March 31 2021
Paper Grain Direction: Short Grain vs Long Grain
Do you remember the first time you heard about grain direction? For me it was a real “eh what” moment. But it’s not actually that difficult a concept to get your head around once someone explains it to you.
When paper is made, the fibres in the pulp spread in the direction the machine runs. This creates a grain direction. The sheet can then be cut long or short.
A short grain is when the grain runs across the short end of the sheet. A long grain is when the grain runs across the long end of the sheet.
For example, on a 720mm x 1020mm (B1) sheet of paper, if the sheet is cut “grain short”, the fibres will run across the 720mm side and vice versa.
Why is this important? Because the grain of the paper determines how the paper reacts to mechanical actions like folding, scoring and binding. Knowing the differences will ensure you use the right kind of paper in your project.
How does paper grain affect a finished print project
The decision to print in the long or short grain direction is often based on format size, which determines the least amount of waste from the cut-off.
Grain direction determines how paper reacts when it is folded, scored and bound. In practically every application, it is more desirable to go with the grain.
When paper is folded with the grain, the fold is smoother. When paper is folded against the grain, the fold is visibly less appealing.
In fact, going against the grain is considered an amateur mistake in printing. Paper should always be folded parallel to the grain’s direction.
If you fold against the grain, you always need to score the paper first. Scoring prepares the paper for a fold that is against the grain.
When binding, the paper grain needs to be parallel to the book binding edge. The grain direction also needs to be consistent in its direction, otherwise pages may resist turning or stick out from the book when closed.
The heavier a paper, the more important it is to get grain direction right. Heavier paper shows imperfections more than lighter paper. It is also more difficult to work. This is true of copier printing where thick papers are common.
How to detect the grain direction
[caption id="attachment_2913" align="alignnone" width="700"] How to detect the grain direction in paper - Wigston Paper[/caption]
You can detect grain direction in textured paper by feel. Take a sheet of paper, put it on a smooth surface and gently run your finger across it in both directions. Which is smoothest? The smooth side is the side that’s cut with the grain.
If the paper is heavy, you can also tell if paper is cut with a long or short grain by observing the fibres: with long grain, the fibres will run parallel to the sheet’s long dimension. For example, on an A4 sheet, the fibres will run vertically down the paper.
Another way to tell is with a tear test. Paper will tear a lot easier with the grain. If you have spare paper, try tearing it. The easier tear direction is the grain direction.
Aside from these field tests, the best way to determine paper grain direction is to order paper in the direction you require.
If you are unsure about grain direction after receiving your paper order, the last dimension on the packaging often denotes grain direction.
For example, 720mm x 1020mm paper would be 1020mm long and 1020mm x 720mm paper would be 720mm short.
Wigston makes it easier by sticking a long/short label on the packaging. A bold number like 720mm x 1020mm would also signify the grain direction.
So there you have it. A quick introduction to paper grain direction. You’ll never look at a sheet of paper like you did before!
February 25 2021
Branding Tips Design Advice
5 Productivity Tools for Graphic Designers
Beat distractions with DewoDewo is an AI-powered productivity tool that tracks your web and desktop activity to learn what distracts you. It then sets up a deep work environment by automatically blocking notifications from nuisance apps and software with Do Not Disturb. Other features include intelligent meeting scheduling and active suggestions.
Track your daily activities with TogglToggle is a time tracking app that tracks your daily activities across your digital work environment. It provides reports and detailed insights into your productivity so that you can optimise your workflow and identify where you are wasting time. It also has integrations for Chrome, Firefox, Android, iPhone, and desktop.
Review and proof easily with FilestageFilestage is a powerful asset review tool used by graphic designers to organise, manage and proof content. It gives designers complete control over the review process, allowing clients and teams to collaborate on uploads. You can leave feedback at touchpoints on design work and create to-do lists for teams to ensure things get done.
Control your email inbox with SparkSpark is an email client that prioritises email so that important messages sit at the top of your inbox. If you receive a lot of email, this will revolutionise your email by only showing messages from real people. It’s great for teams, allowing you to create email together and share and discuss emails within the Spark app.
Find the right paper with Wigston’s Paper Lookup ToolThe Wigston Paper Lookup Tool finds the best paper for your print media project based on a brand logo or brand identity image. Upload your JPEG/JPG, GIF or PNG image to the tool and it will automatically find the right paper for you. The tool will use the hues in your file to select the best colours from three paper collections.
January 19 2021
Love Paper Luxury Packaging
How is Coloured Paper Made?
