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OST people know crow’s feet as those narrow lines and creases around the outside corners of your eyes which

become more prominent as you grow older – don’t worry, I haven’t started writing a beauty hints column! In the world of print and print fi nishing, the term

“crow’s foot” also means creases, the rather ugly creasing you can get on a folded sheet of paper or board. Pretty obviously, the term is derived from the shape

and pattern of a crow’s foot which, unlike some other birds, has three toes. The problem of this ugly creasing is caused by two factors which can happen individually or in tandem. Firstly, when paper is folded on itself again and

again, it roughly doubles in thickness with each fold which makes it harder to bend and results in the distortion, or creases, on the inside sheets, and can happen whether folded by hand or machine. Secondly, there’s mechanical folding that particularly accentuates the rippling, generally making more creases, and can happen on simple folds such as a single sheet of board folded for a greetings card. It’s caused by air escaping, as it has nowhere to go

– readers familiar with printed sections being folded for binding will know a rough perforation is made along the fold to allow air to escape. Crow’s feet is one of those issues that generally

rears its ugly head when you’re least expecting it. Many people think by using a lightweight material,

such as Fenner’s Offenbach Bible in 40, 50, or 60gsm it will solve the problem - sadly this can’t on its own. To get round it, the best thing is to concertina one way and then concertina the

opposite way so the paper is never folded on itself and on itself again. It reduces the stress, prevents distortion and means that you never see a crow’s foot except in the mirror! However, I can also show you a perfect example of just how not to do it with this folded down poster, it’s a great idea but a lack of thought and poor production

standards went into the execution. I’m sure that because of the quantity that would have been printed, the likelihood is that the poster would have been machine folded as this looks like the creasing that happens when air is trapped.

The point is that it could still have

been machine folded but in a concertina way which would have prevented this unsightly effect – as many of my school teachers would have said about me “could have done better”! T: 01732 771100

If you’re of the mind that paper is just paper, Justin Hobson is the man to explain why that’s simply not the case. In his regular column, Fenner Paper’s marketing director talks crow’s feet.



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