Bright white papers will eventually show they’re darker side

I am pleased to see the series of letters sparked off by Fay Sweet’s articles on whiter paper and coated paper (DW 16 July).

There is no technical reason why printers can’t put four colour process plus two specials on uncoated paper, and still get superb results that dry. But if a printer uses uncoated paper, when repro, inks and press settings were designed for coated paper, then there will inevitably be problems. Too often we hear stories of printers, whether for reasons of economy, convenience or ignorance, running standard repro with one set of inks which are in the ducts from Monday to Saturday, regardless of what is going through the press. Are these stories really true?

Bright white papers, either coated or not, are the first to discolour, as the relatively unstable optical brightening agents degrade. Today’s snow white will turn to tomorrow’s slush white: irrelevant for ephemera but critical if the work is expected to last to the next season.

Restricting print to coated paper is like restricting a typographer to only using sans serif type. Restricting printing to only using bright white, coated paper is like restricting the same typographer to only using Univers – I too could scream!

Peter Gilbert


Paper Resources

Oxfordshire OX7 6XU

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