What is Perforation in Printing?

What is Perforation in Printing?

Read Time: 4 Minutes


04 Jul 2022

Whether you’re new to perforation in printing and looking for a basic definition or you’ve been interested in this print finish for a while and want to know the nitty-gritty, here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about perforation in printing.


What does perforation mean in printing?

Perforation refers to a print finishing process during which tiny holes are punched into a printed item such as a ticket or voucher. Adding this line of tiny holes is often done to achieve one of two things:

  1. It makes it easy to tear along the line and remove part of the printed product neatly
  2. It allows air to escape from folded signatures in booklet binding, which can prevent the printed pages from wrinkling


What is a perforation line?

In printing, the perforation line is the line of small holes punched into a printed item such as a ticket that makes it easy to rip one part of the print from the other. The perforated line can go horizontally or vertically on the ticket or flyer and is usually punched into the print at the finishing stage of printing once the item has been cut.


How are perforated lines made?

Perforated lines are punched into the print during the final stage of the printing process using a tool called a perforating blade set at a slight slope known as a bevel.


What is perforation used for in printing?

The most common printed items with a perforated finish include tickets, invitations, vouchers and flyers. They work so well as tickets and invitations because the venue can rip off the admissions stub to ensure the ticket can’t be reused to gain access and the attendee gets to keep the rest of the ticket as a keepsake of the event. 

Similarly, for vouchers, retail staff can remove the sales stub from the voucher to ensure it is a one-time-use product.

Adding perforation to flyers and folded leaflets allows the recipient to retain only key information on a subject rather than the full document.


How to design perforated tickets, vouchers and flyers

When it comes to creating a print design that will be perforated, it is essential to design around the perforated line. This will help ensure that all text is legible and content is cohesive even after the stub has been neatly torn off. 

When you design perforated prints with instantprint, we can supply you with free templates showing exactly where the perforated line will go on your design. Simply choose the perforated print product you want and pick the template format for your preferred design software.

For more design tips, check out this blog on how to make perforations in your print artwork.


Why are thicker GSMs best for perforation?

When ordering print, you’ll most likely get asked what GSM paper stock you’d like to print on. GSM stands for ‘Grams per square metre’ and is used to measure how heavy paper is. The higher the GSM, the thicker the paper. For example, 350gsm (the thickness of a greetings card) will be considerably thicker than 150gsm (the thickness of a club flyer).

Although thinner paper stocks tend to be a cheaper option for businesses on a budget, there are advantages to choosing a thicker stock – especially when you’re getting your print perforated.

Firstly, thicker stocks feel more premium to touch, and a lot of the impact print marketing has on a customer comes down to how it feels. Thicker stocks are also more likely to last longer as they won’t bend and dogear as much as thinner stocks.

Most importantly, when it comes to perforated print, thicker stocks with perforation are easier to tear neatly, meaning a better experience for your customers. 


Ready to start printing with perforation? Check out our full range of perforated vouchers, tickets and invites and get started today. 


About the Author

Hi, I'm Jasmin, instantprint's Client Services Manager. My team of print experts is passionate about helping you discover which options are best for your business's needs.