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Paper Inspiration #144: Sephora VIB Rouge Press Kit
PaperSpecsGallery.com headlines the Sephora VIB Rouge Press Kit. How do you get the attention of the nation's top fashion editors -- those busy people who are bombarded daily with press kits? You go BIG and you get personal.
Views: 4779 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #274: State Street Honey Packaging
If the local wine scene is getting a little too stuck on itself for you, you might give honey a try. Not only are there honey tastings and a whole new variety of flavors for you to identify, some honey labels these days even rival wine labels in elegance and embellishments. San Francisco’s State Street Honey is all about sustainability and the appeal of a truly natural experience, which NATURALLY informed the look of the product, says Jessica Glebe who designed its identity and packaging. “Never treated with [chemicals] and drawing 100% from their own honeycomb, State Street Honey bees create the purest honey possible,” she explains. “State Street Honey is only minimally filtered, but never heated, and is packed with all the beneficial enzymes and pollen that the majority of store-bought honey lacks. Simply put, it's honest, locally sourced honey. “To capture the divine essence of State Street Honey's brand, a winged beehive illustration was crafted featuring an illuminant, gold halo. Like the honey it represents, the logo and package design is approachable and sincere —compelling, but never ostentatious.” Or put another way, it walks a fine line between something that looks “homemade” (the typewriter-like typography, hand-stamped blend information and simple logo) AND “sophisticated” (that “Honest Honey” label and embossed gold foil seal on the top of the lid). You can easily picture yourself finding this at your local farmer’s market, and then doing a double-take after spotting that beautiful seal. As Jessica so rightly observes, “Paying a little more for unique printing techniques on a seemingly small production run is far worth the cost of the polished finished piece.”
Views: 1777 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #17: Texas State Health Brochure
Texas State Health Information Technology Program got the chemistry just right on this hexagonal brochure! So how does this concept take shape? The designer says a little research revealed that when the hexagon is paired with icons and other elements it connotes technology. The engineering behind each arm is a testament to proper planning. Each panel is a bit smaller than the one above it in the folding sequence.
Views: 13513 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #213: My-Ness Chapbook
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com presents My-Ness Chapbook. “The chapbook’s short cover literally begs you to take a look inside.” Thomas Ingalls My delight ... my pleasure ... in having the chance to view and read [my-ness], a chapbook published by Missing Links Press. Ingalls Design http://www.ingallsdesign.com/thumbs.html created this thoughtful and inspiring printed piece. The details serve to complement and enrich Jane Hirshfield’s moving poetry where each selection begins with the word “My.” The specialness of this limited-edition collection is enhanced by the choice of letterpress printing; tactile paper; and delicate, hand-sewn binding. The gentle blueness of a four-panel, roll-fold cover wraps text and artwork, which rest perfectly fitted inside. Touches of yellow punctuate the softness of the cover with a contrast meant to calmly awaken the eyes to the visuals that have a unique story of their own. Adding energy and movement, these interesting images are abstract forms adapted from original atomic tracings done during bubble chamber experiments. Invented by physicist Donald Glaser in 1952, the bubble chamber led to central discoveries in experimental physics, and you can see the influence of the 1950s in this memorable chapbook.
Views: 1489 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #214:  Lovesong Chapbook
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention to Lovesong Chapbook. “The precious and secretive nature of love and loving, as described by the author in her poems, is reflected in the design of the cover which becomes a hidden treasure to discover and to behold….The design reinforced that the concept of love found – and/or love lost – is bound by a thread.” - Mayda Freije Makdessi (Designer) The romantic souls at Brooklyn’s Communica Design transformed the poetic verse and watercolor paintings of Beirut artist Afaf Zurayk into a light and airy 56-page meditation on love and all its complications. Held closed with a snug-fitting, watercolor-painted belly band, the brochure’s soft Marcate Tintoretto outer cover with felt marked finish and deckled edges further enhances the dreamlike quality of the 19 color paintings within. And like any dream, the cover turns out not to be all that it seems. Why, we might ask, do we not see the Singer sewn binding on the outside of the brochure? Because Beirut printer Calligraph has cleverly bound one of the author’s paintings to the inside pages and then folded it over twice to create a double-thick cover. As an added benefit, you can enjoy the painting uninterrupted by the binding running through the center. Ultimately, the cottony paper and gentle watercolors make the “Lovesong” chapbook – limited to just 1,000 copies – the print equivalent of spying a former lover through the rain-slicked window of a warm café. Ain’t love grand?
Views: 1323 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration: #128  The Fox with the Golden Fur
PaperSpecsGallery.com features The Fox with the Golden Fur. Once upon a time, a most amazing shadow box arrived at the doors to our kingdom. It came from the land of enchanted design, clothed in the softest of paper and bedecked in stamps of golden foil. This dimensional creation took us on a wondrous journey through diecutting adventures to tell the saga of one princely project of print.
Views: 2077 paperspecs
IN THE DESIGN STUDIO: Marie Todd Branding
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention toMarie Todd Branding. When jewelry retailer Marie Todd sought to sell candles and home fragrance products to a luxury market, the initial packaging wasn’t giving them the results they wanted. So they turned to Prado Studio to rebrand their identity and reboot their sales. A piece of jewelry was the inspiration for the packaging’s design. A pendant from Marie Todd’s jewelry collection epitomized beauty, and was a keepsake designed to last an eternity. Those were some of the same values Prado Studio wanted the packaging to convey. Traditional boxes wrapped with Neenah Paper’s linen line created the elegance and refinement they were looking for. The packaging “needed a lot of texture and something that definitely embodies what the company is all about,” says Prado Studio’s Marilyn Prado-Test. Design techniques such as foiling and embossing created the desired effect. In fact, the detailed nature of the foil was particularly one-of-a-kind. “I have not done packaging this intricate with foil,” Prado-Test admits. The result was a line of packaging that lives up to the high standards of a classic gem. It’s beautiful, it’s luxury -- and like Marie Todd’s pendant -- it’s timeless.
