Posted tagged ‘paper’

Basically… people are lazy

January 28, 2009

Basically, people are lazy. Publishers forget this. Even I did. They want “content” – no matter what the format – delivered to where ever they are already reading things. They don’t want to have to go looking for something to read – they’d rather it be delivered to their doorstep, to their inbox or to their blackberry/iphone etc.

However, as a recent post on MediaPost Magazines mentions,

“I realized that what I like about Time, or any print vehicle for that matter – be it magazine or newspaper or broadsheet or pamphlet – is that I am exposed to tidbits of information and long-form thought pieces that I don’t necessarily want to fetch.”

It is this quality that magazines, newspapers and print producers of every kind need to remember. If they choose their market, they can provide things that that market didn’t know it wanted to read – but that they will find interesting, nonetheless. While, essentially, this is what “cookies” (web sites use cookies to track what you look at to provide you ads you are most likely to be receptive to) do for advertising, nothing currently exists that can bring together different written content and deliver it in an interesting package and deliver it to the consumer – without them having to do a lick of work.

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Who Knew that About Paper?

March 17, 2008

This Thursday, March 6th, Janet McCarthy Grimm from Lindenmeyr,  came and spoke to my Book Production & Design class about paper.

She walked us through the process of making paper. When they start out with a tree they have two choices: ground wood paper  and ground wood free paper.

Ground wood paper includes lignin, which is the ingredient that, as paper gets older, causes paper to get brittle and turn yellow. Ground wood free paper, according to tests, may last 200-400 years. The other main difference between these two types of paper is that ground wood paper uses most of the tree. Ground wood free paper only uses about 50% of the tree, making it more expensive to make. Lignins are broken down chemically during the manufacturing process.

The other important thing to know about paper manufacturing is that hard wood and soft wood are not all mixed together – they each get added at different parts of the process.

For me, the most interesting part of what Janet said was how big of a market paper is for the US economy. Few other markets in the world offer as high a quality of paper as we do. Paper is a major exports. The problem is that few foreign manufacturers pay adequate attention to keeping hardwood and softwood separate. This results in a less dependable quality of paper.

Janet’s other major point  was about recycling. Ground wood free paper and ground wood paper aren’t separated out during the recycling process. This limits the quality of paper that can be made from recycled paper products. Newspapers, sticky notes, staples and cheap paper products are mixed in with paper that is ground wood free – meaning that the recycled paper is NOT ground wood free; it also mixes hardwood and softwood – again creating a lower quality paper.

The ‘best’ part is our government – companies don’t receive any benefits for recycling paper products not sold to consumers. So all those books that a publishing company has sitting in it’s warehouse, that it doesn’t sell … there is no encouragement for companies to recycle them.