Between the sheets

The best graphic design in the world can lose its impact and excitement when served up on the wrong paper, and it’s a skillful task selecting the right stock. Fay Sweet showcases five projects where paper, print and design are comfortably intertwined

Finding a paper that would take to parchmentising, printing and varnishing was the quest for Stanley Bates of Suffolk-based interior design company Woolpit Interiors when he set about designing a new series of lampshades.

“For trade reasons, I really can’t describe all the processes we wanted to use, but the paper had to be durable enough to take the liquid treatments, maintain its rigidity and produce a uniform finish,” he says.

After testing a number of different sheets, Bates discovered Keaykolour from Arjo Wiggins Fine Papers. “We have used Bockingford papers for other shades, but that turns out to be an extremely expensive option. Keaykolour produced really good print results that fitted in with our budget.”

The gongs have been sounded for the Progressive Building Society and Belfast-based designer Creative Image Advertising in the recent Building Society Marketing Awards.

Winning firsts in the Corporate Communication category and the Special Overall Award, the combined stationery and promotional literature was printed on Mellotex from Tullis Russell.

Designer Terry Corr explains: “We used Mellotex Soft Cream for the range. The cream colour gave the communication a consistency, and by using vibrant illustrations with simple black text we created a modern feel. The look is intended to help Progressive’s retail programme by reinforcing its approachable and forward-looking image.”

When the Borough of Newport’s Economic Development Office invited tenders for its new promotional material, the officers decided Moseley Webb’s own brochure was just the look they wanted. “Originally, the client’s brief specified an A4 document and that’s what we tendered for, but we also sent in our own brochure with the submission,” explains Richard Webb.

Borrowing elements from Moseley Webb’s own book, the Newport material has a card case bound up with ribbon which unties to reveal diverse images, intriguing papers and special effects, including die-cutting. The paper was supplied by US import specialist GF Smith.

“To keep the reader’s attention we assembled papers with different textures,” explains Webb. “There is the smooth translucent Transmarque contrasting with the textured, grainy Gainsborough and a smooth but dotted material called Elements, plus a sheet of Strathmore label stock which allows readers to peel off characters and stick them on to a street scene.”

The job was completed on a single colour press, says Webb: “It was very demanding because of all the paper changes, but fortunately we have a good relationship with our printer.”

To mirror the simplicity and elegance of its work, the fifth anniversary brochure for

London-based environmental engineer Atelier Ten is a beautifully understated production.

An off-white, uncoated recycled stock called Cyclus was chosen by designer Martin Jaques of Jaques Russell. “We’ve used the paper on a number of projects and like the way it prints and looks. Because of its environmental credentials it is particularly appropriate to Atelier Ten’s company ethos,” says Jaques.

“The oatmeal colour has been used throughout, and to add variety a number of pages have been overprinted with a 20 per cent blue tint.

The only design limitation this imposed was that, because ink on this paper has a slight tendency to bleed, we couldn’t use very small type for the white-out text.”

To continue the endorsement of Green concerns, Rhodes Design chose the chunky 100 per cent recycled stock Metaphor, from Curtis Fine Papers, for BAA’s latest Environmental Performance Report.

“As we looked through our library of samples, we realised that we wanted a recycled paper that actually looked and felt recycled,” explains project designer Daniel Rhodes. “The report is about the environment, and we wanted to emphasise that in the paper. A recycled stock that looked like any other ordinary paper wouldn’t have been so effective in transmitting the message.”

Rhodes adds that despite opting for a paper with “earthy” qualities, he was also delighted with its print performance and the way in which it produced good sharp results. To underline to Green theme, the work was printed with vegetable-based inks.

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