Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NCR Explained - What is Carbonless NCR within the Print industry?

What is carbonless NCR? An example of an NCR job.
What is carbonless NCR? An example of an NCR job.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011
NCR stands for "No Carbon Required".

It is a carbonless copy paper which is used to make a physical copy of an original, handwritten document. They have many uses for things like invoices, receipts and inventory forms. It usually comes in two, three or four parts depending on the needs of the client and how it works is really simple.

Say for example you have three parts [pages] for your document; whatever you write on the first part with a pen will be transferred onto the other parts below. This in turn will save you a lot of time if you're needing to keep an exact copy for the customer, your office and other needs too. 

NCR comes in a variety of paper sizes able to meet the requirements of your order. The most popular sizes are A5 and A4 but also offered are A6, 1/3rd A4 and A3.

How does Carbonless NCR paper work?

The image transfers down through a carbonless NCR Set by using pressure with a ballpoint pen on the top NCR Sheet. If, for example, it was a 3-part Triplicate NCR Set, then the pressure exerted on the Top Sheet would be pushed down through the other two sheets, released the duplicating chemical (Carbon Back) from the back of each sheet, which reacts (under pressure) with the top (Carbon Front) next sheet it's sitting on and leaves an impression on it; all the way down through the NCR Set like a helter-skelter.

Even though the individual sheets of paper are are described as Carbon Front (top sheet NCR), Carbon Front & Back (middle sheet NCR), and Carbon Front (bottom sheet NCR), none of these sheets actually contain any carbon. It's just a term of reference.

The secret to working efficiently with Carbonless NCR is to write with a ballpoint pen or top gel pen like a "Pilot G-2 07", available from all good supermarkets / stationers / Amazon and other online outlets.

See TradePrintingUK's video below "NCR Explained Animation - How does NCR paper work?" to show a quick, visual representation video of the action of pressure on carbonless paper:

Video is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2013

What are carbonless 2-part Duplicate NCR Sets?

2-part NCR Set
2-part carbonless Duplicate NCR Set.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011

Duplicate ("2pt" "2-part") refers to a two page NCR product with a TOP COPY (1st part - this is the bit you write on) and a BOTTOM COPY (2nd part - the page which is replicated as you write on the page above).

There are three different types of 2-part Duplicate NCR products:


What are carbonless 3-part Triplicate NCR Sets?

3-part NCR Set
3-part carbonless Triplicate NCR Set.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011

Triplicate ("3pt" "3-part") refers to a three page NCR product which is the same as duplicate except there is now a MIDDLE COPY. It works in exactly the same way as a BOTTOM COPY except it also transfers the writing from the TOP COPY to the BOTTOM COPY also.

There are three different types of 3-part Triplicate NCR products:

What are carbonless 4-part Quadruplicate NCR Sets?

4-part NCR Set
4-part carbonless Quadruplicate NCR Set.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011

Quadruplicate ("4pt" "4-part") refers to a four page NCR product with TWO MIDDLE COPIES. They work in exactly the same way as the MIDDLE COPY found in a triplicate pad.

There are three different types of 4-part Quadruplicate NCR products:

What paper colour options are available for Carbonless NCR?

When ordering NCR, you are able to select the page colour sequence of your order. The standard specification for most carbonless NCR print orders has a WHITE Top sheet, plus a PINK coloured Bottom sheet.



You can however mix these combinations around to your own print requirements - usually however, WHITE remains the Top Sheet from a fit-for-purpose point of view. PINK & YELLOW is also a common, colour combination choice for the lower sheets as well, as some business people prefer the colour contrast with using YELLOW as the Bottom carbonless sheet (usually has the faintest image overall).

Optional Extras & Additions for NCR jobs

Sequential Numbering explained - Crash Numbering vs Skip Numbering

Sequential Numbering
Trade Printing UK use "Crashing Numbering" technique for their Sequential Numbering.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011

Sequential Numbering can be added to your order to provide you with a number relating to the page that the job is for.

Each NCR Set is numbered individually and commonly comes in a 5 digit format (can be up to 7 digits normally). Each PART of the set, pad or book are numbered the same as seen in the picture above. 

