Art Supply 101 – Versatility of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board

bristol Board

Bristol board is a heavy, strong and stiff paper that comes in different weights. It was originally manufactured in Bristol, England in the beginning of the 1800s, and used for drawing, painting and illustrations. It continues to be used for these purposes today, and has proved versatile enough to find application in the printing of works of art, postcards, invitations of various types, as well as technical drawings. Different weights have different applications. One of the most popular products is the Strathmore 300 series bristol board.

Types, Sizes and Weight

Bristol board, also called bristol paper, is a machine-finished, uncoated paperboard. It has two working surfaces, front and back, differentiating it from illustration board, which is finished only on one surface. Bristol is usually lighter in weight than illustration board, and is typically used for work that is meant to be preserved in the longer term. Bristol paper of the highest quality is even suitable for archival pieces.

The Strathmore 300 series bristol board is available in a smooth, plate finish or a regular vellum finish. Vellum is paper treated with a texture so fine it appears smooth but a closer inspection reveals a light, but rough finish. Some people have said it feels like the shell of an egg.

Both smooth and vellum sheets of the Strathmore 300 series bristol are available in pads of 20 sheets each bound on the top with tape. The pads are available in a range of sizes from 9 X 12 inches through 11 X 14 and 14 X 17 inches to the largest at 19 X 24 inches. It is all 100 lb. paper and importantly for archival work, is acid free. Although white bristol is most popular, it is available in many other colors.

Common Uses of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol 

Most parents have bought bristol poster board for their children to use to put together a display for a school project. Hand lettered notices of school outings, church bazaars, and community potluck dinners are often posted on bristol. However, there are also many commercial uses for the product, such as the postcards and invitations as already mentioned.

Artists, both amateur and professional, particularly appreciate Strathmore 300 series bristol board. There are online reviews that attest to how perfect the smooth version is for artists who use color pencil and pen, and how the heavier weight can stand up to plenty of scrubbing by an eraser. One art teacher says he recommends the Strathmore 300 series bristol from to all his students.

An illustrator who scans and prints his work insists the best copies come from the true white Strathmore 300 series bristol. Someone new to drawing for the comic book industry appreciates the variety of sizes. People are happy with the results they produce on Strathmore bristol products whether they are using pencils, paints or inks.

There are many varieties of bristol paper and board on the market. However, the quality and versatility of the Strathmore 300 series bristol board position the product at the top of its category. It is readily available in both local stores and online shops.