Views: 778 paperspecs
In the Design Studio: Beauty of Engraving
http://PaperSpecs.com and Neenah Paper feature In the Design Studio: Beauty of Engraving. When Neenah Paper asked Michael Osborne to create this exclusive print for The Beauty of Engraving gallery, the president and creative director of MODSF found inspiration from his personal collection of currency, stocks and bonds. Hoping to educate young designers about engraving, Osborne pushed the boundaries to show what’s possible with this exquisite and tactile (inked areas rise up from the surface of the paper) printing process. From the nearly matching color of the Classic Crest Saw Grass paper to the three ink colors, you can see and feel the design influence of a dollar bill. To add interest and a little bit of intrigue, there are seemingly disparate elements. The rabbit and bee illustrations, the numerals and initials (each has a special meaning to Osborne) serve as wonderful visual surprises. The Ligature undertook the engraving and has clear bragging rights here too. The maxed-out width of the printed area, the density of the ink, multiple hand-tooled dies, capturing and holding such fine details ... all are beautifully printed to dramatic effect.
Views: 1296 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #322:  Ringling College Acceptance Package
I don’t know what students usually receive these days from the colleges and universities that accept them – a team pennant and a financial aid form, no doubt. But Sarasota, Fla.’s Ringling College of Art and Design makes that acceptance a celebratory affair with a package that’s not only fun, but instills in the recipient a sense of joining a close-knit, creative family. Part of that collegiate feel stems from the fact that the package itself, as well as all of its contents, were designed by a student – Olivia Strohm, Class of 2017 – in the college’s in-house design studio, with guidance by faculty member/creative director Jennifer Mumford Brady. (Illustration department faculty member Katy Betz created all the whimsical illustrations you see here.) For years the Ringling College acceptance package has been saved and cherished by the students who receive it, and this one is sure to continue that fine tradition. For starters, the mailing box is alive with alligators, birds, umbrellas and other Florida sights, all rendered in whimsical cartoon form just begging to be colored in – the student’s very first opportunity to practice their creativity as a full-fledged Ringling College student. (Bonus points for the phrase “Snap & Share” positioned above the jaws of the aforementioned alligator :-)) Zipping open the box along the side unleashes even more fun, all against a Florida-appropriate green interior. Packaging designer Olivia presented several concepts to the dean of admissions for this bundle; the one that was chosen had two main ideas to express. The first was to celebrate the accomplishment of the student who’s just been accepted. This is reflected in the phrasing throughout the package: everything from the cartoon-laden acceptance letter envelope that proclaims “Yay you!” to an assortment of goodies bundled together with a black belly band that gives you a rousing “Oh yeah Oh yeah Oh yeah.” I wasn’t accepted to the school yet I STILL can’t help but feel my ego being pumped up by all of this adulation. The second idea, explains Jennifer, was “to involve the recipient in the celebration. The package includes a sketchbook, a lanyard, an enamel pin, and color pencils. Also a very exciting component is the poster, which is an interpretative map of the state of Florida, showing off cool places to go, and distances in miles from the college. (126 miles to Orlando, 225 miles to Miami, etc.) Obviously Ringling College is at the center of it all!” All of these items are boosted from good to great thanks to their printing on Monadnock Astrolite Vellum Text 100 lb. White. After all, nothing cries “school” quite like vellum. My favorite detail, though, has to be the single card at the very bottom of the box containing two personal notes addressed to the new Ringling College student – one from Olivia, the other from illustrator Katy – complete with cartoon portraits of each. The former poignantly points out that four years ago she was in the exact same position that the new student is now. And, as Jennifer explains, she “got her dream job after graduating this May, and is now working in Disney Consumer Products and Interactive as a designer!” In other words: Oh yeah Oh yeah Oh yeah!
Views: 1493 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #293: Octopoda Wine Label
"The tentacles of an octopus inspired the wrap concept for the design: the idea of an octopus grabbing onto the bottle." – Kurt Gonsalves, Designer Could you do with more octopi in your life? Of course you could, we ALL could. And KMG Design brings us a lovely (if slightly sinister) specimen wrapped around this sensual label for Octopoda, a Napa Valley Cabernet from Balius Wines. “The label has two very different visual and tactile appearances,” explains KMG Design’s Kurt Gonsalves. “The gloss UV on top of the foiled octopus is in very strong contrast to the matte black paper, engaging the viewer to turn the bottle and experience the image at different angles.” Printed on Avery Black Vellum by MCC Labels (formerly Collotype Labels) in Sonoma on an HP Indigo digital press, the labels were foiled with Kurz red and silver foil, and then overprinted with black ink to create that woodcut-style dimensionality. Textured and sculptured embosses were the final ingredients necessary to bring this denizen of the deep to glorious, crimson life. ““The attention to detail for finishing was incredible,” says Kurt. “Registration is near perfect. Multiple passes through the machinery [an ABG Digicon Series II for those production nerds] pushed the limitation of the finishing press.” All of which would have been for naught, he adds, if the right stock hadn’t been chosen. “Black vellum paper was used to minimize its visual [distraction], primarily at the edges of the label. A traditional white paper with black ink tint would show a white edge…” To have missed this little detail would have indeed gotten design lovers the world over up in arms – eight arms each, no doubt
Views: 1069 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #323: Crumpled City Maps
Don’t get me wrong, I love San Francisco. (I’m a designer; it’s in our genes.) But there ARE times when, for two cents, I’d crumple up the city in the palm of my hand, toss it over my shoulder, and walk off muttering a weary “Meh.” And thanks to the folks at Palomar, I can do just that, or at least crumple up a map of the Bay Area…or Paris or Rome or any of more than 50 other cities of the world. “Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling.” -Walter Benjamin Printed on a wood-free, non-woven material made from 100% high-density polyethylene fibers (HDPF) – similar to Tyvek – these fun ’n funky maps seem perfect for our ultra-casual age when you wouldn’t look twice at the person wearing pajama bottoms while in line at Starbucks. (Do NOT get me started…) Simply ball it up, stuff it in your pocket, and it’s ready to whip out and consult at a moment’s notice. While I love a good paper map as much as the next person, there’s definitely something to be said for printing directions on a substrate that’s this light and easy to carry around, not to mention the peace of mind that comes from consulting a map that’s 100% weatherproof. Printed with 4 spot colors, everything is extremely easy to read, with so-called “Soulsights” – “unique places specifically chosen to move, touch and inspire the modern traveller” – called out for special attention, along with the usual art galleries, monuments and museums. Now I know what you’re going to say and my answer is this: “Sometimes you really just want to put your phone away and engage with the real world for a while.” If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, fine, but otherwise this is a pretty fun and handy way to get around a new city. (Bonus points for making printed maps relevant in an increasingly digital world.) And yes, there’s even a dash of romance to be had from the whole experience, too. As Palomar describes it, there are “a multitude of new gestures to discover. To have fun and find yourself laughing under the rain with the map of the city above your head.” Best of all, it’s bound to make you some new friends once people see you consulting your crumpled map. Provided they look up from their smartphones long enough to notice, of course.
