It was great to have G.F Smith come in as a guest speaker to talk about all things paper! It’s a fundamental part of design, and something I have great interest in.
They handed us loads of different samples explaining how and why they were designed as sheets, and what reaction each material has with ink. They also supplied small printed books which illustrated different printing techniques and finishes, with a key on each page telling you exactly what has been used in the makeup of the design.
One of the most interesting sheets of paper he spoke about in my opinion, was “heaven 42”, a ultra white sheet of paper. To demonstrate, the paper consultant held up a standard sheet of a4 plain paper. The difference was quite dramatic. The consultant outlined the history, mentioning it was originally produced for a well known luxury car brand. They wanted a white sheet that had a very slight tint of blue. They thought that this would make metallic and shiny images to pop right out of the page. I have to agree, the printed results were incredible! The carmaker however didn’t retain the license for long, so the printed advantage wasn’t for very long as other producers began to print their catalogues on Heaven 42.
I also learnt the difference between coated and uncoated papers, and how the ink reacts to different fibres and weights of paper. G.F Smith are the luxury end of the market, and a lot of their sheets are very adaptable in terms of the printer used. However it was still great to hear local knowledge of printers around, and having dialogue about what type of printer will deliver the best results, for example digital vs litho.