Matthew scharff visited from G.F. Smith to talk us through what they do and what we can get from them as designers.
I was quite surprised to find that they are in fact a third part that buy and sell the paper on but add finishes and touches along with their brand. Their range can be separated into:
This is a very simple way of looking at a very large, very varied range of paper. This doesn't include the options of creating layered or duplex papers specific to your needs. They have a very small minimum on orders which allows for small print runs of high quality. They also have mechanisms to ensure that you are getting the paper you need for the job that you are doing. For example, they have a machine that you simply feed a pdf into and it will cut out a packaging net and even score it so that you know the weight of paper will do what you need it to.
Matthew gave us a lot of advice. Perhaps the most obvious but the most useful was the idea of thinking about the stock you are going to use from the very start of a brief because it effects the look and feel of a project so drastically. He showed us a lot of examples of money saving book folds and binding that were really inspiring and possibly usable as an inspiration for the program design for the Leeds Arts Party Program as part of my responsive module.
I had no idea about this but apparently you can buy paper directly from G.F. Smith but perhaps the best way to do so is to tell the printer the specific stock that you want used and they will contact the paper supplier because they know all the technical details that you might not for the printing process.
The colourplan range is one of the most popular ranges that G.F. Smith has on offer. They even have a downloadable colour pallet that you can work with digitally so that you can mock up designs against the colours of stock available through colourplan. Suprisingly they only stock 2 coated papers one of a more grained organic look and the other more classically photographic.
They have a new service where they make one of books to specific specifications. This will coast around 100 a pop but is good possibly for a portfolio or something that you want to keep forever. There is a cost calculator online to allow you o work out the specifications you want to achieve. The best way to order small paper samples is through the papersmith section of the website.
Although I couldn't find an image of it he showed us a map from one of their exhibitions. It was cleverly using layered colour paper that folded up in a three dimensional fashion to show the location of parts of the exhibition. This could be a great inspiration poit for the map I need to design for the Leeds Arts Part conference.