Views: 1413 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #239: Ideo Snapshots
“Leaving a well-designed physical artifact behind more often than not still makes a bigger impression (maybe even more these days) than something digital.” - Eric Heiman, Volume Want to break through the fugue state in which your potential clients find themselves after years of digital fatigue? Hand them a chunky block of your best work tucked neatly between covers that feel more “Etsy” than “business as usual.” The IDEO Snapshots package that Volume came up with for the Palo Alto design firm infuses the traditional recent-projects brochure with a dramatic sense of “unboxing.” Consisting of 25 5.5”-x-7.5”, double-sided cards – each digitally printed – the package neatly lays out dozens of IDEO’s recent design projects from around the globe. An engaging photograph and breezy call-out on the front of each card is backed up by everything you could possibly want to know about the job on the back: What was the challenge? How was it met? What did the client think of the outcome? This information is further spiced up by fun and informative factoids sprinkled throughout (e.g., a project required the creation of “87 digital mockups”). “Admittedly there was a digital component to this project, too, but the print component—with its multiple job cards—allows IDEO staff to engage people with their work in a very tactile and direct way in pitch meetings,” explains the project’s co-creative director, Eric Heiman. And since the cards are digitally printed, “it was created to allow for rich formal expressions that could also be easily executed by IDEO’s in-house design team when it needed to make updates.” In this fourth edition of IDEO’s Snapshots series, Volume also “eliminated the excess box packaging in favor of a more utilitarian solution that is more in line with IDEO’s design ethos,” Eric points out. This was accomplished by the inclusion of two chipboard covers, each black foil stamped on both sides, the entire package secured by an elastic band bearing the IDEO name. While they faced a number of challenges with this project – including cleanly foil stamping chipboard with fine line work and small type – the creative director admits, “Printing on rubber bands is trickier than you would think.”
Views: 1394 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #106: Teikna Design Business Cards
PaperSpecsGallery.com agrees with designer Claudia Neri that the best way to communicate what graphic design entails is by actually showing once work and craftmanship and she did this with this marvelous concept for her own business cards.
Views: 2115 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #285: Veritiv Chicago Paper Show Invitation
When you want to attract nearly 1,000 designers to a show about paper, you really want your invitation to walk a fine line between simple and sophisticated. Get too fancy and you start inviting professional criticism from your target audience; don’t get fancy enough and you fail to entice. The piece McGuffin Creative Group crafted for this year’s Veritiv Chicago Paper Show accomplished this beautifully, taking the event’s theme – Mix, Match & Make – very much to heart. Said theme was “all about paper – its intrinsic beauty, tactile nature and functional purposes,” explains McGuffin Creative Group Art Director Diane Hoover. “It’s about how ‘makers’ (designers, artists and creatives) utilize paper for all types of purposes, including marketing and art.” Much of the invitation’s appeal comes from the first impression it makes, and how it will soon be subverted. The name of the event, Veritiv logo and a bit of filigree are all rendered in a bright magenta foil on Mohawk Arjowiggins' Curious Cosmic Mars Brown 133 lb. Cover; [Get Swatchbook] the effect is tasteful but tempered. But opening it up is where the fun begins. For starters, you quickly discover that the cover is duplexed to Mohawk Arjowiggins' Curious Skin Absynthe 91 lb. Text that displays the theme of the event in the same magenta foil. “Our printer, Classic Color, had to take special care to ensure that the foil [on the cover] didn’t crack under the laminating process,” says Diane. ‘Wait a minute,’ you think, already feeling like you’ve been hustled. ‘This isn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill invitation, is it?’ Uh uh. Turn the page and things start to get really interesting as the next page folds down VERTICALLY. You have just taken the first step down the path of a snake fold, with each subsequent unfolding revealing more of the poster for the paper show. “The snake fold engages the recipient and creates curiosity,” explains Diane, though actually pulling off this fold wasn’t easy. It “required a little experimenting to ensure that the fold was smooth. We introduced slots, rather than slits, to prevent bunching.” But back to that poster for a moment. Quilling – essentially rolling up little pieces of paper to form larger illustrations – is enjoying something of a renaissance these days, led in part by the social media exposure of works by Yulia Brodskaya and Sena Runa. It is used to fantastic effect here, skillfully getting the theme of the event across. “Our artist was able to create a typographical, handcrafted sculpture utilizing papers supplied by Veritiv and Mohawk,” says Diane. “The sculpture literally reminds designers of the importance of paper in the design process.” And THIS INVITATION reminds us that a focused message employing an unexpected fold can capture the imagination with a few quick turns of the page.
Views: 1000 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #80: Mexican Tile Inspired Invites
The deep V-shaped envelope flaps, the coordinating envelope color, and the envelope lining that matches the pattern on the main invitation ... at PaperSpecsGallery.com we know this is the attention to detail you want for a special occasion. The highly textured hand of the paper (Fabriano Watercolor Paper, White, Matte) enhances the motif, which is inspired by old-world Mexican tiles found at the venues where these events took place.
