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Printing Lingo: What is Paper Scoring?

Print Materials created from Heavy Paper or Card Stock, such as these Presentation Folders, require Scoring to ensure a clean, consistent Fold

In the world of printing, Scoring refers to the process of making a crease in paper so it will fold easier.

Basically, a paper score is a ridge that is indented into the paper where the fold line will occur. This indention is made using a blunt metal edge - from either a wheel or a rule - that compresses the paper fibers to create a hinge-like area. This "hinge" is what allows for smoother folding.

Scoring also helps improve the appearance of the fold because it provides a consistent guideline as well as reduces the potential for the paper to buckle or crack. In addition, scored paper is less likely to cause harm to toner-type inks or thicker clear coats during the folding operation.

When is a Score used?

A score is generally used prior to folding heavy weight papers, such as cover weight papers, card stock and cardboard. In fact, the thicker the paper, the wider the score must be. Lighter weights of paper generally fold well without the need for scoring.

Inline Scoring vs Offline Scoring

The scoring operation can be performed on the paper as it passes through the printing press (inline scoring) or it can be performed on a separate piece of equipment after the printing has completed (offline scoring). Offline paper scoring generally produces a better result because it allows better control over the width, depth and location of the crease being made.

If you have any additional questions about paper Scoring or any other printing or finishing operation, give Formax a call. We're always happy to answer your printing related questions.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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