Frequently Asked Questions
In one context or another, paper is something we see and use every single day, and yet most of us have absolutely no idea how it's actually made.
At the most basic level, tree log chips (wood fibres) are cooked in water and beaten. Hardwood trees, such as maple, yield short fibres whereas softwood trees, such as pine, yield long fibres. These fibres are bound together by a starch-based glue to increase strength and tear resistance. Fillers are then used to establish opacity, brightness, shade and colour stability, which differ from paper to paper.
Paper merchants bring a high level of efficiency and expertise to the printing process. Their profession gives them unparalleled access to new and unique inventory and printing techniques. This enables them to provide you with samples quickly so that you can make stock choices in a timely manner. They are often able to provide custom sheet sizes which may be a cost-efficient alternative to standard stocked sizes. Furthermore, they have the knowledge to identify and solve problems both on and off the press - pre and post - and to help you distinguish quality against price when making stock decisions.
When you buy North American paper, you support local jobs and help strengthen our economy. You endorse the strict labour, safety and environmental practices that set North America apart from many importers. And you demonstrate integrity by associating yourself with companies that have a strong track record of environmental, social and economic performance, and consistently practice full disclosure in all elements of their operations and business.
This is a paper manufacturing term that refers to the weight, measured in pounds, of 500 sheets of paper cut to a standard size. Although it's important to remember that the basic sheet size is not the same for all types of paper, the weight of paper can be defined as M (1000 sheets), LB (pounds), GSM (grams per square metre) or PT (point).
Caliper defines the thickness of paper. It is measured in points, with one point being equal to one thousandth of an inch. Caliper is important when producing direct mail pieces. Canada Post requires a minimum 7 pt stock be used for business reply mail.
Basis weight defines the weight of 500 sheets of paper in its basic unit uncut size. It is measured in pounds.
What would the M weight be for 20lb (17X22-40M) of copy paper in a 9X12 size?
- (length × width × ream weight) / factor for grade
- (9 × 12 × 20) / 374 = 5.77
5.77 is the weight in pounds for 500 sheets (a ream), but we want the weight of 1,000 sheets so we must make one more calculation: 5.77 × 2 = 11.5, which would be rounded up to 12M.
But why not make it easier on yourself? Simply use our online calculator to determine a specific Mwt.
Paper is sold by weight. This means that it's best practice for paper buyers and specifiers to understand M weight and be able to determine what it is. The M weight of paper is defined as the weight in pounds of 1,000 sheets based on a specific size and/or grade of paper.
There are two M weights: the 'actual' M weight and the 'basis' weight. The actual M weight is the weight in pounds of 1,000 sheets of a defined size of a specific grade. For example: letter size copy paper (8.5X11) has an M weight of 10M. This means 1,000 sheets of this paper size and grade weighs 10 pounds.
The basis weight is calculated by referencing the basic size of a specific grade of paper. Basis weight and ream weights are often used interchangeably but this can be problematic when you try to determine M weights for non-standard sizes. A ream of paper is a defined unit of measure which is 500 sheets.
For a host of reasons, each grade of paper - bond/writing, newsprint, book papers - has a different basic size. To make calculations easier, factors have been adopted:
- Bond and writing paper - 374
- Coated and uncoated book paper - 950
- Coated board - 864
Expanding on the M weight example above, the basic size for bond/writing paper is 17X22 and if 1,000 sheets of 17X22 paper weighs 40 pounds, then the ream weight is 20 pounds. Since 8.5X11 letter size copy paper is derived from the host or basic size for that grade - 17X22 - it is referred to as 20lb copy paper.
By referencing basis weights (ream weights) for the same type of paper, consumers can easily compare papers of differing brands. Twenty-pound bond paper is always lighter than 32-pound bond, no matter what the cut size.
Digital printing produces a digital-based image (each one new) directly onto a particular type of media, while offset printing takes an inked image and transfers it from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the desired printing surface. Each method is used for different purposes and has its own set of advantages:
- Short run length
- Variable data capabilities
- Faster turnaround
- More environmentally friendly
- Long print runs
- Superior print and image quality
Here's some food for thought.
