For customers who are new to the design or print industry, the swatchbook is a great introduction to paper specifications and paper options. Frequent exposure will help them become more familiar with paper and print, giving them the confidence to try new things and push the envelope on what they can do.
But the paper swatchbook is not only for newcomers – it’s also a tried and true resource for industry veterans. Swatchbooks provide a great tool to help compare offerings between different paper mills, and serves as an inspirational tool for the latest trends in color, design and printing.
Domtar believes in the power of the paper swatchbook, which is why we put together a new download – How To Read a Swatchbook. This is a great tool for both newbies and veterans – and I wanted to share a few things to consider when sharing this document (whether in person or virtually).
Peruse the Plain Papers
Inside any paper swatchbook is a section for plain paper. Generally arranged as a waterfall, the purpose of this section is for customers to explore a paper line’s entire offering. As customers look at the waterfall, be sure to point out the shade consistencies between each basis weight. Remind them that consistent shade is important so that each printed page looks the same across every run – thus ensuring a brand remains consistent.
Also, be sure to remind your customers about the importance of formation. A great way to do this is to have them hold a single sheet of paper up to a light source or window, directing them to view the uniformity of the sheet. Blotchiness in the plain paper will result in blotchiness of the printed end result – which no one wants.
In Praise of the Printed
A great paper swatchbook also features printed samples. These samples are a way for paper mills to show how their papers perform on press. When walking customers through this section, share with them the hallmarks of a great performing paper. Be sure to show them examples of even solids and rich blacks – signs that a paper has excellent formation. Also point out images with heavy details that have reproduced nicely, which is a great indicator of overall paper quality. Paper swatchbooks may also feature specialty techniques like metallic inks and embossing, which will help spark ideas and get them thinking of their next project.
Perk Up Those Samples
Now is the time to make sure your customers have all of the most up-to-date printed collateral – including swatchbooks. Encourage customers to make sure they have swatchbooks from one or two uncoated paper manufacturers (including Domtar Paper); one or two swatchbooks from coated paper manufacturers; and a few swatchbooks that feature paper with an array of colors and textures.