FMP – G.F Smith Paper Choices/Research & Swatch Book

One of my design considerations was to choose the material on which to print my book onto. I’ve attended two lectures in the past couple of years from G.F. Smith, who provide interesting and quality papers to the design industry. They gave us samples of particular papers, demonstrating how they can be used to the best of their abilities. I looked back at these samples and reminded myself. I also examined the G.F. Smith swatch book, which allowed me to feel the paper in different weights, and explore a wide variety of options.

I refined my choices to two paper stocks:

  • Heaven 42 – A “blue” shade of white. Originally designed for a luxury car company, Heaven 42 was designed to lift metallic objects of the paper.
  • Strathmore – Almost like cartridge paper, I really liked how the feel can change dramatically from the choice of paper stock. In contrast to Heaven 42, the shade of the paper is slightly duller. This may mean my vibrant colours may be lost slightly in the darker paper, and the ink looks to seep into the paper more.

In conclusion, I think my book would benefit from a clean feel to it. From previous experience working with isolated food product images, I often add a blue tint to the white background to get a purer white. This lifts the vibrant colours of the fresh food from the background, as opposed to a yellow shade which would imply dirtiness.

 

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G.F Smith

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.