Behind the Scenes at G.F Smith
G.F Smith are one of the leading specialist paper merchants in the world. We’ve had a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with this iconic company for a long time now, so we were over the moon when our rep Alyson invited us for a tour of their factory and the James Copper Paper Mill. Also working in the design/print industry means we’re massive paper geeks, so this was not an opportunity to be missed!
We arrived in Hull on the Thursday and were given a tour around the factory by the very friendly Tony and Jacqui, who showed us the massive storage area where the extensive and eclectic range of materials are stored. There was a great buzz here, with G.F Smith employees dotted around and on the move, organising orders and moving stock through to the impressive guillotine and packing room for distribution.
We were also shown the enormous embossing machines which added textures to large sheets of Colorplan card. After this we had a glimpse at the envelope area, where stock and bespoke envelopes were skillfully being made by machine and by hand.
The next day we took a trip down to the Lake District to visit the James Cropper paper mill, where the Colorplan paper range (amongst many others) are made for GF Smith.
The scale of the paper making process was huge, with vast vats churning bales of smashed pulp before being combined with dyes to create the final colour, and it was fascinating to see this all in action.
The two days were a real eye opener, providing an essential insight into the creative and inspiring paper we so often use and take for granted. We are very grateful to GF Smith and James Cropper for extending the invitation – thank you!
Monday, 11th April, 2016