The best material for a printed application. Knowing a little bit about paperboard will help you make the right decision.
THIS CONTENT IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN INSPIRE ISSUE 41 FROM 2012
Many companies and private individuals turn to experienced print brokers who help narrow the selection by giving advice on production details, logistics, competitive pricing and choice of material.
Stream Nordic in Stockholm is one such brokerage firm. Its main clients are advertising agencies and direct customers. The company handles all kinds of print materials for a variety of purposes, especially outdoor and in-store advertising, brochures, posters and events.
Stream Nordic’s Tore Manstad oversees the printing production process, secures the best price for customers and helps them choose the most suitable material for their purpose. “It all depends on how the printed material will be used,” he says, adding that customers often reach for a thick paper, perhaps 300 grams, for smaller items such as invitations or folders.
“I would definitely choose Invercote for folders, covers and anytime the paperboard will be embossed. ”
“In such cases, I may suggest paperboard instead,” he says. “Paperboard maintains its whiteness longer and it is sturdier than paper. I would normally recommend paperboard for most invitations, tickets, business cards – whenever the customer needs to make a good impression. It should also be a material that doesn’t bend or damage easily.”
Before choosing paper or paperboard, consideration should also be given to how the brochure, folder or poster will be treated. Will it be folded? Embossed? Does it need to be sturdy and will it be cut or punched? Answering such questions will also help the decision-making process.
Read more: How to choose
“I always recommend paperboard for packaging, boxes and folders or other kinds of holders, as they will contain something that needs to be protected,” says Manstad.
“A party or movie premiere folder holding chocolate and event tickets should be made of stable paperboard rather than a heavy paper, which can fall apart. We might also suggest paperboard for a brochure cover as it doesn’t tear easily and holds up better than paper."
Paperboard’s multi-ply construction provides a stable and durable material. It is particularly suitable for punching and cutting and for two- or three-dimensional shapes, lattice designs as well as moving parts, since it folds well and doesn’t crack along the creases.
For a printed product that will be folded – or for one that needs to be stiff and straight – Manstad tends to recommend paperboard over paper.
When it comes to adding finishes such as varnishing, lamination or embossing, Iggesund’s Invercote is his preferred choice. “I would definitely choose Invercote for folders, covers and anytime the paperboard will be embossed,” he says. “Invercote is great with all kinds of finishes. The more refinements and effects added, the better it is to use Invercote.”
Paperboard is a natural material that can withstand all the strains and stresses involved when using advanced finishing techniques. Its durability ensures that printed materials maintain their colours and shapes.
Of course, there are times when paperboard is not the best solution. Budget considerations come in here, although Manstad finds paperboard “only slightly more expensive” than paper.
In addition to budget considerations, green products are also on customers’ minds. Manstad says his customers are increasingly inquiring about environmentally certified paper and paperboard.
“I do think that most paper and paperboard are as environmentally sound as possible today,” he says.
Stream Nordic has been in business since 1999, and Manstad has seen changes in the industry during the seven years he has worked there. While offset lithography remains the most commonly used printing process, digital printing is becoming increasingly popular, especially for small orders that need to be printed quickly. At the same time, the industry has speeded up considerably.
“What used to take two weeks now takes just two days,” Manstad says. “The technical side of printing has remained much the same, but so much has happened with the processes. The steps before and after printing are much more developed and so much faster. For example, proofs used to be faxed and films sent away, which could take days. Today this is all done in a couple of hours.”
When it comes to paperboard, however, he hasn’t noticed any major shifts in usage or consumption in recent years, but he anticipates change down the road. “Twenty years ago, McDonald’s started packaging its hamburgers in paperboard instead of polystyrene containers,” he says. “Today, more and more wine is being sold in paperboard boxes. I’m sure we’ll start seeing other uses for paperboard in the future.”
TEXT CARI SIMMONS PHOTO LOUISE BILLGERT