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Trade Comment

Paper Choice for Printers

With print-service-providers under increasing pressure to produce high quality output, Rob Fletcher asks: “how can paper choice improve the look and feel of printed work?”

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Vicky Weatherington, Creative papers and specification sales manager, Antalis UK

Consistency and strength

Physical qualities to consider carefully when looking to select a paper encompass many aspects from how uncoated and coated papers can act differently on press, especially with digital and inkjet, to how colour can change between surface types. There are other qualities also, such as the tactility of a fine uncoated, textured or patterned paper. By considering each paper’s physical qualities and attributes at the point of specification, printers and end clients can distinguish their work - adding real value to print.

Other qualities to consider are more practical factors, such as suitability for different print technologies, production speeds, availability of stock and cross-platform papers linked to each project. Surface consistency and strength, and how the paper handles moisture and multiple processes, should also be considered.

Increasingly, businesses need to consider what more they can do to purchase paper more sustainably

For coloured grades, being clear on where a paper is manufactured is critical to remain confident in consistent quality. Well-established brands can experience colour variation from making to making, or across the paper and board, because different weights are often made on different machines. For a brand requiring consistent presentation of its identity, this can be a real issue.

Increasingly, businesses need to consider what more they can do to purchase paper more sustainably. Antalis’ Green Star System is based upon the sourcing of raw materials and the environmental management at the paper manufacturing site. This rating system can help compare environmental qualities, and with the identification of a sustainable grade. At Antalis, we now offer the option to carbon offset all paper purchases through one of our carbon schemes, with all creative papers, such as the entire Arjowiggins portfolio, already supplied as fully carbon balanced.

A key component
Brad Goldsmith, Marketing services manager, Premier Paper Group

Paper not only carries the message but is an integral part of the message. Printed documents are trusted and where the correct paper is selected, convey impressions of quality to the reader that reinforces key messages and brand values which cannot be achieved from electronic communications.
From a production point of view, selecting the correct paper for the printing and finishing processes ensures that jobs can be produced quickly and efficiently whilst achieving excellent image reproduction and print quality.

Consider the function of the job, the message that needs to be communicated, the production, and the finishing processes

And let’s not forget about sustainability. You can be assured that better quality papers are generally produced by ethically and sustainably managed mills, adhering to the demands of environmental accreditations and certificates. Again, sustainable features can help to promote an organisation or a brand’s corporate identity and values.

To put it simply, choose the correct quality of paper for the job. Consider the function of the job that is being produced, the message that needs to be communicated, the production, and the finishing processes.
Paper is not only an integral part of the message, but it is also a key component of the production process.

If you do need help and guidance in selecting the correct paper for a particular use, then there is a wealth of knowledge available on tap from your paper supplier.

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