Client: Munken Paper
Designers: Jonathan Ellery, Lee
Browns collaborated with world-renowned photographer Martin Parr to create a colourful diary enhanced by uncoated paper. Browns was tasked with promoting its client, Munken – a Swedish uncoated paper manufacturer – in a more interesting fashion. Instead of issuing clichÃ©d paper swatches, which usually languish at the back of a design studio, the consultancy created an art-led diary, translated into five languages, using images by the Magnum photographer.
Entitled European ClichÃ©s, the 2000 diary aims to dispel cultural stereotypes – such as the clichÃ© that English people only eat fish and chips – with photography. It is printed entirely on uncoated Munken stock with Parr’s striking photographs on every page. According to Browns partner Graham Taylor, the consultancy chose Parr because of his popularity across Europe and the fact that his colour-saturated photography challenged the perceived restraints placed on uncoated paper in terms of absorbency. Browns’ job was, after all, to promote uncoated stock.
‘Any uncoated paper soaks up intense colours to a certain degree,’ says Taylor, ‘but in some cases, that can be a good thing.’ He says uncoated paper was better suited to this project than coated, which they experimented with early on, because it toned down what could have been overly garish images. But to offset too much neutralising, Browns used specialist fluorescent Novaspace inks to lift Parr’s images and compensate for the paper’s absorbency. Taylor says it pays for designers to experiment in this way with different print processes. On this occasion, Browns had no choice but uncoated paper, but it usually tries out different stocks. Manufacturers such as Munken should be aware of trends in paper and work closely with designers, says Browns partner Jonathan Ellery. ‘There is no rhyme or reason behind the changing popularity of paper – it’s random,’ he says.
Munken’s paper mill in Sweden produces extremely low emissions and, as a result, its paper is one of the most environmentally friendly around – which is becoming increasingly important to clients, says Ellery. ‘For multinational businesses such as banks or oil companies, who may not have particularly “clean” images, uncoated paper is ideal to put across a Greener image. Its coarseness lends it a more natural, earthy look,’ he says. ©