Views: 618 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #335: Break the Mold Packaging
How do you know when you’ve designed the perfect packaging? When your recipients can’t bring themselves to open it to get at the homemade chocolates inside because it’s simply too gorgeous to take apart. That’s just what Jess Glebe Design and C.R. Copywriting pulled off with their “Break the Mold” holiday client gift featuring four dark chocolates gently nestled in a box that looks as if it, too, might melt in your mouth given half a chance. Wanting to craft a container that would reflect both the handmade quality of the confections within as well as the attention to detail provided by her design firm, Jess began with a readymade box featuring an intricate embossed pattern, and then wrapped it in a silky smooth Neenah SLIDE belly band bedecked with rose gold foil writing and exquisite design accents – all beautifully printed and applied by Fey Printing. (The affable “we can’t wait to see what we create together” message to her clients on the back, provided by Caitlin Riley’s C.R. Copywriting, hits just the right balance between deferential and fun.) Had Jess left it there this piece would’ve already looked good enough to eat, but she went that extra chocolaty mile with a white centerpiece label card printed by MorningPrint on 14 pt./300 gsm uncoated stock. It’s a sweet symphony of glossy raised black ink (thermography) and more rose gold foil that seems to leap out at you once it’s affixed to the dark belly band. Inside the box, a card printed on the same paper features the cheeky opening “It’s a cheat day. Dig in,” and echoes foiled design accents from the belly band. Opening it reveals a short handwritten note from the creative duo. As a final personal touch, “LTD” (limited edition) wax seals were melted, poured, and stamped by Jess and Caitlin, and affixed to each box using double-sided artist’s tape. Each also added their signatures and other handwritten elements like the box number and “best by” date – “ASAP” ;-) – to the band. Not only did this package “break the mold” for client gifts, it was honored with a special award from The Dieline and Neenah Packaging: “Best Use of Paper in a Packaging Project.” To quote from the copy on the back of the box: “The future looks pretty sweet”…and the present doesn’t look half bad, either. Now where’s that chocolate…. ;-) ?
Views: 900 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com VIP Box Sneak Peek!
Receiving your VIP PRO member box can be the breath of fresh air you need to recapture your creative inspiration. Every 3 months you’ll receive a care package direct from PaperSpecs’ resident Paper Queen, Sabine, full of rare, hard-to-find print pieces, notebooks, promos and more – mother’s milk for the designer’s soul. Check out the video above for a sneak peek of what VIP PRO members received in their July 2017 box. And make sure you don't miss NEXT quarter's VIP box – become a VIP PRO member today! Sign up at: https://www.paperspecs.com/vip-membership
Views: 1003 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #191: Saad Branding + Design Identity
PaperSpecsGallery.com features Saad Branding + Design Identity. If your studio’s core business is strategic brand management, and you want to convey creativity and innovation, then you better make an impression – and a strong one – with your own identity. The suite for saadbranding+design’s own rebranding does precisely that with boldness and drama.
Views: 929 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #360:  SUNY Cobleskill Brochure
Learn more about becoming a PaperSpecs PRO: https://www.paperspecs.com/vip-membership-3/ Standing out from the crowd. It’s what students have to do to be accepted by the school of their choice. It’s also what a school has to do to show that it is, well, outstanding. And it’s what this intriguing brochure for the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill does quite literally, thanks to strategically placed die-cuts and an attention-getting accordion fold. Designed by SUNY Cobleskill’s Jim Feldman and Jennifer Schorf, it was offset printed using the school’s trademark shade of orange, appropriately enough, by Fort Orange Press in Albany. (Special thanks to PaperSpecs PRO member Greg Desidoro of Fort Orange Press for sharing this piece with us!) Starting with a 100 lb. sheet of that all-purpose workhorse, Mohawk Superfine Cover, Fort Orange Press laid down Black and PMS 021 Orange on the Ultra Smooth White paper, as well as an overall satin aqueous coating. From the outset this brochure zigs where others zag, actually providing you with not one but two covers, depending on where you decide to begin. Open it one way and you are presented with the title “Designing the Future: Presenting a Vision for our Next Century” printed black on orange above the white SUNY Cobleskill logo. So far, so straightforward. But turn the piece over and the words “SUNY Cobleskill has never been ‘just another school’”  jump out at you through a die-cut window beside a portrait of a determined looking young student. The command “Follow us into the future” entices you to lift the cover, revealing the accordion fold. Inside, more crisp, dark images of hopeful, confident young people are intermingled with short explanations of the school’s mission, all against a moody  black background. However it is only when you fold the piece slightly that it all truly comes to life. Thanks to some strategically placed die cuts you have a reverse-accordion effect with special pop-out features; when the main pages zig, the pop-outs zag. Smaller student head shots emerge three-dimensionally to face their full-page counterparts on one side, while some of the school’s core values float freely on the other. Frankly this is one of those instances where a photo – or indeed a video – is worth a thousand words.
Views: 507 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #236: Beatie Wolfe NFC Album Deck
PaperSpecsGallery.com presents Beatie Wolfe NFC Album Deck. “I love that the lyrics are represented on each card (which was quite a feat given the size), and the simplicity of the design which serves the music, making that the central piece.” - Beatie Wolfe Singer/songwriter Beatie Wolfe helps us kick off 2016 by completely redefining two things we kinda thought we already knew: music dissemination and paper. That’s because in addition to CD and digital download, her new album, “Montagu Square,” has just been released as a deck of NFC paper cards, each of which plays one of her songs when tapped by an NFC-enabled smartphone. Promoted as “the world’s first album deck of cards,” these little beauties are actually 4-color-printed by MOO.com on duplexed Arjowiggins Conqueror CX22. We could go on about how gorgeously designed these cards are, of course, and we will, but let’s get to the main attraction, shall we? What makes these pieces sing?! That magic is accomplished by the Conqueror CX22’s duplexing companion: Arjowiggins PowerCoat Alive. Each sheet comes with near-frequency-communication (NFC) chips built right in. (PRO members got a sneak peek at this technology last April.) Beatie then used MOO.com’s proprietary online technology to assign one of her new songs to each of these eight cards so that when you tap one with an NFC-enabled smartphone, the device display’s the song’s artwork, lyrics, and allows you to play the song. (PRO members, we’re going to take you behind the scenes on this whole project, and explain how YOU can accomplish something similar, in the first PRO Tip in January. Stay tuned!) All that aside, this is the PaperSpecs Gallery, after all, where we celebrate amazing design as much as innovation, and it has to be said: These are beautiful cards in their own right. On one side of each card we get a different photo of Beatie. On the other, the title of the song, a simple design element evocative of that title (e.g., an eagle in flight for “Set Her Free”), and most impressive of all, lyrics to the song printed very small and light in the background. “I am a great lover of both albums and the tangibility of records,” Beatie explains. “One of my favorite things growing up was reading records like books, opening them up and entering into the world of the artist, and I wanted to create that same feeling with my NFC Album Deck. The intention behind the design was to create a modern twist on the vinyl that would preserve some of the elements I love most about records – the lyrics, artwork, look and feel – while making it exciting and engaging for our digital age, achieved by the ‘smart’ paper angle.” So is this the future of recorded music? Probably not. But is it a bold experiment, rife with potential, in blending our paper and digital worlds? Absolutely. And you absolutely don’t want to miss our PRO Tip exploring the creation the Montagu Square NFC album deck in January!
