Within a certain panel, leaves can be balance matched or running matched. Balance matched panels can also be center matched. Be sure to also review our articles about Wood Veneer Matching - Adjacent Leaves and Wood Veneer Matching - End Matching.
Since it generates the least waste, a running match is cheapest. Leaves are placed in order of slicing onto a panel until the end of the panel. The final leaf may not have the same width as previous panels. The first leaf of the next panel uses the left-over portion of the previous leaf. These are referred to as remainders and are highlighted in the diagram below.
A step up from the running match is a balance match, where the width of the leaves is consistent across a panel.
Balance and Center Match
The most aesthetically appealing is a balance and center match, where the leaves are all the same width and the grain pattern is centered on the panel. This is the most labor intensive and, therefore, is most expensive.