We are reaching out to give you a heads up on what we are seeing in the paper and printing industries and what we need to plan for until further notice.
Due to Covid, the majority of the paper mills have stopped manufacturing paper. The cost of wood pulp has skyrocketed due to lack of supply and paper mills struggling to get their workers to return to their jobs. Currently, the only paper in the global pipeline is in warehoused reserves. This will remain the case until the paper industry can resume normal production.
These factors are causing paper costs to rise and prices only being guaranteed for 24hrs—with availability varying day-to-day. Due to these obstacles, we will need to engage with our printers for estimates and paper orders at the beginning of our project life cycle rather than at the end as we typically would.
Our biggest frustration is the temporary discontinuation of sustainable, recycled content, and eco-friendly options due to lack of demand from customers (huge existential sigh). It is expected that those options will be the last to return to the market when the supply chain resumes since they are less profitable than the virgin-fiber paper lines.
Unless global policy intervenes and presses to subsidize sustainable options, we recommend rethinking the format of your materials that would have historically been printed.
Some options include:
- Create a downloadable PDF of your printed piece to host on your website and deliver via email
- Mail a postcard with a QR code to download PDF materials.
- Create websites or microsite experiences.
- Create in-person experiences with a digital component to engage (think posters with QR codes to access a downloadable event program book)
Our creative team is still thinking through all of our solutions and the possibilities of where this will take our industry and our imaginations. We see this both as a challenge and an opportunity to reduce waste and innovate our expected industry outputs.
As a multi-disciplinary team, we are prepared and skilled to create new design solutions. We are here for you in these challenging times and will continue to create great design for good.