Paper is a sustainable, renewable, recyclable, plant-based product that connects us in so many ways to the important things in life. Great ideas are started on paper. The world is educated on paper. Businesses are founded on paper. Love is professed on paper. Important news is spread on paper.
Sure, it's important that we're responsible about our paper use — which is exactly what Ariva stands for. We take it upon ourselves to communicate paper's place and value to the businesses and people who use our products every single day.
Visit Domtar's PAPER because to learn more.
The material you print on is often referred to as the 'body language' of a printed piece, as it has the ability, often unconsciously, to communicate messages to the reader's brain. These messages subsequently provoke an emotional response to your brand. For this reason, it's important to choose your sheets thoughtfully. Much like the copy and design of your piece, the material you print on plays an integral role in conveying the right message to your target audience.
Consider these attributes:
- Caliper / Bulk
- Environmental Positioning
Mohawk provides the following helpful summary in Paper Basics, 2015.
Hexachrome: Hexachrome is six-colour printing, adding green and range inks to the traditional CMYK. The added colours make a broader gamut of colour reproduction possible. Hexachrome inks are brighter, cleaner and more vibrant than CMYK but can carry higher inks and press costs.
Touchplates: Touchplates or bump plates use one unit of the press to apply extra ink to certain areas of an image that require an extra pop. Photoshop or other software is used to isolate touchplate areas and incorporate them into an image.
Enhanced black/rich black: Printers use many techniques to achieve a denser, richer black. Some use two hits of black over a screen of cyan. Consult with your printer regarding their favourite mix to add drama and weight to artwork.
Metallic inks: Metallic inks use metallic powders in a varnish base to create images with metallic luster in virtually any printing process. Smooth uncoated papers deliver the best results. Leafing inks which have metal flakes that rise to the top of the mixture have more shine but increased rub off. The metal flakes in non-leafing metallic inks sink down with less rub off and a little less shine. Non-leafing inks with a dull varnish or aqueous coating perform most reliably on uncoated paper.
Ultraviolet inks: Ultraviolet (UV) inks produce sharp images because they are cured instantly under UV lights on press. UV printing minimizes dot gain and also eliminates the need for varnish or aqueous coating.
Co-cure printing: Co-cure presses have UV lamps on only a portion of their ink towers. These lamps use light rather than heat to dry the inks and the lamps can be moved around the press adding flexibility.
Fluorescent inks: Semi-transparent and naturally bright, fluorescent inks increase the clarity and brightness of images printed on uncoated paper. Fluorescent inks may be used as spot colours or may be added to process colours to alter a colour image. Fluorescent inks are not recommended for images of people because they can make flesh tones appear too hot or sunburned.
Solid spot colours: Solid coverage on uncoated papers can be tricky. Many ink formulas use transparent white to create light colours. These colours, when printed can appear mottled or muddy. To smooth out the solid you can ask your printer about trying a second hit of ink, moving the spot colour to the last unit on the press, substituting opaque white in the ink formula, or using a dull coating to minimize the mottle.
Gray component replacement (GSR): Gray component replacement, or achromatic colour replacement, uses specialized software to remove the fray or achromatic component of combined cyan, magenta and yellow and replace it with black. GCR uses less ink and offers better colour stability on press making registration easier and greatly reducing trapping issues.
Consider using varnishes and coatings. Doing so can prevent ink transfer when dense areas of coverage are facing an open, unprinted or lightly printed area. It can also prevent soft-finished papers from attracting oils and dirt from binding and postal processing equipment, and minimize damage to embossed areas, or areas where stitches sit in the spine.
Conventional screening uses a fixed grid and various sizes of dots. Stochastic screening employs variable spacing and a fixed dot size (first order stochastic), or variable spacing and variable dot size (second order stochastic).
Sometimes referred to as FM (frequency modulations), stochastic screening offers a number of advantages: better print quality, continuous tone-like images, more vibrant colour, grated colour consistency, and the elimination of screen angle moirés, for instance. Stochastic does present some challenges to the printer - for example, proofing and a limited ability to adjust colour on press - so ask your printer if stochastic is right for your job.
