After I interviewed Sabine Lenz, founder of PaperSpecs, she gave me a live tour of the web site, I was impressed by the breadth of features offered and how easy they are to use. I’d like to share a few of my favorite features with you.

  • Technical information about paper terminology is easy to find and is presented clearly. I liked this one on the obscure topic of understanding paper basis weight.


  • You can search for a paper by many different characteristics, such as surface, texture, mill, or color. If you find a color you’re interested in, a close-up photo and the closest PMS and RGB numbers to that paper color are shown. What a boon for designers!


  • Once you find a paper you like, you can read a summary of its features that includes its recycled content and environmental certifications.


  • On the Paper Details page, you’ll find everything you could possibly want to know about the sheet, including mill, color name, weights and sizes, recycled contents, suggested uses, and more.


  • Of course, what you really need to know in the end is whether the paper is available from a merchant in your area. A list of local paper merchants who carry the paper is provided, complete with contact information.


  • I didn’t take a screen cap of one of the best features of all, the ability to select and order current paper promotions and swatch books, which are shipped directly from the mill to you. With paper shows and presentations happening less frequently, this is a wonderful way to both get inspired and keep your paper swatchbook cabinet current.

Thumbs way up!

I’m glad to have learned about PaperSpecs and am happy to pass the information along to you. looks like a great tool for print production managers and designers, offered at a very reasonable cost. The site’s design is clean and straightforward; its search and compare features are robust. Having current paper information from many mills in one big database is fabulous. And having access to all of those print promotions will all too tempting!

Disclaimer: The FCC will be happy to know that Nani Paape, author of the Printing Disasters blog, received no compensation in exchange for this post.