Identify this . . . paper?

nepenthe's picture

I am currently trying to identify a paper used in a book I own. The book is a 1971 reprint of Gibran's The Prophet published by Knopf. The paper is a rich peachy coloured laid paper which is quite smooth on one side. It has a peculiar characteristic that the shadow toward the spine of the book, where the pages come together, turns pink rather than grey, as it does on most other papers. It is quite a nice effect.

I attached scans of either side of the paper, despite the fact that it likely won't help much as colors change so much from screen to screen. However, if someone out there has seen this book and knows which paper it is, or knows of a paper with a similar magical colour effects, I would be very grateful!

Suz_Syn's picture

Looks like Strathmore's Americana which I don't think is made anymore. They had a peachy shade like that, and textury on one side. Don't know about the color changing, though.

nepenthe's picture

Thanks Suzanne. I can't find it on Strathmore's website, so it looks like you are correct about it being unavailable. For that sake I hope that this was not it ...

nepenthe's picture

Here is a picture of the stunning colour effects on the paper. I have not noticed this effect on the papers used in other books. The colours range from peach to pink to orange.

This photo was taken under a Solux 3500K Lamp. Note that this effect depends on the angle of the pages to one another more than the kind of light used.

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

Have you written Knopf?

kentlew's picture

This color resonance is a quality that I've noticed in papers before when selecting stock for books. I can't explain it, but it is something that I often check in the gutter of dummies before settling on a stock. I've always imagined it as an effect similar to the acoustics of some rooms where certain frequencies can get noticeably enhanced.

For instance, there are some [white] matte-coated stocks from China that give off a very distinct blue-purple glow. I generally avoid these for projects where the predominant color scheme or the character of the photography is warm.

-- K.

nepenthe's picture

I did email Knopf, and I am waiting to hear back.

Kent, I'd be interested if you could post some other examples of paper you've encountered with similar effects. This way people who are are seeking or avoiding particular "resonances" (I like that word!) can always check back here.

Also, it would be nice if anyone else could contribute their similar experiences—unless, of course, the internet is home to some paper discussion forum that I don't know about, where this question would be more to the point ...

I'll post if and when I hear back from Knopf.

kentlew's picture

I'm not actively involved in spec'ing paper for any books these days, so I don't have any current or specific information.

The information for overseas papers was never that specific anyway. Each printer had a selection of stock on the floor that I had to choose from. Things like "100gsm matte white -- Japan." I'm sure they would regularly change suppliers without indicating. So, the only thing to do would be to order up a dummy.

Or really, you should be able to do a check on a single sheet. Just fold it in half and check the crease.

-- K.

david h's picture


• The Carriage House Paper Museum
• The Crane Museum of Papermaking
• Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking

Suz_Syn's picture

Did you ever figure this out?

nepenthe's picture

No, I still haven't. I took it to my local art store and they suggested that the texture and feel of the paper are similar to one they stock at another store, but I haven't been there yet. But they were pretty sure the paper they were thinking of didn't come in that colour.

Come to think of it, I think I tried contacting some of those museums David suggested, but I never heard back. I should try again.

And as Kent suggested, there are other papers that have similar colour effects. But I've not found a laid paper with a color that intense and a surface that smooth, yet probably thin enough to run in my laser printer.

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