Colours by GF Smith


I love to collect paper samples. As a designer, you never know when one will come in handy—plus they look cool on your shelf! This is one of my favourite collections, Colours by GF Smith Paper. What’s so stunning about this box set is the vast array samples it actually contains. The box set holds four beautifully made books that are packed with textured and smooth paper samples.

If you’re into print design I definitely recommend a set like this. I received it from GF Smith a few years back (for free) and it has been a source of inspiration for me when considering paper types.

As can be seen in the image gallery below, there’s everything from smooth coated stock, to parchment/marbled paper and “Specials“, which contain Metallic Gold, Pearl Ridged and Carbon Papers. Okay, enough waffling, here are the photos which don’t do this fabulous book any real justice…








Do you collect paper samples? Which one’s are your favourite? How often do you use speciality paper stock?

17 thoughts on “Colours by GF Smith”

  1. Derrinita W

    I LOVE collecting paper samples and have quite a few books on my shelf too. I live in a rather small town and they suppliers here are limited but that’s never detoured me from ordering samples that I may not even be able to use in the final project 😛

  2. Andrew Kelsall

    @Derrinita → I have roughly a full 3ft shelf of them, and love the fact that they’re at my disposal whenever I need them.

    Your local Suppliers may be limited, but the internet is vast. Just contact the online vendors, and some will post them out to you if you’re a designer, etc.

    I think I’ll showcase a few other of my favourite ones at some point. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. Andrew Keir

    These are both Australian companies so I’m not sure what availability is like over in England but check out Spicers Paper and also K.W. Doggett.

    Both have a solid range of quality simple paper through to the exotic stuff and have sample packs. Hopefully you find something you like.

  4. Rachel Cary

    Alas, specialty papers are hard to use because they often (at least here in the US) require a minimum order. If you’re working on a smaller job, it’s just too expensive to order super cool stock. And even on larger jobs, clients often don’t have the funds, especially these days, to get the fancy stuff. But oh, ’tis fun to admire, I’m with you on that one.

    Here in the US, I’ve always loved Neenah’s Classic Crest line. They have a super calendered ‘super smooth’ finish that is particularly yummy. Other finishes are nice as well. Prints fantastically too.

    I, too, have boxes of this stuff on my shelf. Choosing paper is often one of my favorite parts of the job.

    Have you seen Yupo? Not sure it’s still made, or under the same name… plastic ‘paper’ from Japan. Probably completely horrible for the environment, but it was cool stuff.

  5. Andrew Kelsall

    @Andrew → Thanks for the info, I’ll take a look. I’m always on the lookout for fresh samples.

    @Rachel → Yeah, it is a shame about the expense of some paper stocks. I guess that’s why they’re “speciality” stock with a “speciality” premium price.

    I do have the Yupo swatch book you mentioned…I believe mine has some sort of little duckling on the front cover, but I can’t seem to find it.

    Thanks both of you for your input 🙂

  6. Patrick

    Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for the info, looks like a fantastic resource for any designer’s arsenal to have both for himself as well as to help clients get a feel for the many print/paper options out there. I’ve got a box full of random samples, but nothing this comprehensive.

    What’s the best way to get my hands on GF Smith’s paper samples box set being located in the US? The only POC I noticed on the site was the samples@email link, so I’ve tried there but with no response back as of yet… Thanks man!


  7. Andrew Kelsall

    @Patrick → I’m not sure. Your best bet is to email them again, and explain that you may use their papers at some point if you plan to do so.

    Look on the bright side though, at least they won’t send one of those sales reps over to the US to try sell you some paper 😉

  8. Patrick Abel

    @Andrew Haha that’s true! In fact Yupo has been after me for a product demo ever since I got their big samples package in the mail…very cool synthetic paper, but a little too persistent 🙂

    Thanks man,

  9. Jason

    Hey I love their promotional materials, they must be a dream client for a designer and artworker! – no expense spared to show what can be done.

  10. Chris

    I have one of GFs Books. It is one of those things that have been nice to have and refer to, although I have not yet found a client with a big enough budget for me to experiment with some of their offerings!

  11. Andrew Kelsall

    Patrick → I’m not too hot on pushy sales people either!

    Jason → It’s true. Id love to design one at some point.

    Chris → Same here. Normally, printing is the area where most of the savings are required.

    Thanks all for commenting…

  12. happydesigner

    I have a few paper samples but would love to get some free booklets to get me started! any suggestions wheres good to go!

  13. taige

    Hi Andrew. Do you have suggestions on which companies I could request paper samples from? Thx

  14. Andrew Kelsall

    Hi Taige, the website for this booklet is GF Smith Paper ( ), but just look up any of the main suppliers and email them for booklets. Let them know you’re profession, and most of them will be glad to send samples for genuine cases were designers need sample and will potentially use their papers in the future. Other suppliers include Sappi and Conqueror paper.