Categories of Papers and Boards

Categories of Papers and Boards

All paper and board is made from wood. The thickness and finish varies to create a whole range of products:

__Tracing paper __– See through to allow you to copy through it, smooth to allow the drawing of fine lines.

Cartridge paper – A good quality paper with a soft surface made especially for drawing and sketching.

Grid paper – printed paper for specific tasks, squared, isometric and graph paper are the most common.

Inkjet paper and card – Treated especially to allow it to dry quickly when inked through a printer.

Corrugated card – Layers of rough paper surround a zig zag layer to provide a strong, soft layer for cheap, protective packaging.

Cardboard – A cheap, rough thick board which can be printed on and recycled.

Bleed proof paper – Suitable for paint and ink to stop the colour spreading (bleeding) across the page.

__Sublimation paper and ink __– Sublimation ink changes from ink to gas and impregnates paper or fabric to give a thin, accurate image.

The size of paper uses an ‘A’ scale A1, A2, A3 etc and weight is measured in grams per square metre (GSM), above 200gsm paper becomes officially known as board. Thickness of board is measured in microns.

Other measurements include foolscap, B series, letter size and envelope size.

Some paper and board are laminated with another material to give a specific property:

Foil backed card – plain card laminated to foil for food packaging to reflect heat, hold in moisture and maintain taste. Such as Tetrapak food packaging.

Polyethylene – printable plasticised sheet for carrier bags and plastic film.

Foam board – A sandwich of foam laminated by two sheets of board makes a rigid sheet suitable for model making and mounting projects.

You need to be able to give examples and make good choices about how to shape for and join your materials. This could be tested in the exam and should be talked about using technical terms in your coursework.

  • Cutting- Scissors and craft knives are used to manually cut paper and thin card when detail is needed. If multiple complex shapes need cutting you could use a CAD drawing and a laser cutter. Layers of material and thick card can have straight lines cut with a guillotine. Repetitive shapes can be cut using a specially made metal die, which, when high pressure is applied, can cut through many layers at a time.

  • Creasing and scoring – Shapes can be scored into card or paper to help them neatly crease (fold)

  • Perforating – Perforated paper is easier to fold or tear off, used in raffle tickets or cheque books. By hand a rotary cutter can be used with the perforations around the cutting edge. Perforations can also be added to dies or cut with a laser cutter.

Categories of Papers and Boards, figure 1

Tools of the trade

We all regularly use paper and board cutting tools some more than others, designers will often use paper and board too make cheap, quick models and prototypes whilst designing to check its aesthetics and functionality:

Scissors – Good for fine detail and speed. Decorative edge scissors can be used for an interesting finish.

Knives – Craft knives, scalpels and rotary cutters can be used to slice paper and board accurately.

__Guillotines __–Multiple sheets can be cut at once with a guillotine but only straight cuts, Perfect for trimming straight edges.

Laser cutters – An expensive way to cut your paper but it can repeatedly cut exactly the same CAD drawing using a thin burning laser beam. It is able to cut really fine detail and decoration.

In industry CAD/CAM is used to produce packaging and net shapes. A 2D shape can be printed with decoration or information before cutting. A die is a knife sharp shape which when applied to a multiple layer of paper or card under pressure can cut through and score exactly the same shape repeatedly.