May Paper Roundup
Sure, everyone's keen to design for the iPad and the upcoming onslaught of tablet-based systems, not to mention smart phones and even good old websites. But for most designers, print remains their meat and potatos (admittedly a metaphor that no longer reflects our newly-healthy dietary habits). Yes, I'm talking about paper and you can bet that manufacturers of this still-ubiquitous substance are working harder than ever to keep designers attached to it. Accordingly, what follows is the first in a series of regular roundups of what's new in the world of paper, as well as more exotic substrates.
Appleton Coated: Curious Collection Metallics and Ivory Matte
Appleton Coated is the exclusive North American distributor for the Curious Collection of papers, which are manufactured by the French firm Arjowiggins. The collection is divided up into Translucents, Touch, Metallics, Cosmic and SKIN categories, with the Metallics being geared for use with digital presses and in offset lithography. Their role is to provide an interplay of ink and metal-like surface that lends itself to letterpress, embossing, debossing, die-cutting and foil stamping techniques. Fun stuff, just the thing for an adventurous, well-heeled client.
Eleven new colors have been added to the Metallics line, bringing the number available up to 23. Four of these — Ice Gold Recycled, Ice Silver Recycled, White Gold Recycled and Gold Leaf Recycled — are made with 100% post-consumer recovered fiber (PCW) content. And Metallics and Translucents are now manufactured with electricity in the form of "green power," defined by the manufacturer as wind, hydro and biogas. So while the four new colors provide a "glittering, alloy effect and a shimmering, luminescent sheen" that may seem a bit glitzy, you can set client concerns to rest with the green nature of their production. Seven colors were also added to the Translucents line, which along with the new Metallics were developed in consultation with trend forecaster Li Edelkoort of Studio Edelkoort.
Also new from Appleton Coated is Ivory Matte, which joins the U2:XG family of environmentally friendly, coated papers. Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), U2:XG Ivory Matte contains 30% post-consumer recovered fiber and is also manufactured with electricity provided from renewable energy sources. According to Phil Cavalier, vice president of marketing at Appleton Coated, "A warm, luxurious, softly tactile sheet, Ivory Matte presents a nice alternative to blue-white and an easy, affordable alternative for environmentally friendly text and cover projects."
Neenah Paper: Crane's Lettra
While new digitally-driven printing techniques continue to be developed, letterpress seems to be in no danger of going away anytime soon. For example, perhaps you're not aware (I wasn't) of an organization quaintly dubbed the Ladies of Letterpress, a group 400 strong that is "dedicated to the proposition that a woman's place is in the print shop." Neenah recently tapped the group to help demonstrate the virtues of Crane's Lettra, a 100 percent cotton paper engineered especially for letterpress, as well as emboss, deboss and foil stamp work. Impress with Letterpress features custom designs from six members of LOL, using the Crane's Lettra note card collection. It's available on request from a Neenah Paper sales representative or merchant.
YUPO is a synthetic material that provides the attributes of paper while adding durability as well as wear, stain, chemical and tear resistance. The result is a sheet that lends itself to particular printing, converting and packaging applications, such as menus, maps and game boards. It was even once used for the creation of origami-style reusable sushi plates. YUPOBlue is made specifically for, and certified to run on, the HP Indigo line of digital printers, and is thus designed for short-run and customized pieces. In addition to the four weights, beginning with 78 lb. 5.9 mil text, there is now a 100 lb. cover weight available, with it shown below in use for plant tags.