Keep Up To Date
Sign up to the G . F Smith newsletter for inspiration, launches, news and events.
The world’s finest specialist paper collection
We search out the finest and the most distinctive paper products and innovations from around the world for those that seek to inspire and impress. We work" in partnership with the very best high-end brands, creative designers, and specialists to provide paper for a twenty-first century audience.
14 March Manchester
21 March Glasgow
28 March Bristol
4 April London
11 April Birimgham
Join us for an evening to celebrate the launch of a brand new paper brought to you from G . F Smith.
Up and down the country we will be holding 5 evenings (beginning on 14 March in Manchester!) to celebrate our newest launch, with a screening of 'Rams' by Gary Hustwit + food, drinks and DJ. Contact your local paper consultant for more details.
9th to the 27 July 2018
Show Space, 27-28 Eastcastle Street, W1W 8DH
As part of the Beyond Surface take-over, award winning architect Kody Kato was invited to create an astonishing installation made entirely from Takeo paper in the White Space. His gravity-defying exhibit was made of 5,500 Sonobe origami units which were completed at G.F Smith’s Hull site by a team of experienced envelope makers and was then transported for assembly to the Show Space where Kody and a group of 10 design students assembled the piece on site over a period of 6 days.
10th June 2016
Curated by It’s Nice That, the G . F Smith team were invited to Here 2016.
A hugely fun and inspirational day, we loved talking to delegates from across the creative industries through our paper promotions: The Collection, Gmund Applied and the launch of Fine Collection (the world's first crowd-sourced paper selector).
With help from Better Letters’ crowd pleasing hand lettering, the G . F Smith stand was one not to be missed.
15-17 March 2016
Glasgow, Manchester and London
In March 2016, G . F Smith held events up and down the UK to launch Gmund Applied. Designed by Studio Makgill, Gmund Applied showcases seven unique papers from the Gmund mill as seen in the Collection, including three exciting new additions; Gmund Cotton (100% cotton sheet), Gmund Heidi (100% recycled sheet) and Gmund Urban (a range of sheets influenced by architecture).
Guests sipped out of their G . F Smith x Gmund tankards, got to try their hand at live letterpress with the new papers (which are ideal for this process) and in London were treated to hand lettering by Mike Meyers of Better Letters. A true G . F Smith knee’s up complete with oompah bands and bratwurst, nothing less for our favourite Bavarians!
28 January 2016
Held at the Triennale di Milano, handmade Colorplan boats by the artist Jerry Bogani led the way to the Hall of Honour where the Colorplan heritage cases were on display. An official presentation was held with Paper and People, and a talk from Made Thought’s Ben Parker about how simple ideas and brave clients are essential design ingredients.
21-23 October 2015
For our first year at Luxe Pack Monaco we created Colour Stack. Showcasing all 50 Colorplan colours. The concept behind the installation was to demonstrate the beauty and practicality of Colorplan as a packaging material due to its pure flat colour and long fibres.
22-23 May 2015
For Semi Permanent 2015, we created a floating 'Cloudscape' of Colorplan papers. The 12m long and 9m wide structure included a collection of 7 tiers of Colorplan, Sapphire, Purple, Azure Blue, New Blue, Turquoise, Tabriz Blue and Cobalt. The floating ceiling served as a hub to the conference and a promotional space for Colorplan itself.
26–27 September 2013
The Barbican, London
G . F Smith was very proud to be the official partner of the AGI Open London in September 2013. Over two days, 30 of the world’s leading graphic designers spoke about their work, the future of graphic design, and the importance of design education.
The foremost body of its kind, the Alliance Graphique Internationale brings the world’s leading graphic design practitioners together to discuss areas of common interest, from sustainability to professional practice.It’s past members include some of the true greats of graphic design, from Cassandre to Josef Müller-Brockmann and Paul Rand. Current members include Wim Crouwel, Massimo Vignelli, Paula Scher and Marian Bantjes.
AGI members have been responsible for some of the most iconic designs of the 20th and 21st centuries, including branding, publications, illustrations and posters. Of equal importance is the fact that they are responsible for providing teaching in design schools all over the world.
28 March 2013
G . F Smith were delighted to partner with Monotype in taking their wonderful exhibition ‘Pencil to Pixel’ to New York.
