Colours, print and paper according to G . F Smith

It’s always wonderful to meet a kindred spirit, as passionate about paper as us. Independent British company G. F Smith has been providing the creative world with inspiration since 1885, and are where our new pretty pastel stocks hail from. We spoke with Sales Manager Ben Watkins on seasonal trends, the desire for quality paper, colour projects and of course why pastels are the palette of choice right now.


Following on from our recent launch of pastel paper stocks, we wanted to find out more about this family of colours. Are pastels a seasonal colour trend you see every year around this time, or are they having more of a moment right now?

“We often see pastels and vibrant shades/neons around this time of the year. Two of our most recent promotional pieces, Barely There and High Octane, were designed to highlight the trend in these two areas specifically. Barely There focused on pastels and calmer tones, led by our increasing desire to escape the always connected digital world, whilst High Octane, inspired by the crossover between sportswear and athleisure, focused on much brighter colours.”

What sort of designs, styles and stationery themes would you recommend pastel paper stocks for?

“Pastel shades lend themselves to so many beautiful pieces. Greeting cards, notecards, notebooks, lovely packaging, swing tags, brochures, look books, magazines, gentle embossing – the list really is endless because the palette of colours is just so versatile.”

What are your recommendations when printing on coloured paper stocks rather than printing the actual colour?

“Always use a coloured stock that’s dyed all the way through, that’s very important – if it isn’t you’ll see white edges when trimmed. Pick a paper that is strong, malleable and prints beautifully; something that is versatile. And never be afraid to print colour on colour. Experiment and the results are amazing! Luckily Colorplan ticks these boxes and many more.”

In an increasingly digital world, why is paper still so enduring and appealing?

“We live in a world of fleeting digital memories. Everything is immediately accessible and we wait for very little. Products tend to be similar and available on mass – a result of globalised production. Mass production has its benefits of course, but as people we’re individually unique, and we like different things. As a result we’ve seen a huge resurgence for the bespoke, artisan and handmade – ultimately we’ve rediscovered our desire for quality.

“Paper is no different. Holding a book, opening an invitation, writing a letter, receiving a greeting card – it’s an experience, it’s tactile, you remember it. Actually, nothing says this more wonderfully than in this piece called ‘The Persuasiveness of Quality from 1929:

‘Quality in printing is not an indulgence, it is in fact a necessity of advertising that must pay its way. The more vital the need of returns from your printed matter, the greater the necessity that it possess the persuasiveness of quality. You think of your printed matter as so many thousands of pieces to be sent to a list, but the list is compiled of individual Jim’s and Jack’s, Betty’s and Anne’s, who see but one copy apiece. They only know that in their hand is one booklet, they’re either impressed or unimpressed. In that one copy is your opportunity, make that one copy rise to it.’”


Tell us about The World’s Favourite Colour Project and how the project came about?

“It actually started with a conversation between our Managing Director John Haslam, and Ben Parker from Made Thought. Both love the idea of exploring the crossover between the tactile and digital world, and Ben also has a fascination for the question everyone was asked as a child, ‘What is your favourite colour?’ Timing wise it was also really poignant because the Colorplan range is 80 years old and introducing the world’s favourite colour just seemed to make so much sense!

“It’s been a fascinating project to see develop. For the past four months’ people have been able to visit our website and submit their entry. We’ve had over 30,000 submissions from as far away as Alaska! The winner will see their colour being made as part of the Colorplan range, becoming the 51st Colorplan colour. Watch this space for more announcements and pretty exclusive news over the coming weeks.”


G. F Smith folded special thank you card in square paper

Discover our new pastel stocks as part of our wedding collection:

What are your thoughts on colour and paper in the digital world? Let us know by commenting below! Also, check our colour trends for 2018 post and be updated.

About the author

Bex is our Senior Content Manager and lover of all things community. When she's not glued to her phone you can find her out cycling in the Chiltern Hills or braving the London commute on her Brompton.

Share this on social

Comments are closed.