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Why we love G.F Smith's Colorplan Paper

Why we love G.F Smith's Colorplan Paper
Lauren A Lauren Photo

Lauren Swarbrick

Although over 80% of our project work is now digital, print design is in our DNA here at Abstrakt; it’s where we began way back when, and activating brands across both print and digital channels is one of our key strengths as an agency. So there’s nothing we love more than geeking out over beautiful print jobs and stunning paper stocks; especially when G.F Smith comes to town! This week our paper consultant Gareth came to call and the design team have been lusting over samples ever since!

We’ve always had a soft spot for Colorplan (who doesn’t!) and it’s still one of our go to ranges when we spec up premium print jobs (we wouldn’t print our own stationery on anything else). Since they launched it in 1936, G.F Smith have continually developed the Colorplan range; refining it, perfecting it, improving it - and it shows. Available in 50 colours, 8 weights and 25 embossing patterns, Colorplan performs unbelievably well on every printing press (including digital) and takes endless finishes beautifully. It works like a dream in unlimited applications from stationery to bags, coffee table books to works of art, making it one of the most versatile stocks in our print arsenal.

And it’s made in England! Can it get any better? Yes it can…

Colour intensity and consistency
With Colorplan the colour is added to the pulp before the paper making process begins, so the dyes and pigments saturate every single fibre of the paper. This means that the colour runs through the whole sheet rather than sitting on the surface. Not only does this mean that the colours are incredibly rich and deep, but when the paper is creased or folded (or becomes dog eared) it doesn’t have a white interior - a big bug bare for us when printing onto a white board. In addition, every one of the 50 Colorplan colours is created to the strictest measures of optical tolerance, defined by hue (tone), saturation (strength) and value (darkness or lightness) so we know that when we spec a colour, that’s what we’re going to get; every time, every job, meaning we can be 100% confident of consistency of colour, no matter how long has passed between print runs.

Brighter, whiter whites
All of Colorplan’s whites (of which there are currently 7 stunning options) and all their pale and pastel shades are made from pulp that is free of lignin. Lignin, which is a natural acid, turns yellow when it oxides, which discolours pale paper (think of old, musty books). Because they are acid-free, Colorplan’s whites stay brighter and whiter for longer. This longevity and aversion to discolouration gives us the confidence to spec Colorplan when producing quality products on pale boards.

Constant innovation
Innovations in the production process are one of the things that makes Colorplan so unique and so special. G.F Smith’s laboratory expertise and dedication to improvements has led to numerous innovations, including the development of extraordinary colours, such as Ebony. Ebony, when it was launched in 2001 was a breakthrough in paper science and is one of our favourite Colorplan colours (we use it extensively in our own corporate materials). 100% carbon-free, rich, deep and intense, Ebony withstands rub against other surfaces and doesn’t tarnish when foiled. As an agency we are always looking to stay ahead of the curve, no matter what channel we are working in. We know that Colorplan is always one step ahead in terms of innovation and product development, so we are confident we can always offer the late and greatest to our clients.

Low environmental impact
Colorplan is made in the Lake District, one of my favourite planes in the UK! The environmental impact of Colorplan’s paper making is measured and is reduced at every possible opportunity. From forest management (for every tree felled, three are planted), to water conservation (unused water from the manufacturing process is returned to the river), bi-product disposal, to energy consumption, G.F Smith constantly strives to make a positive contribution wherever it can with Colorplan. Working in a sector which uses paper extensively, sustainability is extremely important to us an an agency and we passionately advocate paper products with low environmental impact.

Quality assured
On of our biggest attributes as an agency is quality - quality of service and quality of delivery, and we demand the same exacting standards when to comes to any products we source on behalf of our clients. Every new making of Colorplan undergoes a series of rigorous testing - from internal bond stability to surface resilience, moisture content to bursting strength. G.F Smiths testing procedures go above and beyond, meaning that we can rest assured that every piece of print that we spec using Colorplan, meets their exacting quality and excellence standards; standards that we have grown to respect and trust.

Bespoke colours
Colorplan has an exception collection of colours. Some of my personal favs are the brights; Bright Red, Factory Yellow, Tabriz Blue and Fuchsia Pink are just some of them, but you can’t go wrong with their monotones too. We have always used Bright White and Ebony for our own corporate stationery - with a real depth of pigment and total clarity they are clean and classic. However, if we need a colour that’s not from their existing collection, we know that G.F Smith will help us create it, so we are never restricted in terms of specifying colours for our clients materials.

Finishing touches
When it comes to creating exceptional marketing materials, the devil is in the detail. G.F Smith have ensured that every weight and every colour in the Colorplan range can be transformed with endless finishing options. From 25 embossing patterns, multiple levels of duplexing and sheets cut to size, Colorplan takes unlimited finishes beautifully, so if we are looking for something unique for our clients, whether that be due-cutting, embossing, creating multi-colour edges or hot foiling, we know Colorplan will deliver a stunning result.

Interested in starting a print project with Abstrakt? Get in touch and let's discuss how we can make a difference for your business.

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