Thursday, 29 October 2015


The ZANDERS ZETA range should need no introduction - it is Europe's market leading paper for business. As regular readers of this blog will know, following the abrupt closure of the PaperlinX group (Robert Horne, Howard Smith and PaperCo) earlier this year, Fenner Paper took over UK distribution for the Zanders Zeta range.
We now have a lovely new swatch (230mm square) which shows the entire mill range:
If you would like one of the new swatches, please email me:
The below picture shows the swatch open which has colour and embossing chips together with a waterfall of papers in each of the weights...
Like most prestigious letterhead papers, there is a watermark in the paper (see below), which in the case of ZETA is rather subtle. It is worth mentioning that with the ZETA range, most items are also available un-watermarked.
Zeta watermark in the Zeta Hammer Embossed finish
Below image shows the different shades and substances in the range.
There are five surface finishes in the range including Smooth and Wove and three embossed finishes in Hammer, Linen and Micro. The range encompasses whites and light shades in a wide variety of sizes and weights as well as matching envelopes in DL, C5 and C4.

ZETA can be printed using offset litho, hot foil blocking, engraving, thermography and is guaranteed up to 150gsm for laser printing, colour copying and inkjet printing.

These fine papers are manufactured at the Reflex Paper mill in the town of Düren in Germany, which was founded in 1857 and the mill also produces transparent papers, label papers and artists papers. All ZETA products are made from Chlorine Free pulp (ECF) and carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification

If you would like one of the new swatches, please email me:
Posted by Justin Hobson 29.10.2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Cinnamon bun week on Colorset

Nordic Bakery is a Scandinavian-style café founded in London in 2007. There are now three beautifully designed cafés around London, offering simple Nordic bakery products in a peaceful, simple, well designed environment. Aside from the food, the Nordic Bakery pays attention to all aspects of design. As their website states: "We have selected timeless and authentic design pieces for serving our food and drink. The tableware and furniture are designed by iconic Nordic designers, such as Kaj Franck, Alvar Aalto and Ilmari Tapiovaara".

I've written about their simple and effective use of our Colorset before on this blog, but they have recently produced these new posters on Colorset Deep Orange 270gsm, for this month's Cinnamon Bun Week - sounds yummy!

The superbly executed typographic design is by Supergroup Studios, based in Helsinki and London. Creative directors are Jaakko Tuomivaara and Roy Haapakoski. Supergroup have worked with Nordic Bakery since the beginning and have developed their brand in all areas, including packaging for their retail products.   
Photography: Marianna Wahlsten

The previous A2 prints on our Colorset 100% Recycled 270gsm, have been one colour for each café. Dorset Street is on Tuscan Brown, New Cavendish Street on Crimson and Golden Square on Indigo.

The prints are silkscreen printed in two colours by Dan Holliday at The Mangle Press (known locally as "Dan the Mangle"!)
Posted by Justin Hobson 27.10..2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Justin becomes a Freeman...

The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers is a City Livery Company; so named because of the distinctive clothing (or livery) entitled to be worn by the original craftsmen practising their trade as members of a guild. The Stationers' originally dates from 1403 and in 1557 it was awarded a Royal Charter becoming a Livery Company.

Last Monday, along with four other candidates, I was admitted to the Freedom of the Company at a ceremony in the Court Room at Stationers' Hall.

After the Freedom Ceremony, there was a further "cloathing" where Dr Vinton Cerf (VP of Google) accepted Honorary Freedom and Livery of the company and Lord Hague of Richmond and Mr Keith Nelson Wallach were also cloathed by the Master.
Above shows Vint Cerf accepting the Freedom and Livery. Regular readers of this blog may remember that I wrote earlier in the year about his concerns about "the digital dark ages", a subject which he spoke eloquently about on Monday, after he was presented with his award.

I would like to thank my sponsors Margaret Willes and Martin Randall. Together with the other new Freeman, we were invited for Lunch, which was a very grand affair with over 230 guests.
After Lunch, there were speeches by both Lord Hague and the Master .
You may have noted that the Master is a lady. Helen Esmonde is the first lady Master, it only took 612 years! Yet as the Clerk of the company, William Alden, reminded us in his speech on Monday, Stationers are no strangers to change.

The Stationers' have a very impressive hall in Ave Maria Lane, close to St Paul's. The original hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and the current hall was completed in 1673 and is Grade 1 listed. It is a wonderful venue and is hired out to organisations for corporate events, meetings and weddings. In fact Stationers' Hall won 'Best Livery Hall' at the London Venue Awards which took place only two weeks ago.
Stationers' Hall
A little bit of history...
How it all began: 600 years ago most craftsmen in London were itinerant. However the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to concentrate their efforts and set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. Because of this they were given the nickname ‘Stationers’ and this was the obvious choice of name for the guild they established in 1403

When printing came to England in the late 15th century, the Stationers had the good sense to embrace it and have continued to adapt to the many changes in the Communications and Content industries ever since. The technology may have changed from pen and inks to print and on-line links but the name has always remained the same.

