By Amy Kearns June 26, 2006 -- As customers continue to develop increasingly sophisticated designs, they are demanding the highest quality for their project from start to finish. Print providers are rising to the challenge to meet their increasing demands. One element that can have a large impact on the success of a piece is the paper. There is a great opportunity for print providers to meet and exceed these demands as they explore unique digital printing applications by using new and innovative substrates. Digital printing provides new ways to generate exceptional results by creating high-quality, high-impact personalized communications that are more likely to engage and motivate, and in the end, increase profits. A printed piece has the potential to create a stunning visual presentation for the reader, and the overall quality of the piece greatly affects the impression and reaction. Choosing the right paper for an application can be as important as the content to differentiate the piece. Choosing the right paper for an application can be as important as the content to differentiate the piece. A two-person wedding dress design firm, Sands Des Roches, wanted to produce a distinctive catalog to launch their "wearable art" designer-quality wedding dress business. The catalog would have very limited distribution and each catalog would include a hand-painted watercolor cover, delicate lace and fabric butterflies inside and a velvet spine hand-bound with satin ribbon. " Sands Des Roches designs one-of-a-kind wedding dresses and accessories," said Russell Anderson, vice president, Impel Media & Publishing, a graphic design and four-color print firm. "They wanted a one-of-a-kind catalog that communicated the unique value of their designs." Impel worked with Sands Des Roches to turn their creative vision into a quality printed piece. Two versions of the catalog were created to reach different clientele. One included full-color photographs of the one-of-a-kind dresses shown in elegant, traditional settings. The second also included an additional smaller catalog of headpieces and veils that was inserted within the oversized dress catalog. Paper a Critical Element Choosing an average paper would not only misrepresent the merchandise, but reflect poorly on the wedding dress designers. Where an average paper could make them look run-of-the-mill, using the right paper really made their piece come to life. For optimal impact, the paper and printing had to match the quality of the wedding dresses in the catalog. Impel chose Xerox Graphic Xpressions 80 lb. Cover in Warm White. This provided a matte finish and warm tone to enhance the photographs and bring Sands Des Roches' vision for The Veil Wedding Dress Catalog to fruition. Choosing the right paper maximized the overall look and feel of the piece to convey the elegant and sophisticated look the company wanted at an affordable cost. "Professionals are blown away by the quality of the catalog pages," said Robyn Des Roches, partner at Sands Des Roches. "One gallery owner told us to frame the photographs and put them on exhibit." Using high-quality paper and color applications can increase response rates by nearly 50 percent. The Veil Wedding Dress Catalog offers a great example of a collaborative effort from design to print, as well as a highly successful and well-received printed piece. This piece shows the value of choosing the type of paper that best represents the hard work put into the design of the catalog and wedding dresses. Paper choice can create a more aesthetically pleasing piece, but can also increase effectiveness. A direct marketing study conducted by G.A. Wright Marketing, Inc. showed that using high-quality paper and color applications can increase response rates by nearly 50 percent. Clearly, choosing the right paper can be a more effective vehicle to communicate content and impact results. As the sophistication of digital printing and its applications continues to grow, it is important to remember the value of selecting and using innovative paper, which increases the opportunities available from digital printing. This can lead to a wider range of applications offerings, and new applications equal new business.