Screams of delight, trading, laughing, paper crunching. You would think it was Christmas, but it was really a group of graphic design students getting free paper samples. My process and materials class took a field trip to PaperPlus, a paper supplier company. We had the opportunity to ask questions and look around. I know there are millions of different types of paper, but to see a giant warehouse full is another story.
The paper samples and spec books were the best part of the whole trip. To see the design of each book and all the different choices was so much fun. We brought all our books back to class and discussed which ones we liked and and why and what sort of projects we would use each type of paper for. We discussed printing issues that could come up with each type of paper. to some, I’m sure this would be a boring topic, but it really is so exciting.
Our tour guide gave us his one piece of printing advice: know your printer, know your paper. Knowing these two things will prevent goofs and incompatibilities between paper and printer. He also said to check with your printer often about availability of products before meeting with clients. Paper changes often and sometimes no longer available or out of stock, which can be a problem when working with deadlines. Knowing your budget was also a tip he gave us for printing success. Paper pricing can run the gamut from stock to extremely expensive. Knowing upfront the money you have to spend also keep you from embarrassing yourself in front of clients.
All in all, the paper samples were my favorite part of the day. From the reactions of my classmates, I’m pretty sure it was theirs too.