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Focus On

Perfect Paper Part One

The type of paper that printers use plays a huge role in the quality of the final product. Rob Fletcher looks at some of the latest paper products and finds out how they can help improve output

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How can paper help the overall look and feel of a product?

Paper makes perfect

When it comes to selecting a paper for a job, print-service-providers (PSPs) are faced with a myriad of possibilities. Often, the customer will specify what sort of paper they would like for the job, but even then, there are a host of suppliers waiting with different products suitable for the work.

If you throw in the environmental factor that is becoming increasingly important for consumers, then this makes the task even trickier, placing more pressure on the PSP to ensure that the paper they use for the job matches their various green demands.

So, where can PSPs start in their hunt for the ‘perfect paper’? We speak to some of the leading suppliers and manufacturers in the market to find out what PSPs should be looking for when selecting their paper products.

Fit for purpose

One of the leading names within the market is Premier Paper Group, which has a wide range of products on offer. Marketing services manager Brad Goldsmith says there are a number of key attributes for PSPs to consider and look out for when selecting their papers.

Brad Goldsmith, marketing services manager at Premier Paper, says print companies should ensure that the paper is fit for purpose before using it for a job

“The nature of printed media is more pertinent than the transient alternative in online communications,” Goldsmith says, adding: “Therefore it is vital that print companies choose the right type of substrate for their printed media; not only will this enhance the overall message, it becomes very much part of the message.

“Print companies should ensure that the paper is fit for purpose: i.e. coated, uncoated, textured, tinted; how does the paper fit with the overall look and feel of the design as well as the desired message. The sustainability and environmental credentials of the substrate should be another primary focus when considering which paper product to choose.”

Casting an eye towards the Premier Paper portfolio and Goldsmith picks out a number of new products that have recently come to market. These include the new Diamond Print Glitter digital board, which he says features a striking visual and textural surface.

Fenner Paper has produced a Stardream print processes book to showcase hot foil blocking, thermography, laser cutting and digital printing with Stardream paper

Also new from Premier Paper is DigiTuff, a strong and durable polyester sheet media, as well as the Garda range of coated wood-free paper in both gloss and satin finishes, the Coral Digital top performing wood-free uncoated sheet and Diva Art Digital one-sided board with a triple coating on the front and a single coating on the reverse.

Inspire printers

Another paper company placing a key emphasis on the environment is Fenner Paper, and its marketing manager Justin Hobson says a key phrase in the sector is ‘circular economy’.

Hobson expands: “Sustainable ranges using alternative and recycled fibres are the key trends for the forthcoming year. There is so much interest in companies wanting to use waste or ‘end of life’ materials.
“Clients now have many cheaper media options than printing, so if a customer does commit to print, it really needs to work, so just being cheap isn’t necessarily the solution. Printers who realise that papers and additional finishes can help to deliver a better job for a customer are the winners.”

Fedrigoni has placed an emphasis on addressing key trends in the market, including a demand for paper with good environmental credentials

Fenner Paper is the exclusive stockist of CRUSH, made using 15% residues from agro-industrial food processing, combined with 40% post consumer waste and the remainder is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) fibre.

Recently, Fenner Paper launched its new REFIT range from Favini, featuring two finishes in wool and cotton. The paper is made using 15% residues from the textile manufacturing, specifically the fluff, which is a by-product of the process, combined with 40% recycled fibres and FSC virgin fibres.

In addition, Fenner Paper offers Stardream, a pearlescent and metallic range from the Italian mill Cordenons. Fenner Paper recently produced a Stardream print processes book showing hot foil blocking, thermography, laser cutting and digital printing.

Hobson says: “The idea is to inspire and show what can be done with some of the 32 available shades, for instance printing CMYK onto a deep copper shade is not necessarily something that printers and designers would think of, but the result is stunning.”

Consider your options

Meanwhile, Denmaur Papers also places a huge emphasis on the environment, with marketing and sustainability director Danny Doogan saying sustainability factors around print and paper have never been as important.

Doogan advises: “There are a number of possibilities with paper to provide powerful environmental messaging on print. FSC and PEFC logos demonstrate sustainable and traceable raw material sources, whilst offsetting programmes such as carbon balancing actively supports projects that address the climate crisis.

“Otherwise, it’s simply about the paper product itself with recycled grades perceived to portray a stronger environmental statement than virgin fibre equivalents.

“From a commercial perspective, there are quite a number of equivalents and alternatives to consider on the market. Bulky grades, especially in silk, matt and uncoated finishes can help reduce the weight of paper required, and so the price, whilst still retaining the thickness of the finished product.”

Being size-wise, weight-clever and bulk-smart provides opportunities for printers to reduce costs and remain competitive

With this, Doogan picks out some of the latest paper products now available from Denmaur. The Revive recycled range of coated and uncoated papers are, according to Doogan, high end environmental, FSC recycled certified and carbon balanced free of charge.