TradePrintingUK soley use a process variation called "Crash Numbering" whereby we would number and perforate (if NCR Books) at the same time down through all the sheets of the carbonless job. Sequential Numbering is always done as a separate (off-press), finishing option by as it allows us more control of the process plus less likelihood of sheets skipping as they could potentially do if printed "in-line" actually at the printing stage on the press (Heidelberg GTO presses would Skip number in-line on the printing presses). Again, we only "Crash Number".


Well, for starters, we focus on jobs that would have a single, unique number per NCR Set. An example would be a Starting Number of 00001, and the finishing number of 00500 (with a 500 NCR Sets / 10 NCR Pads / 10 NCR Books Order).

"Skip Numbering" is when the same sequence (e.g. 00001-00050 is printed on every book, thus you'd have 500 Sets, each identically numbered from 1-50, as opposed to "Crash Numbered" which would be 00001-00500 in total.

Attached "Hinged Writing Shields" (OPTIONAL EXTRA)

Attached Hinged Writing Shield on a Carbonless NCR Book, printed by Trade Printing UK
Optional Hinged Writing Shields used on a carbonless NCR Book.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011

Hinged Writing Shields are an additional extra (paid for) finishing feature that can be added to NCR Pads and NCR Books.

Unlike a standard, loose writing shield that peels off the top card cover initially, the optional, attached Hinged Writing Shield is attached to the NCR Pad or NCR Book and can be slid underneath the desired page and then returned to the back of the book for future use.

The purpose of an attached Hinged Writing Shield or even a standard writing shield is to protect the indentation from your pen transferring onto undesired sets, or if an NCR Pad or Book is being handled continually in a rough, non-office environment (e.g. within a factory, or out on the road in a delivery driver's van as it's thrown or kicked behind the driver's seat after every delivery drop.





Optional pair of Drill Holes on a Carbonless NCR Book, printed by Trade Printing UK
You can have either 2 or 4 Drill Holes on an NCR printed job.
Image is Copyright TradePrintingUK © 2011
Drill Holes are another popular extra (paid for) that you can specify to have applied to any carbonless NCR product.

Available as either a 2-hole or 4-hole drill option, it is a popular choice for those who like to file their office stationery properly, saving them time with a hole punch in their office.

This allows the user to store and file either individual sets into a printed presentation folder for filing and safekeeping, or the entire Pad or Book.

Extra space (25mm or so) needs to be designed into the job, usually on the LEFT-hand-side.

Can you help me further with carbonless NCR?

If you're interested in Carbonless NCR, then are print specialists in the subject. If you want to find out more, contact us today on Tel: 028 9084 1234, or e-mail:

Friday, 18 September 2015

Explaining the differences between carbonless NCR Sets, NCR Pads and NCR Books

NCR Sets - What are they?

NCR Sets are a Carbonless NCR  ["No Carbon Required"] product in it's most basic form - loose sheets. They are usually, but not always, glued at the top in their individual parts. The printing industry call this sort of glue, "fan-apart" glue, as in the factory a wall of NCR paper is literally painted with the glue, it dries, cures, and to separate all the paper magically into individual NCR Sets, the Finisher fans the glued wall of the tower of paper.

NCR Sets are not as durable for on-the-road or site work and are mostly used in an office environment where durability is not a concern.
4-part NCR set

NCR Pads - What are they?

NCR Pads are essentially the same as NCR Sets except all Sets are glued together into a peel-able Pad. 

NCR Pads would usually contain 50 sets. They work in a very similar way to a standard notebook were you can peel off the pages from the pad. They feature a backing board [we call it a "strawboard back" within the printing industry to provide extra rigidity and support as well as keeping the pages in good condition. They can also come with a writing shield which can be peeled off to prevent the indentation of writing to accidentally carry through onto further sets. An optional extra for pads is the handy Attached "Hinged Writing Shield" which is attached to the pad and functions in the same way as a standard loose writing shield.

Pads are mostly found in an office environment as they are not quite as durable as NCR Book would be. 


NCR Books - What are they?

NCR Books work in a similar way to how a carbonless NCR Pad does except that the Sets are bound into the Book and work more like how a cheque book would. Each page is perforated from a minimum of 15mm (25mm preferred!) from the bound edge and thus will leave a "stub" in the spine. The bottom copy of each set can also remain ["fast"] in the book if specifically required, however the perforations are quite strong nowadays so we normally"Crash Perf" as standard, meaning we sequentially number and perforate down through all the sheets of each Set in just one pass within our Finishing dept. 

