GF Smith visit to James Cropper, Cumbria

It’s not uncommon for several of us here in the office to get a little overexcited when we talk paper, so it was Christmas come early when GF Smith invited Michael to go and visit the place where the magic happens.

James Cropper Speciality Paper is the UK’s only truly bespoke specialty paper manufacturer and are the company that produce the Colorplan range for GF Smith. Based at Burneside Mills, Kendal, six generations of the family have built the company to where it is today – a global business driving innovation and discovery.

“The day was fascinating, educational and inspiring” said Michael.

“We started with the basics in the lab, learning how colours were mixed and matched, what effect the different raw materials would have on the end product and saw for ourselves, on a small scale, the principles of making a sheet of paper.”

The place was stooped in history and family ties, people were born in the village, went to school in the village, worked in the mill side by side and, inevitably, would be buried in the village. A truly great sense of pride and passion was very quickly communicated by all who work there.

As we moved in to the main mill to see the production on the grand scale we all really began to appreciate that this couple of hours would be so valuable when we returned to the office. Thinking of our next project, if there is a potential place for paper to play in it, the visit should help us communicate a little better with clients and printers to create some great printed (or not) pieces.

My personal favourites – ‘Sorbet Yellow’ and ‘Pistachio’.

A big big thanks must go out to¬†Matthew Scharf, GF Smith and all at James Cropper for their amazing hospitality and chitter chatter. The company was entertaining, the scenery was stunning.”

You can check out, and play with, the full range of Colorplan papers at

James Cropper Papermill pul pmixing

James Cropper Papermill twin-wire production process

James Cropper Papermill visit


JamesCropper_Papermill_dialsJamesCropper Papermill paper for GF Smith