Views: 719 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #238: Tiny Feather
“This transformable shape provides consumers a special and joyful experience while reaching for tissue.” - In-young Bae, Designer Snuffling our way through cold season, many of us are probably perfectly primed to appreciate Tiny Feather, a tissue packaging concept that gently infuses some welcome whimsy into the whole nose maintenance routine. Designed by In-young Bae and Shang-lung Yang for their Structural Merchandizing Packaging class at the Pratt Institute in 2012, Tiny Feather not only gives the ailing some much needed companionship, it also solves one of the conundrums of the modern world: How the devil do you get at the last few sheets of facial tissue that invariably sink just out of reach? “Since the box opens on the side, consumers won’t have to hold the box upside down or reach into the packaging for the last tissue at the bottom of the box,” In-young explains. “To pull out tissue, customers need to open the wing, and to keep the tissue clean, they can simply close the wing cap.” In a clever marketing move, the way in which each tissue pokes out of the bird like a tail also suggests that the products themselves are as soft as a feather. While the 5”-x-5” Tiny Feather boxes were produced on a home Epson printer using Matte Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper, In-young helpfully points out that the effect can easily be achieved using recyclable materials, too. Those of you blowing your noses at home (S’OK, we’re all friends here) will be happy to know that since winning The Dieline’s 2014 First Place Student Award for this project, In-young has gone on to become a professional packaging designer at IT Cosmetics – a great (not tiny) feather in her cap.
Views: 1186 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #351:  Comtesse du Barry Advent Calendar
When you specialize in supplying the world with high-end delicacies like foie gras, smoked salmon and caviar from the southwest of France, your clientele expects a certain sophistication, particularly around the holidays. Last year, to help lovers of fine food everywhere count down the days until Christmas, the gourmet house Comtesse du Barry released an advent calendar like no other. Through a clever use of folding, foil and perforations, Paris’ Agence 2S skillfully wedded a stylish, up-market look with interactivity designed to enchant the child in everyone. As the designers explain: “In 2017, Comtesse du Barry immersed itself in the wonderful world of origami. This theme corresponds to its traditional inheritance and its two fundamental values: gastronomy and aristocracy. Originally, origami were made with quality materials by aristocrats who wished to present gifts that would show their benevolence to their addressee.” While generations brought up on paper swans may quibble over whether this qualifies as true origami, there’s no denying the precision and attention to detail that went into crafting a package that folds so neatly into a rectangular box, nor the impression it leaves on those who encounter it. Coming as it does during the Christmas season, it puts one in mind of those complicated play sets and Barbie holders from childhoods past. The word “dazzling” gets thrown around a lot these days, but with two metallized Pantone colors, glossy UV AND foil, you really can’t help but be dazzled by this. And in keeping with the patterns printed and foil applied to the box, there are also triangular perforations – one for nearly every day in December – just waiting to be opened by eager fingers. Behind each, mouth-watering Comtesse du Barry confections await you, from chocolates and toffees to fruit jellies and nougats, sure to whet anyone’s appetite for the approaching holiday.
Views: 679 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #230: Rodrigo Sassi Catalogue
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com headlines Rodrigo Sassi Catalogue. "We sought to find a visual language that could embody the unique traces of his art." - Gustavo Pique, Design Director Creating an art catalogue is probably every designer’s dream. But when quantity and budget are limited and the art in question is somewhere between sculpture and installation, you’re in for quite the creative challenge. That’s the situation that the team at Brazilian design studio Casa Rex faced when crafting an art catalog for that country’s Rodrigo Sassi. They ended up taking their inspiration from the art itself, using substantial materials and a unique perspective along the way. The catalog is on the brief side – just 20 pages featuring photographs of Sassi’s work – and simply printed offset 4/4 color, but...on a 65 lb. cover stock, making it feel quite substantial – not unlike the artist’s sculptures. The pages were then saddle stitched. And here is the fabulous twist to this catalog. A super-thick cardstock – 88 pt. to be precise – was diecut with the unique and recurrent shape of Sassi’s works of art, cut 5/8” (1.5 cm) shorter than the catalog, and mounted onto the actual piece. The cardboard was literally used to create a “window” into the art. Another piece of equally thick cardboard on the back of the catalog rounds out the piece. The final touch: a custom rubber stamp that adds the artist’s name to the cover. Casa Rex created a very stunning, substantial and memorable piece that offers us a window into one artist’s unique vision.