Source: Print Utopia, published by Appleton Coated
While global efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate carbon emissions from business practices are underway, they will no doubt be a long time coming. Pending their arrival, offsetting helps counterbalance our impact on the environment. It involves the application of carbon credits towards initiatives that help absorb an amount of CO2 equal to the amount we emit.
Ariva has partnered with Carbonzero, an organization that provides carbon offsetting, environmental consulting, and carbon calculators to help communities, schools, and businesses reduce their environmental impact. Carbonzero owns a diverse set of high-quality carbon offsets that are publicly registered and third-party verified.
When you participate in Ariva's Sappi Brands Carbon-Neutral Program, we purchase carbon credits which are applied to Carbonzero's carbon offset projects. Through this program, the already low carbon footprint of Sappi's paper is offset by the planting of trees, thereby enabling us to offer 100% carbon-neutral paper products.
It's simple. All you have to do is advise us - either directly, through your designer/agency or through your printer - that you wish to purchase carbon-neutral Sappi North American papers going forward. When processing your order for these papers, Ariva will apply carbon credits to offset the small amount of CO2 embedded within them. Participating in this program enables you to purchase 100% carbon-neutral papers and help restore balance to our planet at a very affordable cost.
Carbon-neutral versions of all Sappi North American papers are available. These include:
* Flo Sheets and Web
* McCoy Sheets and Web
* Opus Sheets and Web
* Opus PS Sheets and Web
* Somerset Web
CO2 emissions are measured using Sappi's eQ Calculator. Sappi's reported emissions are Scope 1 and Scope 2, i.e. emissions from fuels used directly on site, as well as those associated with purchased electricity.
Absolutely not. Greenwashing is when a company or organization puts most of its resources towards claiming to be green rather than actually implementing green business practices. This is not the case with Sappi or Ariva.
Sappi has been investing in and implementing green business practices for many years.
. In 2009, Sappi launched its Environmental Quotient to educate and engage stakeholders and build a dialogue around sustainability issues.
. They have worked diligently to achieve the lowest reported greenhouse gas emissions among North American coated paper manufacturers.
. In 2012, they committed to achieving a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions. They accomplished this in 2015 - two years ahead of schedule.
Ariva's Sappi Brands Carbon-Neutral Program is testament to the fact that Ariva, like Sappi, has taken a local leadership position within our industry to ensure the sustainability of our environment.
There are many reasons to consider using carbon-neutral paper. Among them:
. Your company may have a mandate to reduce its carbon footprint.
. You want to send customers and shareholders a strong message regarding your commitment to sustainability.
. Using carbon-neutral paper can put you one step ahead of any government regulations that may evolve.
. Because taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint is the right thing to do.
The price difference between regular and carbon-neutral paper is negligible. A quantity of paper that would ordinarily cost $1,000 would cost approximately $5 more if you were to opt for the carbon-neutral version. Because of their already low carbon emissions, all of Sappi's North American brands can be purchased as 100% carbon-neutral for less than a 0.5% premium.
A carbon footprint is defined as "the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities" and is usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Your carbon footprint is defined as the "sum of all emissions of CO2 which were induced by your activities in a given timeframe".
The total carbon footprint is impossible to calculate because a large amount of data is required and we must take into account the fact that carbon dioxide can be produced by natural occurrences as well.
But if you want to calculate the carbon footprint for a specific paper from Domtar, you can use this powerful, interactive online calculator called The Paper Trail®: And carbon footprint isn't all the tool calculates - it also tells you the amount of water used, how far the fibre travelled for a specific type of paper, how much waste was generated and how much renewable energy was used.
For specific papers from Sappi, use eQ, an accurate online tool that gives you the specific environmental knowledge you need.
This is a complicated question and one that deserves a little background explanation first.
The simple answer is that recycled paper is important, but it isn't the only way to create sustainable, environmentally friendly products.
There are two types of paper sources that are part of a sustainable supply chain:
- Recycled sources (used paper that's been collected, sorted, de-inked and dried back into pulp form and sent out to paper mills)
- Virgin sources (sawmill residuals and trees)
What so many people don't realize is that paper fibres can only be recycled 5-7 times! And this means that the input of virgin sources into the paper stream is essential to produce good quality printing and writing paper.