The present day...
Today the Company has over 900 members, the vast majority of whom are senior executives in the complete range of trades within the Communications and Content industries, from paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media. Membership is drawn from across the UK and increasingly throughout the world and now includes major companies as well as individual members.The Company uses Stationers’ Hall for the purpose for which it was built all those years ago: to bring together the major players in our industries so that they can enjoy each other’s company, learn from one another, swap ideas and together develop strategies for the future of industries that are vital to global economic growth. Activities range from formal dinners, informal lunches, lectures, seminars and intimate round-table sessions to online reports and discussion fora. The care and maintenance of the historic and important archives is another important feature of the Stationers' guardianship for future generations.

Charity and Education...
The Company’s involvement in training and education began around 1557 when ‘Apprenticeship Indentures’ were drawn up by the Company and Printing Houses were obliged to present their apprentices at Stationers’ Hall, for the fee of sixpence, during their first year. Today, through the Stationers' Foundation they support a Secondary School (Stationers' Crown Woods Academy) in South London as well as Saturday Schools, and a variety of Bursaries, Scholarships and awards.

You can read more about the Stationers' online or you can speak to me!
Posted by Justin Hobson 26.10.2015

Friday, 23 October 2015

Regent Porto Montenegro Penthouses Floorplans

Porto Montenegro is being developed as the Mediterranean’s most comprehensive yacht marina. Along with the berths, there are five private residential buildings with a total of 228 apartments.

These are the floorplans for the Penthouses which form part of the collateral produced for the marina. The flat size is 525x750mmfolding down to 175x250mm.
Click on images to enlarge
The plans are concertina folded as you can see from the birds eye view below:
Folding out to the full flat size of 525x750mm (18pp)
Click on images to enlarge
The floorplans are printed on our Shiro Echo, White 80gsm which 100% recycled and FSC accredited. It is perfect as a material to print these plans on - almost conjuring up a "blue-print" type feel and rattle, They are printed offset litho and are hot foil blocked in metallic gold foil. Below is a detail of the foiling:
Another thing to note is the absence of a "crows foot" on the folds - this is because it was concertina folded. As you can see from the image below - nice clean, crisp folds and no ugly creasing.
You can read more about "Crow's feet" here:

The floorplans are just one of the items in the pack of promotional literature which makes up a whole collection of collateral (below) for the exclusive Regent Porto Montenegro apartments.
Art direction and design is by London branding agency &Smith. Creative Directors are Rachel Smith and Dan Bernstein. Print and production is by Gavin Martin Colournet.
Posted by Justin Hobson 23.10.2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

La Dolce Vita

This is a typographic project by student Cissy Lott-Lavigna and Rosie Werrett, second year students at Kingston University.

Joe Hales, a part time lecturer at Kingston University, suggested that they contact me as their project was an re-interpretation of a film subject in the form of a bible and he suggested our Offenbach Bible paper.

As you can see from the end result, it was entirely successful. It was produced on our Offenbach Bible 60gsm and it was printed on the in house printers at Kingston Uni.
Although only produced as a 4pp, it has been hand sewn with thread - side sewn, as I would describe it.
Cissy Lott-Lavigna's portfolio caption reads "a double page spread encapsulating the themes of Federico Fellini's film 'La Dolce Vita'. Set in post-war Rome with declining religion but a prosperous decadent society, where 'The Sweet Life' seems unobtainable. We resonated with the traits of a bible by using 60gsm Offenbach Bible paper and sewn binding."
A fantastic example of what can be achieved by using the right materials, even with a very limited budget.
Posted by Justin Hobson 20.10.2015

Friday, 16 October 2015

What is ...a "Mill making"?

What is ...Number 22

Regular followers of this blog will know that in the middle of the month, I publish a "What is ....? post. The article covers various aspects of paper, printing and finishing in greater depth. However, many of these subjects are complex, so these posts are only intended to be a brief introduction to the topic.