Views: 944 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #279: This Book is a Camera Pop-up Book
A bit late to say it, perhaps, but I think I want to be Kelli Anderson when I grow up. The self-professed artist/designer/tinkerer is equally at home experimenting with websites and paper. It is this medium-agnostic attitude that’s resulted in interactive projects such as this amazing pop-up book that also happens to be a working pin-hole camera! Painstakingly developed from scratch by the artist and mass-produced by those wizards of dimensional marketing, Structural Graphics, “This is a Camera” is a colorful celebration of paper folding precision at its best. Those who somehow breezed past the title of the book (you’d be surprised) might well ask “What does it do?” Actually, there are two answers to that. The first is the most obvious: it takes pictures. Simply open the book, lock the tabs on the pop-up camera, insert a piece of film and lift the shutter – that’s it! (Well, there’s the whole developer bath and printmaking, but still...) “I wanted to make a working camera within an educational pop-up book — one that connects the dots between design and science/structure and function,” Kelli writes on her blog. “The final book explains — and actively demonstrates — how a structure as humble as a folded piece of paper can tap into the intrinsic properties of light to produce a photograph.” The second answer to the question “What does it do” is a little more complicated. That’s because it’s not so much about the book as it is about where we are as a society today. Every week seems to bring a new miracle of modern technology: the latest development in virtual reality, suitcases you can ride like electric scooters, bike helmets with airbags that deploy before impact. And for many of us, these elicit little more than a shrug at the seeming inevitability of it all. “How hard can it be to create these things,” you can’t help but think, “if there’s a new one every week?” It’s this technological malaise that makes paper creations like “This Book is a Camera” so inspiring to us as designers. You might not really appreciate the challenge of creating an app like Pokémon Go, for example, but most of us have wrestled with getting the die lines right for a fold. (Incidentally, Kelli has graciously made the die lines for this piece available here, for those inspired enough to experiment with making their own camera book.) As Kelli observed on her blog regarding another – equally impressive – project, “the paper device effectively demystified the exact thing that tech obscures.” That, in a nutshell, is the allure. Not satisfied with creating these pieces (oh, and she came up with that awesome “Existential Calendar” for an AIGA conference years ago), Chronicle Books is bringing out a book of her pop-up contraptions in May. What’s that? So now YOU want to be Kelli Anderson when you grow up, too? Sorry, hon, you’re going to have to wait in line with the rest of us ;-)
Views: 3591 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #287: Dear Stefan and Jessica
Our industry is blessed with a number of extremely talented designers. But when it comes to honest to goodness design “rock stars” (with all the trash-your-hotel-room, follow-your-weirdest-obsession swagger that phrase implies), you’re squarely in Sagmeister & Walsh territory. So when the nonprofit Society of Design wanted to approach them to be guest speakers at their conference, they “felt the need to do something unexpected,” admits Craig Welsh, principal/creative director of design firm Go Welsh and co-founder of the Society. Known as design risk takers themselves, Craig figured the pair would appreciate an unconventional approach, so he sent them an invitation they could not ignore…letterpress printed on 14 feet of paper towels. More accurately, the message was printed with hand-applied pressure using wood type on the floor of the print shop, says Craig. “It feels appropriately positioned as something sent to Sagmeister & Walsh.” As for the print itself, “the dimpling of the printing against the patterning of the paper towels” made for a particularly arresting effect. Not surprisingly, things didn’t go exactly as planned. “Once the printing was completed the paper towels returned to their original state as a roll…and were shipped in a box,” Craig explains. “However, we were having LOTS of trouble with the ink drying (we used rubber-based ink) and, rather than waiting days for it to dry, we moved forward anyway. “So when we packed the roll of paper towels in the box we also included two pairs of yellow rubber gloves and a warning note to wear the gloves before handling the contents of the box.” This detail wasn’t only a practical one, the designer contends, but also “the gloves and note made the shipment more interesting.” As you would expect of a design duo famous for mailing nude postcards of themselves to announce their partnership, Sagmeister & Walsh showed themselves admirers of this unusual gesture. At least the former did; Stefan Sagmeister spoke to a sold-out, 350+ crowd at the Society of Design’s event that year.
Views: 723 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #257: Precision Wine Label
“The use of blind embossing and detailed sculpted emboss were 100% required for overall design success.” - Kurt Gonsalves, Designer Considering the finesse involved in the making of a stellar wine, you’d be hard pressed to find a more appropriate name for a wine brand than Precision. KMGDesign’s highly-detailed label for Balius Wines’ offering employs 4-color process, spot varnish, embossing and foil stamping to illustrate this simple truth in a unique way. “The most consistent use of the term ‘precision’ historically has been regarding time and solar movements,” explains KMGDesign’s Kurt Gonsalves. “The intricacy and precision of clocks relate well to this. Artwork elements reflecting solar patterns and movement are the basis of the brand concept.” Digitally printed by Multi-Color Corp.’s Collotype Labels on Avery Felt White 70 lb.Text pressure-sensitive labels, perhaps the most impressive aspect to this piece is just how ordinary it appears at first glance. Yet, the longer you examine the label the more impressive it becomes, yielding up subtle details like the gold-foil gear that makes up the “o” in “Precision” and the tiny gold teeth that alternate with the black. “Combining process print effects with embossing and subtle use of spot varnishing make the ‘sun gear’ appear to have more depth and intricacy,” Kurt explains. By the time you begin to get lost in the intricately embossed gears (tracing them with a fingertip and thereby enhancing the experience thanks to that sumptuous Avery Felt finish), it begins to dawn on you that the label is mimicking the stages of a wine tasting itself: appearance, feel and finish. The “finish” in this case is the realization that what might look like a simple gold foil band at the bottom is in fact made up of blind-embossed clock gears of varying types and sizes. They also serve to subtly remind us what time it is: high time that we filled our glasses and toasted the handcrafted look and feel of this label. Salut!
Views: 948 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #267: Modern Furniture Business Card
"I like how simply and surprisingly this piece pops up from the standard flat business card format." - Rob Kelly, Rob Kelly Design Paper engineer and graphic designer Rob Kelly had a single goal when he set out to create a business card for his wife, interior designer Rosemary Kelly: “I wanted to transform the familiar business card form into a freestanding desk piece.” Kelly’s solution came in the form of a flat, 2”-x-3.5” card that pops open to become a sofa adorned with a throw pillow — just in case the initial pop-up isn’t enough to delight those who receive it. Kelly worked with ADMC to digitally print 200 cards on Carolina 100 lb. Cover White C2S. The printed cards were die cut and then hand assembled. “I was able to fit this multiple times out on a form for economy, and I included 12 different ‘pillow’ art variations,” Kelly explains. “The pillow component is snapped in as the last step in the assembly process.” Kelly says that through this project he learned there’s still a desire and appreciation for "wow factor" pieces that are hand assembled from paper. “Everyone who got one has reportedly been quite likely to keep it open on their desk.”
