Established in 1845, James Cropper has been producing some of the world’s best paper for over 170 years. Situated near Kendal, gateway to The English Lake District World Heritage Site, the company has a rich history. With records of paper being made at the site of its Burneside Mill as far back as 1833, the family-run manufacturer has undergone many developments through the years to get to the position it’s in now, as Europe’s leading coloured and specialist paper mill.
The only paper mill with an on-site colour facility and technical lab, James Cropper has all the skill and know-how to keep up with the ever-changing needs of consumers and clients. From independent designers to giant global brands, from an identity for Wallpaper* Magazine to the paper for the Royal British Legion poppy appeal, the team at James Cropper combine their unrivalled experience with an adaptable approach, so that they can work with any client, on any project.
This adaptability has also allowed them to develop a brilliant solution to the urgent issue of single-use plastics. Amidst a worldwide push for more sustainable approaches in design, and alongside their broad array of bespoke papers, James Cropper also has the answer to environmentally-friendly branding: COLOURFORM. Speaking on this recent development, Mark Starrs, James Cropper’s Master Colour Blender, tells us: “COLOURFORM is speciality coloured moulded fibre packaging made from responsibly sourced FSC wood fibre and high-quality content from James Cropper’s own recycling plant. It is environmentally ambitious and triumphs from source to end of life.”
Mark goes on: “Perhaps the greatest gift COLOURFORM offers designers, however, is the gift of colour and the brand-enhancing capabilities we have to enable brands to tell their story through their packaging. For all of our paper products, we provide brands with a colour-matching service and experience which means they can choose and work with us on any colour they desire.”
With the world of design changing rapidly and the need for versatile identities that are as effective on-screen as they are in the physical world constantly increasing, James Cropper’s ability to provide limitless colour options is invaluable. Coupled with a recent survey showing that 79 per cent of designers cite the desire for individuality and personalisation greatly impacting the selection of branding colours, and the next most notable factor when communicating a brand story through packaging being sustainability credentials, it’s clear that James Cropper ticks all the boxes.
Luxury design consultant Vincent Villeger says the company’s progressive and boundless offerings made for a host of successful collaborations with iconic brands such as Burberry and the jewellery label Vashi. He worked on a Honey paper for the former that perfectly matched the clothing label’s iconic trench coat, and developed bright orange materials for the latter that “illustrated the jeweller’s disruptive approach within a relatively conservative market”. For Vincent, the huge range of materials on offer at James Cropper are “diverse, but also in constant evolution as new trends continue to emerge, and the need for environmentally responsible solutions increase”.