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Interview with Nathan Doggett from KW Doggett



Aussie family paper merchants, KW Doggett have been working with us for many years. We caught up with Nathan Doggett, National Sales Manager, for a chin wag (get it, wag…. dog…. eh, eh?) about his area of expertise – paper.

WATERMARX GRAPHICS: KW Doggett is a family business, can you tell us about the company’s beginnings?

NATHAN DOGGETT: My father Ken started the business in 1975. Then in 1985, he asked his younger brother John to come on board. We’ve come a long way and our range is the most diverse paper folio on the market. We are a second generation business with my two brothers Heath and Simon, as well as our cousin Catherine (John’s daughter), also working in the business. We employ 220 people and have offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. We’re all really proud of the fact Doggett’s is the only independent merchant in Australia with a national footprint.

WG: What’s news at KW Doggett this time of year?

ND: This is our busiest period through to Christmas. This is when it all happens – packaging, invitations, brochures, labels – the list goes on. Our calender has just been printed for 2015, which means the year is closing in. We have new products launching, paper promos being released and some collaborations about to hit the market. We have seen some amazing print jobs on Curious SKIN, and we have spent the last 3 months showcasing our latest packaging swatch; a huge hit around town, with 13 brands on show.

WG: Tell us about using the KeayKolour with embellishments and letterpress?

ND: Keaykolour is a really tactile paper, very toothy and works well with letterpress. But we’ve also got loads of awesome samples on Wild, our 35% cotton paper which is super popular for invites, business cards, covers, and it goes up to 850gsm. What’s good to see is the detailed, crisp impressions the stock gets. We’ve seen some ripper examples on Instagram. Buffalo Board, one of our packaging grades is also popular with the letterpress crew.

WG: The environmental question is becoming more and more important in print, is Doggetts working on innovations in this area?

ND: The environmental conversation has always been important. I mean we work in an inherently sustainable industry and have been under the spotlight for years, which is why we operate under such high standards. We’re always looking at the mills we partner with and their sustainability credentials, making sure we’re working with the best in the industry. But the conversation is shifting. It’s just as much about sustainability as it is the conversation about effectiveness, like I mentioned before. Being part of Two Sides Australia and actively promoting the VoPP (Value of Paper and Print) campaign is critical for us. Paper gets results and we want everyone to know the facts so they can pass on the information to their customers. Our three main recycled stocks are Maine, Impact, and Envirocare, but 96% of our papers are FSC certified.

WG: What exciting things have you seen done lately with your stock and letterpress design?

ND: We always see cool foils, painted or guilded edges on business cards are awesome, lots of invites with intricate designs, lots of clean designs too with fluoro and really punchy colours. WILD cotton has been a huge hit and toothy stocks are right on trend.

WG: What do you think are the up-and-coming trends in print and paper?

ND: There’s a definite swing towards more tactile stocks, which bring project to life a bit more. We have seen a huge trend in kraft stocks like Buffalo. I saw this trend in the USA earlier this year at the New York Stationery Fair and we just launched our new ‘Buffalo’ print promotion to the design and print market with huge success. Knight Vellum has become a strong favourite with designers and printers. Print runs appear to be on decline, but with a better emphasis on the stock quality.

WG: Any design/paper tips for creative in the lead-up to Christmas?

ND: My advice is paper is a huge part of the design process so make sure you keep researching the stocks on the market!