Now you might be thinking, which is better? But in fact, this question brings us to somewhat of a moot point because both recycled fibre and virgin fibre are part of the exact same paper cycle.
For Ariva, it's about balancing our customers' supply needs with the responsibility we have to minimize our impact on natural resources. And that's why we provide products that include virgin fibre from responsibly managed sources AND recycled content. Virgin fibre that is harvested using recognized third-party-certified sustainable forestry practices is as environmentally sound as recycled fibre.
"Greenwash" is a fairly new term that's surfaced in recent years. Modelled from the term "whitewash", which refers to the act of glossing over or covering up vices, crimes or scandals, "greenwash" is when a person or company uses green PR or green marketing falsely or deceptively to make people believe that their products or practices are environmentally friendly when they really aren't.
- Forest Management
- Eco Management
- Other Environmental Characteristics
- They're both from the same paper cycle
- They're both part of a sustainable supply chain
- Paper fibres can only be recycled 5-7 times
- To get good quality printing and writing paper, you need both recycled and virgin fibres
- Virgin fibre that's harvested using third-party-certified sustainable forestry practices is as environmentally sound as recycled fibre
- Consider the complete life cycle and understand the "cradle to gate" full carbon footprint - recycled paper may not always have a lower carbon footprint than virgin paper
That's right. Think about it. Every single time other forms of media are viewed or used, energy is required*. Huh!
*EPA Facts and Figures, 2012
Yes! At Ariva, we're always trying to make the buying process easier, whether you want to deal with a live person over the phone, or order quickly through the internet. ArivaNow is our online store that offers:
- Instantaneous, continuous and secure access to your account
- Easy selection from our up-to-date product catalogue
- Features to check the status of your current order and tracking information
- Complete purchase history reports
Read what our clients are saying!
At Spafax, we love working with Ariva because they have excellent customer service, are focused on providing agencies like us with relevant and innovative ideas to share with our clients, all while recommending the best quality paper based on price for our magazines and advertising initiatives.
Ariva is a wonderful and incredibly knowledgeable company to work with. They provide superior customer service and are always friendly and more than willing to help figure out the best solution to any of my paper needs. I am always impressed when I call with a question, that it is answered promptly and efficiently and my order or samples arrive quickly. As a small business owner it is a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing that I have a team of experts at my fingertips.
I have always been impressed with the seamless operation of Ariva's merchandizing department. As a team they are unmatched in the city. They are all knowledgeable about the products and they easily pick up from their colleagues, so you never worry about who's taking care of you.
We have been dealing with Ariva for many years and their customer service is second to none. They are very prompt to answer any and all questions in a timely manner. Ariva goes out of their way to provide answers and solutions when unique situations arise when our end users require that special product. I would not hesitate to recommend Ariva to anyone, they are fantastic to deal with and very knowledgeable in their products.
I just want to thank-you again for all of the hard work that went into the samples that you have made for me in the last month. The good news is that all of the quotes that the samples were for have developed into jobs, so your hard work wasn't in vain.
Félicitations à toute l'équipe Ariva pour la rapidité à nos demandes et interrogations, et un service personnalisé impeccable. La directrice des ventes, notre représentante attitrée ainsi que toute l'équipe des ventes internes sont à notre disposition en tout temps et avec une courtoisie qui font en sorte que l'imprimerie Commerciale et Imprimerie Improthèque se sentent appréciés comme client et pour nous c'est très IMPORTANT d'avoir une relation fournisseur - acheteur de confiance, la chaleur humaine et la courtoisie d'un fournisseur vif d'esprit et qui sont toujours prêts à trouver une solution à nos besoins font en sorte que nous pouvons être compétitifs et toujours proposés des alternatives à notre clientèle pour ainsi faire autant de Ariva que nous d'être les champions en notre domaine d'activité et c'est de cette façon que vous pouvez vous considérer comme une équipe championne!
Ariva est notre principal fournisseur et ce, depuis plusieurs années. Nous travaillons en étroite collaboration et considérons Ariva comme un partenaire indispensable.