Tactile, rich colors and authentic — these are some adjectives to describe Strathmore Grandee. But did you know, this time-honored paper grade may have been named something completely different? We dove into the Strathmore Archive and found the history behind Strathmore Grandee’s name.
In 1960, John Gallup—who was to lead Strathmore as President for its longest and greatest period of growth, — was working in product development. In the now well-established Strathmore tradition, he and his staff perceived a need in the graphic arts community for a new text and cover paper, one which would meet the contemporary taste for dramatic color and compliment it with an equally distinctive surface. He worked closely with the Production Department and after many trials — and errors — they came up with the paper they had been seeking, and they named it Camelot.
They were ready to introduce it to the market-they had already announced that a big surprise was on the way, and actually named the date-when they were stuck by a calamity: the legal people found that the Camelot name already belonged to another paper company.
It was far too late to start the laborious search for a new name, but luckily someone remembered that the name Grandee was owned by Strathmore, and available.* Further, its proud, elegant Spanish flavor seemed to fit the new grade admirably. One of Strathmore’s leading merchants had returned from a trip to Spain. Together over the phone, Gallup and the merchant fitted the new grade with appropriate color names.
The rest, as they say, is history: Grandee became and has remained a signature Strathmore grade, leading all other text and cover paper for many years and inspiring countless imitators. In 2015 Mohawk gave Grandee a face-lift, adding four “heritage colors” from the Strathmore Archive.
*In 1926, Strathmore Grandee was introduced. This was not the Grandee known today; rather it was a paper that remained in the line for only nine years. But the name stayed on Strathmore books, and became the stuff of legend.