Holmen's technical support manager Linus Lehberg has been working in the graphic industries since the late 1990's, with a background from one of Europe's largest commercial roller printers. He's very dedicated to the end result and quality into every detail. We asked him to explain how to make sure the images look great on uncoated paper.

In this video you can see an example of an image where two different colour profiles have been used, and you can get your own issue of the magazine PAPER here below to see the actual print for yourself.

With the right images and printing quality, uncoated matt paper offers a high-quality alternative to glossy coated papers – without extra weight or cost. Here are some thing to think about to make the most out of the paper:

Uncoated papers have a warmer look

Papers with uncoated matt surfaces offer a warmer, muted look and feel than coated ones. Therefore, warm tones in images tend to work best on papers with uncoated, matt surfaces.

Holmen technical support manager Linus Lehnberg stresses that when you’re making and reviewing proofs before printing, it’s vital to choose the right profile. “Uncoated paper has specific colour values as defined in ISO12647-2. The printers aim to hit these values to give the best possible colour reproduction,” Lehnberg says.

Use the right prepress settings

“Prepress settings have to be right too." Lehnberg underlines. "With uncoated matt paper you may get a grainy feeling and subdued colours, so it’s good to use shadow highlight adjustments for heavy shadows or dark clothing,” he adds.

"The key is to find the balance between preserving the details in the darker areas of the image and still have a really good contrast." 

Linus Lehnberg exemplifies this by showing page 33 in Holmen's magazine PAPER #2, where the same image is prepared with different colour profiles before print, as can be seen around 1:15 in the video above.

Tips from The Guardian

When printing on uncoated matt papers you need to consider several factors, says Andy Clyde, Prepress Manager at York Mailing, UK, which printed The Guardian’s Feast supplement on the uncoated matt paper Holmen TRND.

“A coated paper has a smooth coated surface that allows the ink to sit on top of the paper, which will visually give more depth and vibrance, while an uncoated paper allows the ink to sink into the uncoated surface, meaning the depth of colour is not as bright.”

How to handle the printing press

Frequent washing intervals for the printing press is good practice, and the intervals should be more frequent when the printer runs all on uncoated. Different grammage and bulk put different demands on folding the paper, and paper with higher bulk can have an effect on the printing speed.

For the colour settings on the press, a Swedish printer advises, “Run separate workflows for different paper types to get the right print adjustments. On the press, use different target densities based on the type of paper.”

And - above all - communication is key

Finally, communication is key, says Lehnberg. “To ensure you get the best results, make it clear to those involved that you are printing on uncoated matt paper.” 

Bright colours will pop as long as you make sure the artwork is prepared accordingly, particularly your images. So, if you’re after a highly cost-effective option for catalogues, direct mail and other publications, Holmen’s uncoated matt papers like EPIC, VIEW MATT and TRND could be just what you’re looking for.

Holmen’s uncoated matt papers are made from fresh fibres and thanks to their high bulk they offer high quality and cost efficiency. For example, Holmen VIEW Matt is up to 7% lighter than an equivalent LWC paper, but still feels just as thick.

Written for PAPER #2 by Cari Simmons.