What is Paper Scoring?
Paper scoring is the process of putting an indent or crease in paper so that it will fold easier and more crisply. The paper is scored where the printed piece is intended to be folded.
To score or not to score? This question faces anyone creating a printed piece that must be folded before mailing, display, or delivery. While in some cases folding without scoring will be sufficient and saves cost, in others, scoring eliminates any color cracking or paper buckling on the fold and can make all the difference in producing an elegant final result.
The top consideration in whether or not to score a printed piece is the thickness of the paper being used for the project. As a general rule, paper that is 100 lbs. or heavier should always be scored before folding.
When to Score Before Folding
- The project uses paper that is 100 lbs. or heavier.
- There is heavy ink coverage across the folded area.
- The fold goes against the grain of the paper.
- There is copy going across the fold.
- You want the highest quality printed piece possible.
Types of Paper Scoring
There are a number of options when it comes to scoring a printed piece. The highest quality scoring process is called Letterpress Scoring, but here are many other scoring options commonly available.
- Letterpress Scoring
A steel rule is formed in the desired shape and braced in wood that is affixed to a metal frame. Paper is then pushed between the steel form and the press to create the score line.
- Rotary Scoring
A pressurized roller system makes the score line in the paper.
- Litho Scoring
Also known as a “press score,” a metal rule with a heated back is attached to the impression cylinder, and a scoring rule makes the crease as the paper runs underneath it.
- Heat Scoring
This technique is most effective on heavier coated paper stocks and involves heating a copper die to around 350 degrees.
- Wet Scoring
A directed stream of water moistens the area where a fold is required. This process is not recommended on coated papers.
- Impact Scoring, or Electronic Knife
A knife with a fixed-width steel rule strikes the paper within a channel to create the score and crease.
Plum Grove is here to help you settle the score! You might want to know about different scoring options, but you certainly don’t need to worry about the best way to get the perfect score. That’s our job. If you have questions about whether scoring your printed project is the best option, give us a call. You’ll receive guidance on the best options for your folded piece so that you can create a result you and your customers will love!