But how is coloured paper made?How can a substrate that starts its life as neutral-coloured wood pulp be transformed into a versatile material that comes in just about every colour under the sun? The process is simpler than you might expect, albeit one that has been repeatedly refined over centuries in order to deliver the kind of quality, high-performing papers we have at our disposal today. All paper starts out as vegetable fibre. Whether it’s wood, cotton, bamboo, hemp, or even sugar cane, and whether these fibres are virgin or recycled, the first step in all paper making is the creation of pulp or stock. In this process, plant fibres are macerated using either mechanical or chemical processes, and mixed with water to create a soggy suspension. What follows next is a process of spreading, drying and compressing or rolling the pulp so that it forms a tightly compressed sheet that is both strong and flexible. Paper can be made by hand using this process, but obviously the vast majority of the paper we use is made in huge machines that take in pulp at one end, and pass it along a complex series of drying belts and rollers until a reel of uniform, smooth paper emerges at the other end. All sorts of compounds and materials can be added to paper stock to change the properties of the finished paper – things like surface coatings and sizes to change the way the paper behaves once its printed, and of course dyes to change its colour. To produce white paper, the stock must be bleached to remove the natural pigments – and this is also true for pale coloured papers, where dyes must be added to bleached paperstock in order to achieve the correct shade. For dark coloured papers, the unbleached stock can be used. Alternatively, paper may be dyed later in the process, on a machine called a sizing press. Sizing is the application of substances like starch to the surface of the paper, to improve stiffness and strength. Dye can be sprayed onto the paper at this point, before the paper is dried and rolled to finish. Coloured paper can also be made using the coating process, where the base paper is run through a ‘bath’ of special clay coating that improves the smoothness of the paper surface and makes it less porous. This means the paper absorbs less of the ink when printed, resulting in a crisper finish. Pigments can be added to the clay to make a coloured coated paper that is then passed through heavy steel rollers called calenders to produce an ultra-smooth, uniform finish. The majority of coloured papers, including our Gmund Colours range, are produced using the dyed paperstock method. At their mill in Germany, Gmund use a machine called a Hollander Beater to macerate the paper stock and combine it with the dye for superior consistency and saturation in the finished product. As well as an array of captivating colours, this range showcases some of the most advanced finishing techniques that allow Gmund Colours customers to select from a range of incredible papers including metallic, fabric textured, transparent, food safe and box materials. Want to know more about the Gmund Colors Collection? Head over to this page
September 17 2020
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March 13 2020
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February 2 2020
Love Paper Sustainability
4 Myths About Paper
- Paper production consumes an excessive amount of water
- Paper is bad for the environment
- Only recycled paper should be used
- European forests are shrinking
January 13 2020
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December 3 2019
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November 25 2019
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September 25 2019
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September 19 2019
5 of the best mock-up generators
- Mock-Up World (mockupworld.co)
- Smart Mockups (smartmockups.com)
- Anthony Boyd Mock-ups (anthonyboyd.graphics)
- PlaceIt (placeit.net)
- Free Design Resources (freedesignresources.net)
August 8 2019
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May 28 2019
On The Spectrum
The Problem“The idea for this project came from my own experiences going through school as an autistic person. Whilst in school I used Visual Support Systems to assist me throughout the day, but there was always an issue with the physical and visual quality of the supports. More often than not they were simply laminated pieces of 90gsm printer paper, with some clip-art style imagery printed on. This meant that which ever support I was using would likely be creased or have air bubbles under the laminate. The lack of consistency in production quality and visual style was always an issue for me and other autistic people at my school.
The SolutionWhen I was given a brief at university to create my own project, I knew I wanted to create something which could be used to help children who are in the same situation that I was in. This required me to create a system for design first to ensure a visually consistent look. I started by setting some rules for my artwork, set colours of red, green, blue and yellow are easily recognisable and traditionally applied to different emotions. The typography throughout the entire piece is consistent too, the font family doesn't change and the spacing is always consistent. There's a lot of smaller things which you wouldn't see if you looked close but your mind still sees and connects everything together, the radius of curves are the same throughout. Paper choice was a major concern during the planning stage of the project. I knew that high quality and hard-wearing paper was required to create a product which can stand the test of time, and be tactile enough for an autistic child to have fun engaging with. Since I would be debossing onto some card it had to be thick enough to get a deep enough deboss to add to the tactility of the product. To achieve this I chose to use paper from the Senses range. The 700gsm card stock was perfect not only for the debossing on the emotion cards but also the range of colours available meant that there really wasn't any other option. This stock also proved to be perfect as a backing for the communication key-rings too, thanks to the durability of the card. Since I was creating something for autistic children colour was a big focus, and the Gmund Volume range of corrugated board was the perfect choice to create the box. The colours within the range along with the stock’s ability to bend without tearing the outer paper really gave the box a clean look whilst being fit for purpose. Overall I think the project was a success, but it wouldn't have been quite as successful without the choice of paper stock. The vibrancy and quality of the stock really help to elevate the work to another level.” Try our Paper Lookup Tool to find the best coloured paper for your project!
April 18 2019
Love Paper Luxury Packaging
Premium Paper: The Marketing Tool With Guaranteed ROI
the factsAnd the research backs this theory up. A recent SmithersPira report found that 32% of consumers said that packaging brand and design is a very important or important part of their purchasing decision, while 58% said they would be put off buying a product in store if the packaging was damaged. Meanwhile, with consumers increasingly focused on sustainability and governments seeking to eliminate plastic, paper and board look set to be the future for product packaging – and the possibilities are endless! Paper’s versatility means even small brands on a tight budget can create something that looks and feels really special as well as ticking the eco-friendly box. By spending a few pence more, you can achieve a really premium feel, bringing incredible texture and depth while benefiting from a never-ending array of colours to complement your branding. From paper-wrapped folding boxboard to duplexed card hangtags and stunning printed cards, a suite of beautiful, quality paper elements has the potential to elevate any brand to the next level. Combined with clever design and luxury finishing, paper can be used to create an inspiring experience that captures the imagination and loyalty – not to mention the organic online reach – of your customer. Get in touch with us about your premium paper requirements!
February 6 2019
Wigston Paper announced as sole UK stockist of the Gmund Colors System
January 28 2019
Quality of Senses Paper is ‘spelled out’ in the Paper Artist Collective’s stunning paper art alphabet challenge
- “The paper was beautiful to work with. The smooth surface was great to draw on and then to cut it was clean and strong, even with some finer details and I'm sure it would hold up to even finer work. Some paper can be fibrous and doesn't give a clean edge but the Senses papers definitely cut smoothly without any fluffy bits. The colours are vibrant and I would be very interested to see the rest of the collection in real life based on these three colours alone I will definitely be adding them to my suppliers list.”
- “The Senses paper was very smooth and a pleasure to cut. I was really impressed with the richness of colour in the papers.”
- "I enjoyed working with Senses paper very much! Looking forward to using different colours in future projects.”