Versatile Paper For Flexible Shops
Today's offset paper product lines offer a range of versatility for in-plants.
by Caroline Miller
IS YOUR in-plant flexible? It better be, if you want it to survive. That goes for your paper too.
Paper companies know this. That's why many of them are developing papers that can be used with a variety of output devices.
"Today, we think that it is very important that papers be able to perform for all the ways you print," says Laura Shore, Mohawk Paper Mill's creative director. "A job might be printed four-color process on an offset press one time, but then somebody might go back later and run a very small quantity on a copier."
The use of both toner and offset devices at in-plants is impacting paper in other ways too, Shore says.
"That trend toward digital is putting more pressure on paper to be bright white and smooth, because smooth papers perform better in toner devices," reveals Shore.
The shift toward uncoated papers in general is also driven in part by improved capabilities in four-color process presses, adds Shore.
"You can routinely get much better color with the tools that are now available," she says. "Color printing has become a bit of a commodity, so that it is very easy to get four-color process results in general and on uncoated papers."
To get the best results from your offset paper, Shore suggests taking a good look at the paper's formation.
"I think that formation is an often-overlooked, but really important paper characteristic," she explains. "The way you can see good formation is to hold the paper up to a light. It should look very even—like ground glass. Good formation allows for a smooth, even ink lay, and it improves your opacity. It also contributes to a smooth, even lay of toner. So the same characteristics that make paper good for offset make the paper good for digital printing, if the paper is smooth."