Views: 1082 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #220: Currents Identity
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention to Currents Identity. “A website is invaluable in the property management business, but the high quality of the design and the craft and attention to detail in the printed materials create a lasting impression and help separate our client from all other properties a prospective renter might have visited.” -Holly Robbins (Co-Creative Director, Designer ) … Seldom do you see much thought put into the marketing of an apartment development these days, even a luxury one. That’s not the case with Currents, a Plymouth, Minn. community whose online nautical theme blends creatively with a truly sumptuous identity system. Minneapolis design studio This is Folly went overboard (in a lovely way), crafting materials that “were inspired by steamship-era design and by rusty, patinaed metal,” Robbins explains. “The stars stand for both quality and navigation. The triple bars and stripes are abstracted waves or current lines. The tag forms for the business cards are inspired by luggage tags and travel documents.” Oh those business cards. Essentially hang tags, these pieces – like their smaller key fob counterparts – were letterpress printed by the always amazing Studio on Fire on Neenah Crane's Lettra Ecru 110 lb.s Cover, then hand-duplexed to 220 lb., drilled and trimmed. The icing on the cake? A one-two punch of snazziness and sustainability. Employees who only hand out a few cards can simply jot down their name and number directly on the cards, while those who use many have their info printed on stylish red tapes that are affixed to the same cards. Not only does this prevent the need for throwing away a former employee’s cards when they leave, but it also adds another touch of class to the cards themselves, an additional reminder of their hand-crafted quality. It all comes together to send one clear message: If you lived here in the lap of retro-luxury, you’d be home by now. Bon voyage!
Views: 849 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #326: Ellie Cashman Design Identity
Simply put, “from darkness into light” is the philosophy behind Ellie Cashman’s hauntingly beautiful floral wallpapers, cushions, fabrics and more. And design firms Studio Stephan Lerou and Nearest Neighbour captured this concept beautifully in the identity materials they came up with for her. There is a lot of darkness here to be sure. But just as with Ellie’s work, there are fine details to be found in the shadows, and (in at least one instance) pleasing bursts of color lurking within if only we take the time to look. The heavy lifter here is Pop’Set Black by Arjowiggins which was used for everything except the flyers and ‘With Compliments’ card. The use of black foil stamping on black paper draws the eye in and, much like Ellie’s own work, prompts the mind to scour these pieces for every subtle detail. To better understand these materials, let’s first hear a little more about Ellie’s thought process regarding her own floral patterns, which she creates through a combination of pencil sketches and Photoshop: “As did the still-life painters of the Dutch Golden Age, I paint flowers in all their states, with an emphasis on those that break through this threshold from dark to light, from seed to stalk to bud to full, extravagant bloom. The shadows, and the darker states, are part of, and support and indeed exaggerate, this triumphant flower in the peak of its glory.” Now then, let’s take a look at this philosophy as it is expressed in paper form. Wallpaper Sample Book Says Stephan Lerou: “Books and flowers give a soul to a house. With this in mind, we wanted to present the samples more like a book instead of loose sheets of paper, with the ability to untie the samples, of course.” This is my favorite piece in this identity and the one that sets the tone. The cover features the company name in black foil. Inside, large sheets of wallpaper are folded in half and held together with an elastic band. This makes it very easy to take out one or two of the samples and hold it up against a wall to get a better idea of the effect. This loose binding also allows for a shorter welcome letter to be tied in at the beginning of the book, as well as an “about us” sheet in the center. To ensure the large wallpaper sheets remain in place, small half-circles were die cut at the top and bottom of the fold. You can already catch a glimpse of the contrast between the black of the cover and the colors of the wallpaper at the edges of the book. ‘With Compliments’ Card What better way to keep Ellie Cashman’s floral prints top-of-mind than with a “thank you” card that can be planted, bringing forth new flowers? The blind debossing is a nice touch that not only adds to the card’s tactile qualities, but also further puts the recipient’s mind at ease regarding its environmental impact. Says Stephan, “We spent a lot of time finding the right paper for the compliments card. There are a lot of seed-papers on the market today, all with a difference in quality. Moinho offered a good quality paper that was well suited for blind debossing. Because it’s intended to be put in the ground, we didn’t want to use ink. (Although there are eco-friendly inks, it didn’t feel right.)” Gift/Sample Box Subverting expectation, this black package looks more like a book than a box, and snaps shut with a magnetic closure. The blind deboss on the lid is elegantly understated. Avoiding the usual “Ellie Cashman Design” underneath the name “Ellie” gives this the personal touch, making the gift or sample inside seem as though it came straight from Ellie’s hands (which we imagine it did). They are currently at work on a larger sample box for the retail market. Flyers Note the clever way they let the pink of this Light Pink sheet from the Rainbow collection by Papyrus show through in the logo on the cover of this trifolded piece, while reversing it out on the inside. Business Cards Simple and elegant are words that apply to all of these materials, though none more so than these cards. Once again we’re confronted with just how pleasing a pairing of black foil and black paper can be. The phrase “The Wonder in Us” on the back effectively encapsulates Ellie’s philosophy. The heavy use of black paper and foil throughout these pieces also inspires loads of wonder – black is indeed the hue of “mystery” – color us intrigued.
Views: 653 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #208: McLane Stadium Dedication Invitation Package
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com emphasizes McLane Stadium Dedication Invitation Package. The in-house design team at Baylor University scored big time on this project – an invitation to the dedication ceremony for their new McLane Stadium. With multiple stakeholders to consider and so many components to orchestrate, the package is one for the record books. Combining past and present, the designers used a farewell to the old stadium and a hello to the new one as their inspiration. The 130 lb. Cougar played well with the offset printing, diecutting, scoring, and hand assembling that was required to complete this elaborate concept. Theses creatives definitely get extra points for presentation. The unique, archival box and custom FedEx labels for each recipient were terrific. But my favorite element has to be the authentic turf from the old stadium. Can I hear a huge cheer for texture and great use of recycling?! A replica of the coin used for the inaugural coin toss was also included, which gives invitees a special keepsake.
Views: 1066 paperspecs
Neenah Paper - HOW Conference 2010 Denver
See why Neenah's Ample Sample pocket folder promotion is one of the best designer resources around - filled with real samples and print/finishing demos. Wow!
