Knowing how and knowing why


Discover the production aspects of paperboard – a base material that allows you to achieve more than you can imagine. Paperboard is more forgiving than paper but also a bit more demanding.

In the following chapters we describe how to use paperboard with different printing and finishing techniques. You will find information on how to work with and handle paperboard, as well as the features that are crucial for achieving excellent results and cost-effective production.

The production aspects

The white sheet of paperboard and the designer’s intentions are the starting points when transforming the creative dimensions of paperboard into reality. The production aspects of paperboard are based on its smooth, uniform, and well finished surface – and on all the built-in features underneath.

More forgiving and more demanding

Paperboard provides excellent printability and runnability in the printing and finishing processes as long as you take a few basic precautions when handling it. With skilled and experienced operators and well run machinery, the path from paperboard to finished product will be as straightforward as when using paper – only somewhat different. The difference can be summarised as follows: you can accomplish more with paperboard – it is a more forgiving base material but also a little more demanding.

Without its stiff construction, paperboard would not be able to perform its primary functions of providing rigidity and strength. Paperboard offers higher stiffness at a lower grammage than paper (you achieve the same stiffness at about 25% lower grammage). This is one of the most appreciated advantages when specifiers choose paperboard.

Paperboard properties are crucial for achieving high-quality results as well as good printability and runnability in the printing and finishing processes. Since paperboard is not used in the graphical industry as often as paper, we will be more specific about aspects to do with printing. When it comes to the different finishing techniques, paperboard's stability and strength offer unique and sometimes superior possibilities of enhanced design and converting efficiency compared to paper.



In the quest to achieve new levels of brand promotion, demands on marketing materials are constantly increasing. The combination graphic design, finishing techniques and innovative shapes gives a product enhanced appeal and recognition. It is essential that designers and converters understand the interaction between paperboard properties and converting efficiency. The choice of paperboard will affect crucial conversion factors like printability, flatness, dimensional stability and creasing/folding properties, and thereby influence the ultimate design of the product. As a basic rule it is fair to say that the consistency of the paperboard product is the key to high efficiency.

Printing presses, finishing and converting machinery can accept a wide range of paperboard types at acceptable levels of productivity. However, tolerance for irregularities in critical parameters diminishes as speeds and complexity increase.

Handle the paperboard correctly and you will achieve first-class results from all available printing and finishing techniques. For general information on how to handle paperboard before, during, and after the printing and finishing processes, please refer to the chapter “Handling”.


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