How To Score!

How do you 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, in others, scoring eliminates any color cracking 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 be scored before folding. Other instances where scoring the paper is recommended would include:

  • There is HEAVY ink coverage
  • You will be FOLDING against the grain of the sheet/paper
  • A Critical part of your messaging will be located at/on the fold
  • Your preferred folding style requires hand work
  • You want the highest quality fold and result possible.

Budget cuts typically mean that scoring is the first to go, but you may seriously want to reconsider. The risk of not scoring a folded piece includes unsightly creases and buckling around the folded area.

You have a number of options when it comes to scoring a printed piece. The highest quality scoring process is called the Letterpress Score, but here are six other scoring options commonly available as well:

1) Letterpress Score – A steel rule is formed in the desired shape and braced in wood affixed to a metal frame. Paper is then pushed between the steel form and the press.

2) Rotary Score –This process utilizes a pressurized roller system to make the score.

3) Litho Score – 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.

4) Heat Score –This technique is most effective on heavier coated paper stocks and involves heating a copper die to around 350 degrees.

5) Wet Score –A directed stream of water moistens the area where a fold is required. (Not recommended on coated papers.)

6) Impact Score (Electronic Knife) –A knife with a fixed-width steel rule strikes the sheet within a channel to create the score and crease.

Our team has been scoring and folding items for well over 17years now and 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, leave that with us.

If you have questions about whether scoring your printed project is the best option, we would be happy provide guidance on the best options for your folded piece.

Until Next time…Stay Creative.