Working with Paper & Boards

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Working with Paper and Boards

Papers and boards are commonly used by many professionals, it is important to know the functions of paper and how we can work with them. This can allow us to make the best choices when selecting paper/boards.

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  • Paper and boards are readily available, often found in high street shops, and paper is a common material used by designers.
  • However, specific paper and board sometimes need to be purchased from paper and board specialist shops.
  • UK paper companies have diversified to include as many different paper and cardboard types to maximise profits and customer relations.
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Types of availability

  • Papers come in the form of rolls, sheet and ply form (this is when papers are layered and in a roll e.g. kitchen and toilet rolls).
  • You will often see the toilet roll companies using the term ‘2 ply’, this is relevant as it is a prime example of a paper type being produced as a roll and as layers.
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  • The cost of paper can vary according to size, weight, and quality.
  • Certain printer brands will demand a higher price as they endorse and use their own paper.
  • In order to save money, designers and printing companies use thinner and cheaper paper to print drafts before the final print out is used on the desired paper.
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Ethical factors

  • It is important the companies make conscious ethical decisions when producing paper.
  • FSC permits companies to use their logo if there has been correct and responsible management of the forests.
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  • Another ethical issue is the use of hardwood trees in paper production.
  • Hardwood trees take longer to grow compared to softwoods which result in further environmental concerns.

Environment, Aesthetics, and Functionality

This is a continued section which looks at the important advantages and drawbacks to papers and board.

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Environmental factors

  • It is important that paper companies are considerate to the environment. Due to the wood being cut down and the amount of paper waste that is created.
  • Paper companies make conscious efforts to replant trees and to use recycled sources where possible.
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Environmental factors cont.

  • Recycled paper has a reduced cost and this is commonly passed down to the customer.
  • By following the 6Rs it is possible to make an informed choice of the paper/boards that are bought, used and discarded.
    • (The 6Rs - Reduce, refuse, re-use, repair, recycle and rethink.)
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  • The surface finish can vary with different textures. The use of embossing can raise certain parts of the paper/card, which is great for greeting cards.
  • Gloss finishes on paper can bring about a high quality feel to photographs.
  • Foamboard is a perfect example of a material that utilises a good and clean surface finish whilst maintaining the strength of the foam in the middle.
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  • Paper and board can be used for a wide range of applications such as modelling, packaging, letter printing, envelopes, greeting cards, and posters.
  • Paper and board can be modified through techniques such as perforating and creasing to change it from a 2D flat object to a 3D object such as packaging.
  • Paper and board are easy to work with and often tools are low tech and require less training than other material categories.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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