Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

Trade Comment

Trends in the Paper Market

Jo Golding asks: “What have you found to be some of the biggest trends in the paper market this year and how can you help customers find the right product for them?”

Article picture

Dave Jones, marketing director, Premier Paper Group

Underlying trends

Thanks to the well-publicised Brexit effects and pressure on the economy in general, 2017 has been quite a turbulent year so far both in terms of paper availability and price increases from paper mills. But even in this unpredictable market, some underlying trends persist.
 
Demand for digital papers continues to grow and Premier Paper offers the UK’s widest selection of substrates for dry toner and Indigo applications. Within Premier, product developments and introductions are ongoing in order to meet the needs of customers who are looking to offer creative print solutions to both existing and new clients.
 
Demand for papers with metallic, pearlescent, and textured finishes have grown, as have speciality products such as Multiloft where heavyweight board jobs can be produced digitally using the Multiloft lamination properties.

Demand for digital papers continues to grow and Premier Paper offers the UK’s widest selection of substrates for dry toner and Indigo applications


Environmental responsibility has also been at the forefront of the thinking of many organisations. Investing in social or environmental marketing programmes can provide excellent returns on investment. Premier Paper Group offers all of its customers the opportunity to mitigate the carbon dioxide emissions from the paper that they buy.
 
Customers who engage in the Carbon Capture programme benefit from a low cost environmental marketing initiative that is easy to understand and participate in. The programme works in conjunction with The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity and is certified by the Government’s Woodland Carbon scheme. One hundred percent of all revenues generated from the programme are paid directly to The Woodland Trust and to date contributions total more than half a million pounds.

Value of paper

James Jarvis, channel director for print, Antalis
 

As print runs are generally getting shorter, customers are able to afford better quality materials and are leaning towards premium, creative, and custom papers as a way to offer maximum visual impact and sensory appeal.
 
This is especially important in the marketing world as, with people receiving so many digital communications every day, marketeers are coming to recognise the benefits of a tangible, paper-based item as a way to stand out. Aligned to this, printers are now able to cost-effectively create variable data campaigns on speciality materials, and in short runs, for highly targeted and impactful holistic marketing campaigns which can deliver a higher return on investment.

But it is not just about paper; this year has seen synthetics, such as iridescent Polyart, Xerox Premium Never Tear, and adhesive free Yupo Tako, soar in popularity also. What is great here is that, while historically difficult to print, technology has evolved at such a rate that today’s options can be printed in short runs and quickly, offering designers greater design freedom.

With people receiving so many digital communications every day, marketeers are coming to recognise the benefits of a tangible, paper-based item as a way to stand out


As expected, diversification has also remained the watchword of 2017, enabling printers to expand their business and open up into new markets. A good example of this is our recent work with a major cruise liner whereby we devised a bespoke menu made from Xerox Premium Never Tear, which can be put in dishwater in order to kill germs.

We recently introduced Power Coat Alive to the market, which, in summary, is a paper range featuring near field communication technology that works in conjunction with smartphones and other devices to showcase a programmed web-link.

Adopting your strategy

Danny Doogan, director of marketing and sustainability, Denmaur Independent Papers


An ongoing challenge has been to provide paper at a competitive price. Industry price movements this year have intensified that challenge, and promoted discussion.

We hear of threats to dispense with printed media when price increases are mentioned, and we understand that they are borne out of a genuine fear for survival—that is the challenge. Discussion arises when we begin to realise that, in many cases, people are not aware of the alternative paper options available to them that can help preserve their product, and their budget.
 
It is here that we serve a purpose. In communicating our products and services so that customers are able to make informed choices, and still consider paper and print to be viable.

For the print sector, we have started to invest in new products that can offer bulk and size advantages against conventional paper stock and formats


For the print sector, we have started to invest in new products that can offer bulk and size advantages against conventional paper stock and formats. Albeit there may be a very minor compromise in relation to the print image, bulky stocks allow you to drop a paper weight but maintain the overall appearance of a standard coated stock in a higher weight.

Similarly, we have started to hold stocks that pinch just below traditional stock sizes. This is something we have adopted from the web offset market, where bespoke sizing and reducing standard reel sizes by mere millimetres can provide worthwhile cost benefits.

For publishing and end user clients, we promote regular paper audits through our voluntary Paper Health Check service. This is a free service open to existing customers and anyone who wishes to explore how paper can impact financially and environmentally on printed media and communications.

Focus on environment

Andy Smith, key accounts manager, Arjowiggins Graphic


Over the last ten years, we have seen an increasing need from customers and consumers for more environmentally-friendly products. There has been a focus on both quality and sustainability credentials. Using recycled paper as part of a business’ environmental policy helps to communicate their brand values and also helps to reduce their carbon emissions, water usage, energy usage, and waste to landfill.
 
We offer two shades of paper, white and natural, that can be chosen to meet the different needs of the client. In the past when high whiteness and excellent print were required, virgin fibre stocks were selected by clients. However, with new technologies and processes in place, Arjowiggins Graphic offers a range of recycled papers.

Other clients require a paper stock that represents the green credentials of the company, and in these instances more traditional recycled stocks with a natural shade are often chosen.

We continue to improve our range of recycled papers, adapting products to meet the needs of new printing techniques


We continue to improve our range of recycled papers, adapting products to meet the needs of new printing techniques. We have been working with original equipment manufacturers, such as HP Indigo, with our papers tested and qualified to ensure we have the recycled paper to meet every need. Investment has been made for our digital paper ranges, with a new digital cutting line introduced at Besse mill.

While there is no doubt digital printing techniques will continue to develop and grow, technology associated with more traditional printing methods is not standing still either. There will be a place for both newer and more established processes going forward, depending on the type of work, run length, and so forth.

With consumers’ interest in environmental credentials only going to increase, businesses will continue to need to demonstrate that they are operating responsibly.


Your text here...
Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Print Monthly account  to join in with the conversation.


Top Right advert image
Top Right advert image

Poll Vote

What is your top priority for 2020?

Top Right advert image