What is ...a "Mill making"?
Many of you may have heard the term "mill making" - often it is used by printers when talking about ordering paper and the context that a mill making is referred to is generally because a a certain quantity is needed or special size or weight is required which can also save money.
However I should explain that all paper is in fact made at a paper mill and therefore all paper is the result of a "mill making"! The two areas I shall cover is mill makings of standard products and mill makings of bespoke products.
Firstly I'll just give a brief introduction to paper making. 
Twin wire paper machine
The manufacturing of paper is a mechanical process and is ”heavy industry”. The site of a paper mill covers many hectares and the machines themselves are housed in buildings the size of aircraft hangers. With the exception of mills making specialist material (such as artists papers) paper mills manufacture tonnes of papers per day. Typically a small mill might make 50 to 100 tonnes per day with larger mills making over 1000 tonnes per day. A paper machine is very large, typically 4 metres wide and over 100 metres long.
Bales of pulp on conveyor
Pulp being mixed in hyropulper
Bales of refined pulp are tipped into a ‘Hydropulper’ which breaks the pulp up by adding huge amounts of water and movement. After several more refining stages the ‘stock’, now 99% water and 1% fibre, is pumped to the start of the paper machine called the Headbox. The stock is sprayed onto a fast moving mesh which due to gravity allows most of the water to fall through the mesh. The remaining fibres are ‘matted’ together on the mesh forming a knitted ‘web’ of interlocked fibres (if you tear a sheet of paper you can generally see the fibres). The web of paper which is still about 60% moisture passes through the press section which compacts the fibres and removes more moisture before entering the drying section which finally reduces moisture by use of steam heated drying cylinders.
The web is then wound into large rolls at the end of the machine which can weigh anywhere between 10 and 50 tonnes. The large rolls are then slit into smaller rolls which can either be used for printing on the roll or cut into sheets.

It is useful to have an appreciation of the manufacturing process as explained above as it can be hard to identify with this industrial procedure in the ‘digital’ world in which we live today.

Mill makings of standard products.
Mill at Mogi Guaçu in Brazil
Many paper mills, especially the larger ones, manufacture a very limited range of products. In the most extreme case, just one product. The mill I visited many years ago at Mogi Guaçu in Brazil basically just made one product with minor variations - and that mill made 1000 tonnes a day! and produced 365 days a year - that's right, 365,000 tonnes per annum! Today that would not be regarded as a big mill.

In the case of these mills which manufacture few products, a mill will usually customise making to a special size (and sometimes a special weight) and that basically is about it! So why is this useful? Well, here are a couple of examples:

Example 1: The project you are designing for requires 50,000 sheets of 150gsm, SRA1 (640x900mm), but the paper you have selected only comes in 720x1020mm (B1). The stock (in B1) weighs 5510kgs. If you were able to get a mill making in SRA1 it would weigh 4320kgs, thereby saving over 1 tonne of paper! All paper products are sold by weight so this would represent a considerable saving.

Example 2: The project you are designing has a tight budget. You want to use a 170gsm paper but it is too much for the budget. The next standard weight down is 150gsm which you consider too light. The project requires 250,000 sheets of SRA1 paper. That quantity of 170gsm weighs 24.4 tonnes. If you had 160gsm (non standard weight) made for you as a "mill making" it weighs 23 tonnes saving 1.4 tonnes of paper. Good for the budget and the environment.

Measuring Thickness in Microns
One thing that does need to be highlighted is that paper manufacturing is a continuous, industrial process. A paper machine is not something that can be simply turned on and off and does not work to precise (or digital) type accuracy. As a result all products are made within "manufacturing tolerances". These tolerances cover everything! from variations in shade, surface, moisture, weight, size, thickness and quantity etc. 

A scale that measures the weight of paper.

For example the weight tolerance for papers is plus or minus 5%, therefore if you ordered a paper that was 150gsm, it could be made as high as 157gsm or as low as 142gsm. BUT REMEMBER THE TARGET IS 150gsm! It must be understood and appreciated that all manufactured products, be it steel, glass, plastic etc. are all manufactured to such tolerances.

Special note: Problems often occur when a product is made and is at one end of a tolerance and then a subsequent making is at the opposite spectrum i.e. The EXTREMES of the tolerance. Following the example given above, if you received your 150gsm paper and it was actually 157gsm, you would accept and judge the feel of the paper on what you had received. If some time later, you received another making of 150gsm which measured 142gsm you would quite rightly complain as the difference would be marked. However now this has been explained, I hope you can see the logic - although it is hard to appreciate at the time when there is a situation where you have never come across the issue of manufacturing tolerances before.

Quantity tolerance. As I mentioned above, a paper machine is not something that can be simply turned on and off and does not work to precise quantity. As a result all orders are made to a quantity "manufacturing tolerance". This means that when you order a quantity of paper, there is an allowance for it to be so many % over or under the ordered quantity, so this needs to be taken into account when ordering. Example: If you order 5 tonnes of 720x1020mm 135gsm that is a dead quantity of 50,000 sheets but if the tolerance is +/- 5% (for example) you would get up to 53,000 or as few as 47,500 sheets. This means you need to allow enough money to pay for the 53,000 sheets and make contingency in case the making comes up 2500 sheets short!

