Hahnemuhle drops the production of 64″ papers

Hahnemuhle Fine Art papersAre you looking for Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Baryta or FineArt Baryta inkjet paper 64″ rolls? Bad times, they’re going to discontinue the production in 2012.

Due to little interest about such a large format (Hahnemuhle representatives said) the sales don’t account for the production costs; and the well known fine-art paper company is going to stick to the more common 60″ size as the wider available for the entire inkjet serie.

I’ve personally been in touch with some printing professionals around the world, and they all showed, to some degree, astonishment. Hahnemuhle manufactures some of the best papers in the market, and it seems strange that the entire world isn’t able to absorb the 64″ stocks that would account for keeping the product line alive.

If you’re reading this one, you’re probably in the business of large format printing, so let me share a couple of personal thoughts with you.

  1. One of Hahnemuhle’s marketing strengths has always been the product’s quality. If they promote themselves as the leading company in the field (of fine art printing, which, per se, is a niche in the printing business as a whole), they should keep their products range intact even if the sub-niche of very-very-large-format isn’t completely financially rewarding. Other branches may support it.

  2. From a marketing point of view, the choice to drop the 64″ production is, in my humble opinion, damaging the company in a bad way. Top clients for this range of papers are top professionals in their own fields (whether printers, photographers, artists) and to leave them with no options at all is absurd.

That said, it’s funky that a printer like the Epson 11880 has now few extra inches that nobody will fill anymore, except for a couple of papers from… Epson (the Exhibition Fiber and, afaik, the Premium Luster, not my best choice for sure). So they’ll say that in 2012 the economy crisis got entire countries on their knees and shrank the print’s size in galleries by 4″.