Scores are thin lines or marks cut into paper or another material to allow fold or tear along an even path. Scores often help facilitate folding or ripping along a straight way.
Score is a term commonly used within the graphic arts and printing industries to refer to the act or method of folding paper or its fold line or crease.
Scoring paper folds with an even, crisp, 90-degree angle requires using tools with blades, wheels, or creasers to produce crisp folds when folding occurs. Scoring should always be completed before folding for best results; often done before. These tools create shallow cuts in the paper, resulting in crisp folds when folded over.
Paper must often be scored before folding or cutting to help make folding or cutting easier, particularly cardstock, which can be challenging to fold without scoring lines. A scoring board, scoring knife, or scoring wheel can all create scores; scoring boards feature metal blades set into hardwood bases, scoring knives feature metal blades in handles, and scoring wheels use metal wheels with sharp edges rolled along the paper to score it.
Scoring can also be used to produce decorative effects. For example, paper can be scored and folded to form accordion pleats or create exciting textures on paper crafts.
The score is an essential consideration when choosing a paper. It determines how the sheet folds and feels; heavier papers with higher scores tend to fold crisply and feel substantial, while lighter pieces with lower scores will fold flimsily and feel unsubstantial – the proper paper selection can have a dramatic impact on both look and feel of any finished project.