Choosing Paper for Your Printing Project... Part 2
|Boring Science Fact: White light is built of all colors (ROYGBIV) and travels in wavelengths. Blue light has a short wavelength and travels faster, while red and yellow light have longer wavelengths and travel slower. So a Blue White sheet appears to be visually brighter than a yellow white sheet because your eyes actually "see" it first!|
Finally it's time to talk about Grain. We all know paper is made from trees, so it would stand to reason that if wood has a grain, so should paper! In order to make paper, all these trees are ground down into fibers and mixed with water, resin and other stuff (which altogether is known as pulp) and run through huge paper machines that form them into large rolls. Between the speed these machines run and the process the paper pulp goes through, the fibers naturally all tend to line up in the same direction which is the grain direction. Paper is then cut down, and can be either long grain or short grain. Long grain means the grain direction runs with the longest side, and short grain means it runs along the shortest side.
The grain direction of your paper can play a very critical role in your project. You've likely heard the expression "going against the grain." All paper is flexible, but it's always more flexible along the direction of the grain. This is important when thinking about folding projects. When you fold against the grain, the fibers break and crack, which appear ragged and less crisp. This can easily be addressed by scoring a piece, which pre-creases the sheet and breaks down the fibers in a more controlled way.
Fortunately, we never expect our clients to know everything there is to know about paper. If you need help picking paper for your project, please contact our helpful Sales or Customer Service Representatives or a member of our award-winning Graphic Design team. They’ll be more than happy to get you started. We also get to work with some wonderful paper vendors that are always willing to assist with answering questions or providing samples of any paper you can imagine.