Following the demise of paper mills across the UK and Europe over the past 20 years, we look at what is available if you are seeking a luxury paper or board for your printing needs.

From boutique retailers, limited additions and lavish items to premium products, services and dining experiences; using luxury papers as part of the marketing mix adds real value for the customer.

Whilst there a number of premium coated papers available, we will focus on speciality uncoated luxury papers where demand is higher, choice is much greater and once printed on, result in beautifully printed products.

Anything other than standard coated and uncoated papers command a premium, this depends on the volume purchased, the manufacturer and the finish specified. We reviewed Coated Paper Vs Uncoated Paper in our previous article.

Here are 3 luxury paper manufacturers to consider when thinking about luxury printing services. They are:

Arjo Wiggins sells premium papers such as:

  • Conqueror
  • Curious Collection
  • Keayolour
  • Rives
  • Inuit

Fedrigoni UK with Italian origins sell a wide range of paper and matching envelopes such as:

GF Smith a UK luxury paper group who are pioneers within the paper industry provide a large and beautiful range of papers:

  • Accent Smooth
  • Colourplan –  a bespoke wide range of striking colours with mix and match embossments and textured finished.
  • Crane’s Crest
  • Gmund – A unique range including some that feel like cloth
  • Plike – Great rubber feeling paper
  • Strathmore

The luxury paper range is substantial, with almost 50 products within the current range. From luxury letterheads, heavy weight boards ideal for letterpress printing, a range of British made papers, cotton, watermark and recycled.

There is certainly a vast array of options here, just look at the luxury paper swatch collection.

Luxury Print Paper Types
Printed Paper & Board Range by GF Smith

There are some very unique finishes within the GF Smith range. Here’s a few which we think you will love.

Plike, a luxury paper that feels like rubber, it’s fantastic for business cards when combined with foiling. We’ve used  Plike before as part of a luxury limited addition brochure cover, the internal pages of the red Plike were printed with a clear varnish to add a subtle elegant feel.

Luxury Printing Services
Red Plike by GF Smith printed with a clear varnish

Softy is another branded range, it has the feeling of cloth and is a luxury paper and board popular used in luxury packaging brands and brochure covers.

There is also a convincing range called Woodside that actually looks like wood!

Types of Paper for printed brochures
Woodside – Garden Pine. A type of paper and board by GF Smith

Colourplan a luxury paper and board range available up to 700 gsm, is extremely popular with a large range of white and colour shades complete with a choice of bespoke embossed textured finishes.

Luxury Papers Range
Colourplan. The Luxury Paper Range by GF Smith

Its possible to specify bespoke versions as duplicated and triplicate sheets resulting in striking colours on each side of the sheet. The triplicate version sandwiches a third colour in the middle. Create business cards in this way and chances are the last place they will sit is someones drawer.

British Airways recently launched their new Club World product on their London to New York route. I was on one of their flights a few weeks ago and was presented with this once seated. They have embraced a fine linen embossment on their inflight menus. Printed in black ink with a metallic blue pantone, gives a luxurious and premium feel to compliment the Club World product.

Luxury Paper Menus
Luxury Paper Menus on board British Airways
Luxury Paper Bar Menus
Detail of Fine Linen Embossment of Luxury Paper British Airways Food & Drink Menu

Certain printing processes, print finishing and any other luxury printing services such as embossing and foiling will command further premiums. It is therefore wise to speak to your commercial printer before embarking on a project to obtain estimated costs.

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