29th March 2016
Colouring Book Paper
I’m a self confessed paper geek. And if you are reading this, then I bet you are too! Here’s all you need to know about the paper in my colouring books…
UK & US
Penguin Random House Books
Lost Ocean, Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, World of Flowers, How to Draw Inky Wonderlands.
In the UK and US, my books are printed by 2 different printers (in 2 different countries!). It isn’t feasible to ship the same paper to both places, so they are different. In the UK we spent months and months searching for the perfect paper and in the US we’ll be using a paper developed just for my books! Both are a thick, ivory paper stock with a delicate texture to give you enough tooth to layer your colouring pencils but still remain smooth enough that you won’t experience any feathering if you choose to use ink.
We searched the world for papers that would have the warmth of a tinted stock, without effecting your colours. I’m biased, but I think we’ve found the perfect balance between a neutral background and something that retains that storybook charm so many of you associate with my books. The ivory tint of both papers is delicate, yet beautiful and will allow you to apply the lightest of coloured pencil layers without muddying the colouring palette.
The new papers are heavier than all my current books are printed on (except the Artist Editions of course), in fact it’s the heaviest paper we could use that would allow for the folding and creasing involved in binding the book. As ever though, the use of ink in a colouring book is a unique experience for each individual colourist. Do a test patch at the back of the book (on the new Colour Palette page! More on this to come soon!) and check your pens and hand pressure are suitable for the book.
The surface texture of each has enough tooth that you can layer, burnish and blend coloured pencils to create beautiful effects but likewise if you choose to use pens the ink won’t creep and feather in the crevices of the paper. A fibre tip nib or gel pen will still glide effortlessly over the page and allow you to create those bold pops of colour so unique to ink.
Laurence King Books
Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest
The paper for these books is actually white! But we print a flat layer of colour onto each page, before the artwork is printed. The exact shade of the tint varies from book to book depending on the chemical make-up of the ink blend, the character of the tree the paper was made from and even things like the humidity in the factory that day! Generally speaking, the paper will be a greenish cream! The paper also feels a little thicker as it is effectively sandwiched between 2 layers of ink!
Each foreign edition of my books is printed by my publisher in that territory and they select their own paper stock and printers based on my recommendations. I can offer guidance but sadly do not have full control. Colouring books require huge amounts of very specific paper so my publishers try to find the very best paper they can within their commercial parameters. As such, Magical Jungle in France will not be printed on the same paper as it appears on it the US or UK.