GCSE D&T Help Site

MATERIALS: Paper & Boards

Paper & board is made from wood pulp (trees) and waste paper (recycling). This pulp is grey/brown in colour.

The pulp must be bleached to make it white (just like when you bleach your hair!

Bleaching  makes the paper/card more expensive to make, but if you are printing onto the paper/board, it must be white to avoid discolouration and poor printing quality


Paper is mainly used for paper bags and labels

Its WEIGHT is measured in GSM (Grams per Square Metre)


  Paper comes in different sizes, that correspond to each other, called the ISO (International Standards Organisation) system.

IMPOSITION is the laying out of pages onto a larger piece, to be cut to size and folded after printing.


Paper and board are often LAMINATED with layers of foil and plastic, to create a sandwich of materials.

This can help to make the material more durable or water proof.

The process of laminating is called ENCAPSULATION


Board is paper made to a much thicker and heavier manufacturing specification

Its THICKNESS is measured in the units MICRONS.

Board come in many different types and you must learn the main ones.


This is layers of paper, formed into a board, with a front and back face. The middle is wavy.

· It has a good weight to strength ratio

· It can withstand light impacts

· It is relatively cheap

· It makes good protective packaging & inner trays


This is a unbleached (non whitened) wood pulp board, with a bleached (white) liner.

The bleached liner gives a good surface to print onto, without the high cost of the whole board being bleached.

Great for high speed printing and automatically packed boxes.

Applications: Food and pharmaceutical packaging. Swing tag labels (for your activity pack).


This board is totally bleached (whitened).

It is expensive because of the additional cost of bleaching the wood pulp.

It is very strong, and give an excellent surface to print onto.

Applications: Book Covers, Make up Packaging, Perfume Boxes


This is one of the previous boards, with a laminated foil surface.

This helps to make the foil waterproof, and retain the heat of a meal contained inside it.

Applications: Tetra Paks, drinks cartons, ready meal lids


1. What is the main difference between paper and board?


2. Sketch what corrugated card looks like in the space below.


3. Label the “flutes” on your sketch.
4. Why would corrugated card make a good “outer box” for your children’s activity packs?



5. Which board would you use for the swing tag label on the multipack of party goody bag toys shown below, and why?


6. Which board would you use for the children’s party themed juice carton shown below and why?



  Which board would you use for the children’s party pack shown below and why?