Monotype’s unique collection of artifacts relating to type history is fascinating to see, especially in an era when most people design or interact with type as a digital experience. Original concept artwork (complete with correction marks and hand-written notes), examples of precision drafting, metal and film masters, photographs, tools and rarely seen promotional material gave visitors a unique opportunity to explore the very physical history of the typefaces they know and use.
The visit we made, and the event, also marked the introduction of Colorplan to the designers of North America.
G . F Smith were excited to partner with artisan printers Imperimerie du Marais, artist Cleo Buro and studio Brichet & Ziegler for two days of talk and a weeks exhibition on Colorplan and printing techniques such as screen-printing, embossing, hot foiling and die-cutting all brought to life with life size sculptures of everyday foods.
23-27 April 2012
Victoria House Basement, London
Beauty in the Making was a free five-day event hosted by G . F Smith in collaboration with some of the more influential creative institutions, including Monotype, the British Council’s Architecture, Design and Fashion department and the folk at It’s Nice That.
The event highlighted a simple truth; that most people never see the skill and craft that lies behind the scenes in so many parts of the creative industry. Beauty in the Making showed there is the most stunning craft to be found in the everyday processes that provide the creative community with things they take for granted.
By opening people’s eyes to this important fact we helped celebrate and elevate ‘the making’ as an art form in its own right. The many people who came along saw live demonstrations, workshops, installations and talks by people responsible for driving this hidden industry.
33 Portland Place, London
A display of iconic printed pieces from the G . FSmith archive that became a celebration of the company’s proud design heritage.
The work, all commissioned by G . F Smith, included pieces by some of the greatest names in the history of graphic design, art and photography, including Sir Peter Blake, Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Peter Saville and Rankin.
For almost 130 years G . F Smith has consistently sought out and worked with the best creative practitioners. These collaborations have resulted in a catalogue of truly groundbreaking and iconic promotional materials. The ‘Art on Paper’ event was a retrospective of that body of work, and a rare chance to study the work that lies behind a story of extraordinary design and marketing innovation.
For more than 130 years, G . F Smith has been obsessed with the simple beauty of paper. One of the oldest known materials, we believe paper continues to be a symbol of innovation and technological progression.
Beyond just a material, we also understand the transformative power of something exceptional being placed into your hands, a medium that goes far beyond just being the carrier of ideas and knowledge. With this in mind, for the past century, we have been mastering the art of making envelopes.
Your envelope forms your initial interaction with the receiver, starting the journey of discovery and delight. As important as the communication it contains.
Our specialist envelope team in Hull can produce envelopes either by hand or on machine. The majority of papers in the Collection can be converted into seven standard envelope styles — DL Wallet, DL Wallet Window, DL Banker, C6, C5, C4 and 155x155mm. We hold a large selection available off the shelf and ready for next day delivery.
If you are looking for something genuinely bespoke we can create your own design of envelope which is then hand made by our specialist envelope team. From a super small business card wallet up to an A3 pocket, crafted in an exciting choice of the majority of the papers in The Collection, the extent of our offering is compelling.
Our latest Paper And promotion celebrates our envelope offering. A 3D blind embossed and foiled custom sized envelope in 130gsm Extract Cactus houses a foiled card in 380gsm Extract Moon. The effect is one of quality and originality, and not of the ordinary.
Explore more of our envelope offering here.
When Lorenz Boegli started his career as a signwriter, he never expected to become one of the most respected, progressive and creative screen printers in Europe.
Situated in the flat Swiss farmlands somewhere between Zurich and Bern is the small town of Müntschemier. This quiet, unassuming place with a population of just over 1,000 people is home to Lorenz's workshop. When you see the scale of the industrial unit he occupies, it's easy to imagine a team of craftsmen busy on any one of the commissions passing through the studio. However, this is not the case – this is an incredibly small operation. Lorenz, amazingly, does all of the printing himself, and the rest of the business is handled with the support of his wife and one other.
He has two main printing beds in the space – one is fully automatic which, once set, will run multiple prints at the push of a button. The other, which we were using to run proofs for Paper And No1 on, still requires each sheet of paper to be fed in by hand. The artwork is made of three screens – each one a different grade from 77 – 140. The higher the number, the finer the mesh that the ink gets pushed through. The finer mesh allows for greater detail, whereas the coarser grade is better for more viscous inks. For this first edition, we are printing on Plike Dark Blue 330gsm because of its exceptionally smooth surface – the perfect marriage to high-quality screen printing.
