An example of the differences in white paper color - polar bear fur appears white against snow and invisible against white paper.Q: I want brochures and a marketing folder. And I want everything on white paper so it all perfectly matches my business cards and stationery. Can you do that?

A: No, because white is not a single color. It is a spectrum of colors, just like red or blue. If you provide a sample business card and sheet of letterhead, we can get close. But a “perfect” match for white paper color would require using the same paper for everything. You’d end up with very stiff letterhead or very limp folders, brochures and business cards.

Think of polar bears on a snowy landscape. To our eyes, the bears and the snow both look white. But if polar bear fur (which is actually translucent) appeared to be the same white as the snow, all you would see are their dark eyes and noses. Closer to home, if you have ever shopped for white paint, you know many different shades of white are shown on the swatches. Each swatch individually looks white. But compare them side-by-side and you notice different levels of brightness as well as different cool or warm undertones. Textures and finishes add even more variations.

Likewise, white paper color comes in a virtual rainbow of whites, each of which can be varied with a glossy, matte or textured coating. When working on a project that will require multiple white papers, we compare actual paper samples to make sure that all the whites go nicely together.

Need help with design, writing and/or marketing strategy for your promotional materials and/or website? Email Kim Landry or call 484.829.0021.


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