with coated paper, as the ink is more readily absorbed into the paper fibers.