Running Ahead: 50 Years of Cougar®

By Danielle Sinclair, Director of Brand and Content Marketing at Domtar, which is celebrating the 50 year history of Cougar® Paper. (More on Danielle below.)


For fifty years, Cougar Paper has defined the path for print as an art form and invited those who hold it in their hands to be captivated by its beauty. Cougar is a premium brand that showcases breathtaking designs, textures, techniques and art. Domtar is celebrating the impressive history of Cougar, the people who make it their own, the designers who inspire its evolution and the limitless possibilities for its brilliant future.

Boldly Cougar Innovates

The paper manufacturing process is a unique blend of tradition, art and skill. The attention to every detail is the key to consis- tency and superb quality. Cougar was bred from this philosophy and it still lives on today.

In 1972, the Rothschild mill in Rothschild WI began making Cougar Opaque. This was during a time when mills were making opaque grades classified as No.1 Opaques. The name Cougar complemented the animal theme that began with Husky Offset.

After decades of impressive performance in the marketplace and earning a well-deserved reputation for vivid solids and consistency, Cougar continued to expand its dominance by learning to change with the times. As technology evolved, so did Cougar; by doing so, it ensured that the best facet of these new technologies was highlighted. Over the years, Cougar has gone from a green-white shade to blue-white to now the more balanced white we have all come to love. It has gone from a lower brightness sheet to the 98 brightness that allows for jaw- dropping vivid colors. Over time, we’ve added Cougar Natural and Cougar Digital Color Copy to the assortment to continue meeting customers’ needs.

Technology Manager, Kurt Mehlberg, having had a hand in the development of Cougar, explains that “the Domtar Rothschild Mill is the ‘Home of Cougar’ and takes that responsibility very seriously. Although there have been multiple improvements throughout Cougar’s 50 year history, in my opinion, the pride and ownership of everyone involved across Domtar along with the robust systems built to ensure customer satisfaction have been the most beneficial. The manufacturing foundation con-tinually improves, and ensures every roll, skid or carton meets our exacting standards and performs as expected every time.”

In addition to excellence in paper making, the Rothschild mill has made numerous environmental contributions. From upgrading the  water treatment system to becoming a total chlorine free (TCF) mill three years before the EPA deadline. Being a leader in caring for our environment is as much a core principle as the art of paper making itself.

Beautifully Cougar Creates

For decades, printers and designers alike have chosen Cougar to be the medium that best represents their imaginations, their soul, their design prowess. From bold and vibrant ads to printed materials to White House Christmas invitations, Cougar delivers consistently.

We have had the privilege over the years to create works of art that display Cougar’s adaptability to represent the designer’s eye. In exquisite pieces like “Luxury Within Reach,” Cougar boasts how it holds dramatic and vibrant hues, captures details with poise and conveys emotions that connect to memories. Connecting and creating meaningful brands is portrayed wonderfully in the piece “w/PURPOSE.” Here, we inspire you to see how Cougar’s unique, velvety feel resonates with your audience on a deeper level and how its crisp detail and striking color can captivate them.

Meredith Collins, Customer Marketing Manager for Domtar’s most exclusive brands, know these attributes well. She says, “For 50 years, Cougar Paper has been an icon in the merchant, printer and design communities. During that time, it has built a legacy of bringing important work to life and elevating projects to new levels.”

We have featured designers’ work in pieces such as “Share on Cougar” where they show why Cougar is their choice for effective and compelling print and we have helped show the impact you can make to your design through guide books like the “Embossing Guide.” Cougar enables design dreams to spring to life.

As Collins declares, “It has become the go-to sheet because customers can be assured that every sheet will be of the highest quality and integrity and will always exceed their expectations. It stands in a class of its own.”

Steadily Cougar Rises

As with most great things, they evolve. Cougar will take its well- respected past and put the same efforts, design and craftmanship into its future. Cougar papers have always had the ability to connect people and their ideas to print and those working in our product management department have no plans to stop!

Printing Papers Product Manager, Goldie McGee, shares, “Cougar has a long-standing history as our superior-quality paper, known for its excellent performance, signature velvety feel and breadth of line. With a new generation of printers more excited than ever to prove the potential of print, I envision Cougar as the continued paper of choice for brands looking to make powerful and lasting impressions.”

Cougar’s extensive breadth of line allows for you to create your story in the way that meets your customer’s journey. The assortment has three finishes, two shades, an expanded digital offering and a vast array of sizes and weights, so that you have multiple options to bring your creativity to life.

Run Ahead With Us

We are proudly celebrating Cougar’s past while reveling in the ideas and promise of its future. Vice President of Merchant Sales, John Milazo, is excited about where we’re heading. “Quite simply put,” he says, “Domtar’s Cougar Brand is one of the most sought-after lines in the merchant business, widely known for its unparalleled quality and superior value. These attributes, coupled with Cougar’s strong brand recognition spanning over the past 50 years, provide the foundation for our team to go to market with the best product portfolio in the paper industry.”

We think he’s right on.

After 50 years, Cougar runs ahead, boldly, beautifully, steadily.

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Danielle Sinclair has over 14 years experience in the Paper and Print Industry, Danielle brings product expertise to enhance customer-centric content marketing, using creative design strategies and packaging innovation to build brand awareness for Domtar’s extensive and respected assortment of brands.