Mill makings of Bespoke products.
Firstly it is important to realise that to have a paper made to your own specification is a question of commitment.

As mentioned earlier, a paper mill is a large manufacturing plant. The minimum quantity required to order a bespoke paper will depend on the size of paper mill/machine and type/quality of paper to be made. It is unlikely that a paper mill will make less than 1000kilos (1 tonne) of paper and many mills will have minimum quantities of 5 tonnes, 10 tonnes or more.

There is relatively little in papermaking that has not been made before! Therefore creating your own paper around an existing specification by "tweaking" it will ensure that you get the paper that you want. It also gives the client the opportunity of looking at previously made papers which are close to the specification to be ordered thereby giving a certain degree of confidence that what the client is ordering can be produced correctly! One of the biggest stumbling blocks to ordering a bespoke paper is that it isn’t possible to see an exact sample before ordering. Generally a client can be shown samples on which placing an order depends. If there is a bespoke shade, a laboratory sample (about 5cm square) made using pulp and dies is produced, if there is a texture, a previous sample can be shown and smoothness/roughness can also be demonstrated by previous examples.

Building a specification: There are many things that can be specified, although if you just want a paper in a certain shade and weight, it might be a fairly basic specification.

Common things to be specified are the shade, substance (gsm), caliper (thickness), texture, smoothness, porosity, opacity, strength (burst) plus other criteria such as recycled/FSC content and whether inclusions and fibres are to be added etc. Other considerations are the end use, how it is being printed, sheet size etc..

Sample representation: The laboratory sample plus texture, weight samples etc. are representations of the way your paper will look and is the closest thing that the mill can supply as a ‘proof’, without making the actual paper. If you watch the video about CRUSH (above) it shows a paper sample being made in the lab.

An order can only be processed on the basis that the customer is happy with this representation but it must also be noted that paper is mechanical process made using natural fibres and water, therefore it a curious mix of skill, art and science and can never be exact.

Sample Approval:  If you approve the sample/representation, you will be required to agree to the samples supplied and the order will be placed on that basis.

...and now for the advert!
Fenner Paper has over 30 years experience in dealing with bespoke manufactured papers for Annual Reports, specialist packaging (luxury boxes), and other items such as security papers, watermark papers and even ammunition paper! We work with you to build the specification for the required material and select the right manufacturer to work with ...if you want to give it a try, just get in touch!
Posted by Justin Hobson 16.10.2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Caramel Baby & Child

Eva Karayiannis, founded Caramel Baby & Child in 1999. Originally from Greece, she came to London to study the history of Art at Sotheby's, eventually establishing a business selling and ultimately designing children's clothes. Caramel Baby Child is known for its fresh silhouettes, distinctive colour ways and intricate attention to detail.
This is the lookbook for the Spring Sumer collection. The format is a very simple 16pp broadsheet, which opens easily to read and displays a large poster type area, when fully open.
Click on images to enlarge
 Size is 594mm x 420mm  folding to 210x148mm. The birds eye view below should give you the best idea of the format and the way it works. 
On the reverse of the concertina is this delightful pattern, creating a calm space without every square inch being crammed with colour photography - a very nice idea.
The paper chosen is our Omnia Natural 120gsm because it would work with the intricate detail that is present in the images but that would give a natural look and tactile feel. It is printed offset litho in four colour process (CMYK) and as you can see from images, some of the images have dark areas, but there is no loss of detail, which is what can often happen printing on an uncoated paper. The neutral shade of the Omnia Natural works just right with these images.
Click on images to enlarge
Art direction and design is by the in house studio at Caramel Baby & Child. Designer on the project is Natalie Abram

Printing is by Gemini Print, based in Brighton.
Posted by Justin Hobson 15.10.2015

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Big Book Bonanza

This is the invitation to the showcase of new books from Harper Collins. Billed as 'The Big Book Bonanza' the function was held at the Crimson Bar at The Soho Hotel in May.
The invitation has a fantastic illustration by Emily Forgot, which is like a psychedelic kaleidoscope - great illustration and a really strong image.

The invitation is 180mm square and rather than being printed in CMYK, it is printed using black plus 3 pantone colours - fluoro orange, blue and metallic gold.
The material chosen is our Omnia, which works especially well with metallic inks, as they actually look metallic! and the solid fluoro colours jump out, but still with an uncoated, tactile feel. 
As the invitation is just a single card, it is duplexed (2x320gsm) to make 640gsm. You can see the thickness in the image below.
Design and art direction is by Zoë Bather.

The invitations are printed offset litho in four colours as described above. Print and production was handled by Alan Mountain at Forward Print (
Posted by Justin Hobson 13.10.2015