On top of the three screen grades, we are using three different ink systems. The first an iridescent silver, which Lorenz refers to as a 'flip-flop' ink. The ultra-fine quartz particles in it allow light to pass through it in such a way that it becomes invisible to the eye from certain angles.
The second one that goes down is a gold that contains pigments more commonly found in the cosmetic industry. The workshop is full of stunning examples Lorenz has printed where the impact of light on the surface is such that the images feel more like they are backlit – like a computer screen – than ink on paper in any traditional sense. The ability to get such fine detail from viscous inks like these is a technique that Lorenz has been pioneering for many years. The last screen to give the finishing touch is a standard Pantone colour mixed with fluorescent ink.
As his website says, 'Lorenz Boegli is a magician with materials'. When these skills are combined with beautiful papers like Plike from G . F Smith, the magic becomes something truly unique. Together they create an impression that is impossible to ignore.
A 200 page notebook that allows the user to play and ‘sculpt’ their own book as it is used, revealing new colour combinations and juxtapositions. Comprising of all 50 Colorplan colours, the perforated pages can be torn out for notes, colour samples or simply to leave with clients or printers as a reference. The book showcases five print techniques including lithography, digital printing, foil blocking, embossing and thermography.
To mark the launch of Heaven 42, G . F Smith created a limited edition book, featuring the work of photographer Angela Moore. The specially commissioned shots, of dramatically shaped plants dressed in vibrant saturated colour, were presented on both the unique matt coated paper Heaven 42, and the iconic PhoeniXmotion range. These papers are made at the same mill and are exclusively available at G . F Smith. The papers are renowned for their consistency; achieving the deepest blacks and perfect colour reproduction.
The cover of the Colorplan Colour Book represents the three signature aspects of the range: colour, weight and embossing. The circles are inlayed into the cover using the technique of ‘paper marquetry’. Inside documents the journey through the range, told in a way that allows the user to enjoy each individual colour. The experience is designed to be more akin to a book, rather than a traditional gridded selector. Embossing textures are shown in both black and white allowing the user to clearly understand how the paper will hold a texture.
A 200 page notebook that uses a series of finger tabs and all 50 Colorplan colours to create a playful and expressive series of colour juxtapositions.
Using a single A1 sheet that has been engineered to act as a holding device for a selection of note let cards all using Colorplan papers.
G . F Smith’s Play 1, 2, 3 continues a tradition of making sure marketing communications are both inspirational and educational. The piece is designed to celebrate both the visual pleasure and practical use of colour contrasts within the 50 shades of the Colorplan range. It’s a piece to be explored, taken apart, re-assembled (we hope) and – ultimately - enjoyed.
G . F Smith is constantly looking to establish new partnerships with international paper companies. It’s part of an innovation programme that stretches back to the birth of the company. It’s also about making sure that we have the very best papers at our disposal.
The connection with pioneering Japanese distributor, Takeo was made in 2010 following a research trip to Tokyo by our Product Development Team. A meeting with Takeo President, Mr. Shigeru Takeo, revealed great similarities between the two companies, in history, values and approach.
The new papers chosen by the team include Sukashi watermarked patterns, embossed textures, and wool and fibre finishes in a range of shades including some specifically chosen traditional Japanese colours.
The paper’s compatibility with specialist print techniques is illustrated by some extraordinary examples of embossing, engraving, foil blocking and thermography, it is accompanied by practical information that includes advice on how to get the most from each process.
At G . F Smith, we’re constantly seeking out new papers and processes, expanding our collections and adding to our knowledge. So much so that it’s been a while since we took a look at this site.
Well, having expanded our paper collection, tested and introduced new processes, and spent a lot of time talking to designers about selecting paper, we’re delighted to present a complete overhaul of the site.
Perhaps most importantly, we’ve introduced search filters in the ‘We Recommend’ tool. You can now refine your search by a paper’s suitability for processes like foiling or digital printing, or its availability in certain weights and finishes. When it’s time to look at the real thing, you’re able to easily place Sample orders through our ‘My Samples’ tool. Its quick and easy too.
This makes the task of finding and choosing paper from our collection more insightful and easier than before.