Innovation Digital is a high white uncoated grade that is HP Indigo certified, with Doogan highlighting how it is quite unusual for a non-coated grade to carry HP Indigo guarantee, while also being FSC certified and carbon balanced.

Doogan also points to Arctic Snow, another HP Indigo, FSC and carbon balanced grade, offering an ultra-white, super smooth coated paper designed to compete with the high end market. In addition, Doogan bills Delipac as a revolutionary food and drinks packaging grade that is a direct substitute for single-use plastic and plastic lined packaging.

Environmental elements

Also keen to offer advice is Winter and Company, which specialises in creative cover materials. Sales director Paul Davinson advises PSPs to pay attention to the sustainability factors of a paper when choosing products to print on.

Davinson expands: “Cost and availability have always been the key drivers, with these now considered a given, the consumer seems motivated by an overarching sustainability theme. Therefore, the look and feel must tie in with the perception that colour, finish and touch are real and not overly manufactured, suitability of application remains important, for example, in both book and brochure cover selection.

“Environmental elements will continue to be key and visuals are set to be natural or with a recycled look, for example, product colours mirroring items such as recycled plastics and not showing evidence of chemical or plastic additives.”

O Factoid: According to the Global Paper and Pulp Market 2019, the worldwide market for paper and pulp is expected to be worth approximately $79.6m (£61.0m) by the year 2024 O

Drawing attention to Winter and Company’s latest offerings, Davinson picks out the new Napura timber, which, launched last year, he says showcases a totally unique timber finish in line with market requests.
Also new from Winter and Company is Wibalin 2020, and in particular Wibalin Recycled, a fully recycled range of papers designed to optimise resource from post-industrial waste and post-consumer waste. Davinson says this gives a stunning look and feel from a 100% recycled product designed specifically for the book and packaging markets where strength is required.

High standards

Meanwhile, Fedrigoni is an Italian paper manufacturer that offers products for commercial printing and stationery, right through to packaging and labels. Pari Blackbeard, head of marketing at Fedrigoni, says papers need to withstand creasing, folding, binding, light and sometimes more strenuous requirements, all of which requires specific testing.

Blackbeard comments: “Customers know and expect the high standards and capabilities from Fedrigoni papers and they should look for papers that can be used across all print technologies and for various print communications.

“Printers need to choose papers carefully as not all uncoated papers can handle full colour and in the case of a magazine which may have an image on one side and text on the reverse can ruin a print job if there is too much show through.”

Glancing at Fedrigoni’s latest products, Blackbeard says the focus has been on addressing key trends in the market, including a demand for paper that carries good environmental credentials. ‘Symbol Card Eco 50’ is a one-side coated, 50% recycled bright white board available in 350g/m for packaging and greetings cards.

It forms part of the latest Symbol Card collection, which also includes Symbol Card single-side coated, six Symbol Card Embossed one-side coated embossed boards and Symbol Card 2Side double-side coated.

Blackbeard also notes that all Fedrigoni papers can be carbon balanced, saying: “Carbon balanced paper offers a simple way for printers, paper makers and distributors to balance the carbon impact of the paper they use through the work undertaken by international conservation charity The World Land Trust.”

Paper savvy

Rounding up this in-depth look at the sector is Rob Mannix, Creative Papers sales and marketing director at Antalis, who says printers are increasingly acting as paper advisors for their customers and frequently make the final decision on the type of paper used for a project.

Antalis UK recently announced all material purchased across its papers, packaging and visual communications ranges can be carbon offset

Mannix says: “Factors to consider carefully may include how uncoated and coated papers can act differently on press, even with digital and inkjet, and how colour can change between surface types. Fine paper ranges, for example, Olin, Rives Sensation and Keaykolour have specific characteristics, which enhance print in different ways as a result of how they each work with the ink.”

In terms of further product choice, Antalis last year introduced NAUTILUS Uncoated to its portfolio of environmental papers. Manufactured by Mondi, the 100% recycled paper and board is, according to Mannix, perfect for those customers wanting to make a clear environmental statement.

Focusing on the environment, Mannix says as public support gathers behind the call to address climate change, businesses are increasingly looking at what more they can do to operate more sustainably.

Antalis UK recently announced that all material purchased across its papers, packaging and visual communications ranges can be carbon offset, with some ranges, such as the entire Arjowiggins portfolio, already supplied as fully carbon balanced.

Mannix adds: “From a service point of view Antalis provides environmental audits to customers, so we can assist a print company with their own eco-strategy and advise on carbon reduction, recycling programmes and how to benefit from associated cost control.”

These closing comments sum up one of the key messages in this feature; the importance of the environment simply cannot be understated. But with paper manufacturers responding to these trends, print companies have a whole range of options to choose from when it comes to printing on paper.

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