With that particular book, we take it down to a 60-lb cover, alternating between Influence and Orion.
CS:Have you used other types of paper before? If so, why didn’t they work out?
Rick: In the distant past we were on heavier stock for the big book, but it didn’t work out, mainly because of postage costs.
CS:How often do you mail?
Rick: The big book goes out three times a year, in spring, summer and fall. Supplements go out in between those, with an extra one during the holiday season.
CS:How big a part does paper play in your budget considerations?
Rick: That’s hard to answer. We budget with cost in mind, but cost on a per-book basis doesn’t make a difference in your circulation strategy. In that way I’d say it’s not that big, but it’s essentially a huge cost for us.
CS:How much of an impact do you think paper has on your brand?
Rick: Our catalog is our store. You have a different feeling in a Kmart than you do in Nordstrom. You know it feels different; it’s the building, it’s the lighting. With a cataloger, this is your store, so it’s the look and feel of your “building.” It’s one of those intangible things that’s really important, but [customers] can’t lay their fingers on how.
Vern Bush, print services manager, Quill catalog
Product: Office supplies
Circulation: 1.2 million for the semiannual big book; 1.6 to 3 million for the monthly flyers
CS:What type of paper are you using now?
Bush: For our semiannual catalog, we’re using—and have been for 10 or 12 years—33-lb SCA, Stora Enso Superior Gloss, gravure.
Prior to that, we were using a #5 coated sheet, but the basis weight and price of Superior Gloss gave us a good advantage for the catalog. We were on a heavier basis weight coated sheet in 1990, and when we looked at the SCA it was comparable to the 34-lb coated we were using at the time, for less money.