monadnock_bigbookMonadnock Paper Mills

Are you worthy?
Do you open new brochures fresh from the printer and take a big whiff? Do you rub the pages against your cheek and savor the texture? Do you own your own loupe – and pull it out to check trapping and dot gain?
Do you collaborate with your printer to get the most out of your design – optimum compensation, line screen, spot colors, touch plates, embossing, foils, varnishes and bindery techniques?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re almost there.

The most important question is do you specify the paper for all your print jobs? More specifically, do you devour swatchbooks and print promotions to select the right weight, texture and shade to convey your message?

If your answer to the final question is no, then you probably leave the paper decision to your purchasing department, distributor or printer. (If anyone tries to tell you that you can’t go higher than a 150 line screen on uncoated paper stock, it’s not true – run for the hills.)

Remember in “A Fish Called Wanda” where Kevin Kline opens that safe and finds it empty….  “OK, OK…Disappointed!” Well, that’s often the case if you compromise on paper choice or allow someone else to make the decision for you. Too often, choosing the right paper is a part of the design process that is completely overlooked, taken out of the designer’s hands, becoming an afterthought. The wrong paper choice can make great design look like nothing special.


What happened to all the paper people?
In order to specify paper, you need information. The beloved Paper Specification Representative (better known as “Spec Rep”) is bordering on extinction. Many designers Monadnock spoke with at the HOW Conference this year said, “I haven’t seen a paper person in over a year.” Don’t misunderstand, there are still a few Spec Reps out there that carry the torch for us but they’re stretched very thin.

To bolster the specification effort, distributors and paper mills offer paper selectors on their websites. But you certainly can’t caress your desktop for the right texture and hold the screen between your fingers to find the optimum basis weight or caliper (at least not yet!).

Does paper really make a difference?
As manufacturers of the finest uncoated printing papers in America, Monadnock continuously asks designers whether quality still matters, and why. They posed these questions to a number of professionals who are recognized by their peers as the finest in their field. The company asked them about the role paper plays in the success of the final piece, how they viewed their responsibility for controlling the paper decision, and what paper qualities make a difference.


Monadnock found that virtually every one of them uses premium papers in a significant portion of their work, and they stand firm on their paper specifications even when pressured to use a “something less” paper to save money. Brands spend millions of dollars to establish quality as a brand attribute. The paper is the tactile and visual connection between the quality of a brand and the consumer. As Monadnock always says, “Respect your brand!”

Paper qualities that make that difference in print results include formation, opacity, uniformity, brightness, surface tactility, and in the case of recycled papers, cleanliness.

Since offset inks are transparent, the quality of the paper you use is going to become very obvious when the project is finished. The paper characteristics will show through loud and clear. This is all the more reason to select the best quality paper for your project.


Monadnock…hard to pronounce…easy to <3
(That’s easy to LOVE for the “social media” challenged)

For those in the know, Monadnock is synonymous with beautiful paper. Monadnock Paper Mills has been producing promotional materials and swatchbooks to inspire and educate designers about printing on uncoated papers for well over 50 years.

This brings us back to the original question: Are you worthy?” If you truly love paper, send Monadnock an email ([email protected]) and tell them why you specify quality uncoated paper, or tweet them at @MonadnockPaper using the hashtag #PaperWorthy. You just might receive a full set of Monadnock’s famous Big Books. Inside you’ll find over-the-top photography; products, landscapes and portraiture in color and black and white; and descriptions of how to reproduce images with tone, depth and clarity. Supplies are limited – make your case for uncoated papers today.

Printed on Monadnock Astrolite, Astrolite PC 100, Dulcet and Caress, these books demonstrate what can happen if you control the paper specification and collaborate early and often with your printer. These results are breathtaking!

If you need design inspiration or examples of particular print techniques, Monadnock has a library full of eye candy – just call (800) 221-2159 for specific print demonstrations. The swatchbook not only contains paper samples, it has tips to help you get the absolute best print results on uncoated papers – request one today. You can also find the print tips on its website.

PaperSpecs readers, click here to request your copy of the Monadnock swatchbook today.




Astrolite, Astrolite PC 100, Dulcet and Caress are all registered trademarks of Monadnock Paper Mills.


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