Paper choices: 5 minutes with… Danny Doogan

Despite the trend to digital, publishers still get through a lot of paper, but are they making the right choices? We grab five minutes with Danny Doogan, director of marketing and sustainability at Denmaur Paper Media.

By Danny Doogan

Paper choices: 5 minutes with… Danny Doogan

Q: How do you see the future of the print magazine?

A: I think it’s very much sector dependent, but in general (and unfortunately), I think it will continue to decline as access, through digital technology, becomes easier.

That said, if paper does get the recognition for the sustainable and circular product that it is, then there will always be a demand for printed magazines. We’re slowly but surely becoming a more responsible society.

Q: What trends are you noticing in magazine papers?

A: There are two noticeable trends at present: decreasing capacity and increasing prices.

Although the input costs of producing magazine grades are increasing, it is the demand for paper fibre in the packaging sector in particular that is having a tremendous influence on price and availability.

We are also seeing a number of producers converting (or intending to convert) their machines away from graphical paper production in favour of board and packaging grades.

Q: How can publishers manage their paper usage more efficiently?

A: I’d strongly suggest that using the services of a professional publishing paper merchant is the way to go.

They will offer a comprehensive choice of sustainable and innovative paper grades, more cost saving opportunities, better credit terms and a complete paper management service that will account for every kilo of their paper stock.

Otherwise, it’s a case of getting into a good habit of reconciling your stocks and agreed paper usage after each print run, and (especially in the current climate) bench marking prices wherever you’re able to.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how publishers could use paper more imaginatively?

A: There are a number of ways in which you can improve the sustainability profile of your publication - making use of forest certification and Carbon Balancing trademarks within your publication is a simple and cost-effective way of demonstrating a strong sustainability message.

Investigating different paper types can offer savings in all sorts of ways. Some of the hybrid grades available on the market allow you to drop a few paper weights yet retain a similar bulk and visual appearance without too much in the way of compromise - for example a high bulking LWC+ against a traditional MWC paper. This will have the effect of reducing your paper quantity, and so your paper bill, and it could also have an impact on your distribution costs.

When considering new grades, I’d advise publishers to take advantage of offers such as complimentary ‘paper health checks’ and free samples and dummies service that specialist merchants provide in order to thoroughly investigate viable paper alternatives. Part of their remit should be to serve up some radical ideas, which may provide more of a cost impact than you were able to imagine.

Q: What scope do you see for innovation in print magazines?

A: In terms of paper stock, and as described in the previous answer, there are several options available for exploring both direct and indirect savings, and without necessarily having to compromise too much in the way of existing paper grades.

Otherwise, I think it’s inevitable that we’ll see an upsurge in the integration of digital technology through the use of processes such as augmented reality. I would have thought this would be particularly appealing to advertisers who could instantly transport magazine readers to their web page.

Q: What makes print special?

A: The paper! It’s natural, renewable, recyclable, compliant (socially, ethically and environmentally), measurable and traceable – we can trace a paper pulp back to its tree species and country of harvest. And, although you can print plenty of fake news on paper, no-one can hack in to it and steal your identity or your bank account details.

Denmaur has been one of the established names in the print and publishing sectors since 1983. Today, Denmaur Paper Media has become one of the leading specialist paper suppliers in the UK, offering a comprehensive range of innovative and sustainable products to the commercial print sector.

Website: www.denmaur.com