Carbonless NCR Books are the most durable and hard-wearing NCR product possible due to their robust spine, durable straw-board back and white card cover which protects the important areas of the Sets inside. Their most common usage would be on-the-road with delivery drivers, construction sites, with Tradesmen, or anywhere they might get thrown around and abused a lot.

Need to know more about Carbonless NCR?

If you're interested to find out more about's range of carbonless NCR Sets, Pads and Books, please visit out Trade Printing website at: or alternatively telephone on +44 (0)28 9084 1234.

Monday, 8 September 2014 are the No.1 Printing Company with UK Reviews

Trade Printing UK took over the top No.1 position in FreeIndex Reviews recently with its growing list of 5000+ UK printing companies and suppliers listed on the objective review service.

Reached with amazing, positive, honest, objective feedback from our trade printing customers throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide, we have rated as an average 4.8 out of 5.0 from the total reviews received in the past 3 years. We are absolutely delighted with this result and it proves that with hard work, a family-run, trade printing company like ours can compete and beat the thousands of other businesses in our sector.

Trade Printing UK are now the No.1 rated printing company in the country

We are only interested in high production values, amazing customer service, and low printing prices and hopefully that mix is there now and will continue to improve further in the coming months and years.

With low prices from our top print products such as 1000 x DL printed envelopes for just £60 + VAT (one of the lowest price points for envelope printing in the UK!), or our amazing Carbonless NCR Pads and NCR Books' products which we're renowned for and ship all over the world from Europe, to the Falkland Islands to Queensland, Australia, and even Sierra Leone in West Africa, it shows that companies all over the globe rely on us to supply quality print on a regular basis and they use these constructive, objective reviews to make an initial purchasing decision from us. That's why they're important and why we let our customers speak for us.

We'll continue to improve our offering into 2015 and beyond. Thank you to everyone who has supported us with their custom. It's appreciated.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Now at No.2 on FreeIndex Reviews of UK Printing companies

Trade Printing UK now at No.2 in FreeIndex Reviews of UK printing companies and suppliers

Since our previous post, is now the No.2 Top Rated printing company in the UK to have positive feedback out of (at time of writing) 4,696 printing companies registered with FreeIndex in the UK..

Still with a fantastic average review score of 4.9 out of 5.0, we're still totally delighted with our customers' objective and direct feedback.

Trade Printing UK are rated No.2 out of 4,696 printing companies in the UK.

We're still a family-run company at heart and those values are exemplified within the production values of the day-to-day running of our trade printing company.

Onwards and upwards to No.1 position in 2014!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Winners announced for FreeIndex Reviews

Trade Printing UK announces winners in the FreeIndex Reviews draw

We had offered our customers who took the time to provide feedback about what they thought of our service and products at, through Freeindex, an added incentive that they'd be entered into a prize draw to win £100 cheque each.

We had stated that when we got to 100 reviews that names would be declared. With that, became the No.3 Top Rated printing company in the UK to have positive feedback out of (at time of writing) 4,651 printing companies registered with FreeIndex in the UK.

With an average review score of 4.9 out of 5.0, we're delighted with the honest and direct feedback our customers are telling us. Our staff are obviously doing something right to be rewarded with the constructive criticism we've received and actively welcome. Thank you to one and all.

TradePrintingUK's fantastic feedback so far has placed us NO.3 in the UK out of 4,651 registered printed companies


Well, Colin announced the five winners recently, phoning them all on a Friday afternoon to start their August Bank Holiday weekend off nicely.

They were:

- PATRICIA MATTHEWMAN, 11Plus Academy, Chatham
- BECKY SAVAGE, Liquid Friday, Southsea
- DAVID SYRETT, Syrett Refrigeration, Hythe
- SHAUN PUZEY, Garage Maintenance, Erskine

They'll have already received their prize in the post.


So, just Stationery Direct and StressFreePrint to beat now at this stage (in Sept 2013). Look out fellas! TPUK are coming up behind you fast! Make way please.

TradePrintingUK No.3 printing company in the UK for printed envelopes and Carbonless NCR
Just two more positions to go until we're No.1. Look out guys, we're coming through...