Siv Lindberg, Annika Kihlstedt
There is a growing awareness in marketing today of the importance of sensory information in the evaluation of products. Functional attributes and product benefits are no longer enough in order to attract and commit the consumers. In the paper industry this translates to explore in which way the consumer perceives added value and how smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting or touching can enhance the interaction with printed products. The objective of present study was to create an inventory of the haptic and visual sensory impressions for different paper grades. Unimodal tactile and visual exploration of LWC, MWC, SC, copy paper, newsprint and book paper was performed. Paper grades were rated on seven point semantic scales consisting of the attributes Elegant, Exciting, Masculine, Modern, Feminine, Smooth, Brittle, Ecological, Warm and Cheap. The results show that for the five attributes Feminine, Modern, Cheap, Elegant and Exciting there are no significant differences in ratings between the tactile and visual condition, i.e. the perceptual differences between paper grades are stable over the two different senses. For Ecological, Brittle, Smooth, and Warm there are statistical differences between the senses for some paper grades. In particular the SC paper looks more ecological than it feels. Copy paper and newsprint feel smoother than they look. Paper nuances were measured instrumentally using an X-rite and correlated to the psychological measurements. The b* values are had a significant impact on attributes such as: Warm (0.97), Ecological (0.79), and Modern (-0.79). The lightness values of the samples, L* correlated to Feminine (0.63) and to Elegant (0.61), and negatively to Ecological (-0.72 and Brittle (-0.67).
Keywords: Paper quality, Tactile perception, Visual perception