Paper and printing

Since the diary began back in 2009 we have been researching to find the most appropriate paper for our needs. The whole issue of paper has always been a great cause for debate and consideration for the diary…. on one side of the page we have a diary page that people want to write on (with gel pens!) and on the other side a piece of artwork that we want to do justice to….

We are also determined to use between 70% -100% recycled paper (not FSC paper which at the end of the day is still trees being cut down).

We began using Offset Paper, which has a great earthy feel, great soaking up ability for the gel pens but the art work suffered as the printing ink also soaked in and the images were not as sharp as they could be.

The last two years we have used a Matt Finish, which gives a very nice feel to the paper, and is not too glossy, but gives a great sharpness to the images…. not brilliant with gel or fountain pens drying fast, but we feel the balance has to tip in favour of doing justice to the artwork.

The chemicals to produce recycled paper are a problem but the more environmentally responsible paper makers of course are finding alternative solutions. The prices for recycled paper are higher and the stocks fluctuate, so you can’t always be sure you can get it; it’s produced mostly in Scandinavia (tho what we do with the mountains of paper recycling we do in this country who knows!!!) and to cap it all most printers don’t like it as it can sometimes be uneven and jam their machines so they will always try to steer you away from it! We use Cambrian Printers, based in Wales, who actively encourage its use.

Most ink is vegetable based nowadays so not such a veritable minefield as the paper. For us the reuse/recycle has got to be a better option when the bottom line is still the cutting down of trees which are powerful living beings and which, at the end of the day, we need for improving our impoverished atmosphere. A lot of considerations and still a work in progress as we are constantly researching and liaising with our own printers to make sure we provide the most useful, beautiful and environmentally friendly product as we possibly can.

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