Views: 358 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #268: TPC ROSE Fire & Ice Moonlight Gala
The 2015 theme of TPC ROSE’s annual gala was “Fire & Ice,” giving GLS/Next Precision Marketing the inspiration they needed for a unique interactive invitation. Their aim was to create a printed piece with unfolding layers of information in the hopes that it would engage the 1,100 recipients and prompt them to show the invitation to others. As a band of female members of Minneapolis’ TPC Twin Cities private golf club dedicated to increasing support for local charities, TPC Rose depends on its annual gala to drum up much needed funds, making its invitations particularly vital. The “Fire & Ice” invitation arrived in a sparkling Neenah Stardream (part of Neenah’s Design Collection 2.0) Jupiter Red Envelope with a label that showed off the flame and icicle icons for this theme as soon as it touched the recipient’s hands. Inside, a two-sided design included all the gala details. The invitation cover features a die-cut slit through which juxtaposed flame and icicle die cuts were pulled through, creating extra interest but also holding the card snugly closed. The card itself was die cut in an iron cross shape that allowed GLS to capture all the information without additional inserts. The piece was scored in several places to allow for folding without creasing or tearing. The 4-color invitation was printed using an HP Indigo 10000 on 98 lb. Aspire Petallic Beargrass Cover.
Views: 840 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #166:  Kent & Emily Invitation
PaperSpecsGallery.com presents Kent & Emily Invitation. Fashion is often the inspiration for all genres of design, and lace seems to be a perennial top influencer. With the playful possibilities of varied patterns and negative/positive space, it's easy to understand why. Verb International takes lace and laser diecutting to extreme limits for this exquisite wedding invitation.
Views: 2565 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #226: Worker B Candle Packaging
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com emphasizes Worker B Candle Packaging. "Beeswax production is an incredibly labor-intensive task, both by the bees and our neighbors at Worker B." – Todd Thyberg, Art Director Specializing in natural skincare products coming straight from the hive, Worker B appreciates the skilled labor and craftsmanship that goes into letterpress printing – both qualities they find reflective of their own products. So when it came time to develop custom packaging for their Hexagonal Pillar Candle, they turned to letterpress design studio Angel Bomb Design to instill the same principles into their candle packaging. The end result is a stunning homage to the wax-making process. “When we started developing the packaging, we decided to focus on the bee’s process of collecting wax,” says Angel Bomb Design Art Director Todd Thyberg. The letterpress printed, custom illustrated flowers climbing around the label over the top of the laser-cut honeycomb patterns shows the different elements of the process, he explains. “This movement alludes to the cycle the bees go through to collect this wax throughout their entire life.” To create a tone on tone effect with a slight contrast, the gorgeous French Construction Nightshift Blue 80 lb. Cover stock was imprinted with a subtly darker ink. And the intricate laser cut turned out to be a vital element to showcase the natural color of the beeswax candle inside.
Views: 1063 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #178: AIGA Gift Wrap Collection
PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention to AIGA New York Gift Wrap Collection. What do you get when you mix fluorescent inks, festive designers, cash bar, exclusive venue, beautiful paper, photo booth, prizes, and games in the month of December? (Well, noooo, but close.) You get the 2013 holiday party for the New York chapter of AIGA and an orgy of gift wrap that we’re sure ended up being used as posters too.
Views: 530 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #170. Big Island Coffee Roasters
PaperSpecsGallery.com features Big Island Coffee Roasters. When I think of Hawaii, there are some stereotypical images that come to mind immediately -- fragrant orchid leis, surfboards on the beach, those flowery shirts that Magnum P.I. wore. Happily, un- studio chose a palette and graphics for this packaging project that showed a more intimate side of paradise.
Views: 610 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #216: Banned Books Decoder Poster
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com headlines Banned Books Decoder Poster. “We had the opportunity to use design as both informer and enabler, reminding people of how precious their rights are and giving them the means to exercise them in the same process.” - John Earle (Designer) When you get right down to it, the urge to ban a creative work comes from a deep-seated fear that artist and audience are somehow in on a joke that’s far beyond your understanding; in other words, a conspiracy. The devious minds at Spindletop Design http://spindletopdesign.com/ plugged into this psychology beautifully with the creation of an innocuous-looking 2-color sheet they designed to celebrate Banned Books Week, in collaboration with Houston bookstore Brazos Books and Workhorse Printmakers. http://workhorseprints.com/ While emblazoned with such Orwellian platitudes as “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength” on the surface, looking through the red lens of a tear-off decoder reveals far more subversive messages, such as “Ignite your mind, read banned books.” As designer John Earle explains, “Getting the secret message to work correctly was definitely a highlight. We needed to balance the saturation of the two colors to fully obscure the message without the lens, but fully cancel the overlapping red pattern through it. With a bit of trial and error we found a solution which worked effectively.” The letterpress printing of the poster on 160 lb. Mohawk Superfine only adds to the subversive feeling of it all – everyone knows Big Brother favors offset when he’s not otherwise eavesdropping on our digital doings. “Print has always been a revolutionary force,” says Earle. “In the current times of digital surveillance, the idea that you can disseminate ideas in your private space and far from the eyes of government watchers is as powerful an equalizing force as at any point in history.”
Views: 1706 paperspecs
In the Design Studio: Brand New Conference
PaperSpecs and Neenah Paper feature In the Design Studio: Brand New Conference. If you were one of the many designers floored by the program for last year’s Brand New Conference, you won’t want to miss this PaperSpecs and Neenah video. UnderConsideration’s Armin Vit gives you a behind-the-scenes peek at how a badge, guide and tote bag became three of the most coveted design pieces of 2014.
Views: 1127 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #200: Leap For Survival Invitation
http://PaperSpecsGallery.com features Leap For Survival Invitation. The reason for this fundraising dinner? Very special frogs. With fewer than 120 Corroboree frogs left in the wild, Australia’s Taronga Zoo required a stirring concept for their charity event, and Another Colour gave them just that with the Leap for Survival Invitation. To create a sense of hope that invitees could help rejuvenate the Corroboree’s population, the design team decided to use the frog’s breeding and lifecycle as its inspiration – eggs and tadpoles. The palette – black and yellow – matched the colors of the Corroboree. A cluster of circles in five sizes was designed to represent the frog’s eggs. (This motif was repeated on the program cover and throughout the event.) On the invite’s front cover, a double hit of spot gloss varnish on the egg cluster was not only a great contrast to the matte black ink, but also mimicked the shine of the egg membrane. Remove the invite from its sleeve, and a blazing yellow background shows through a lattice pattern that has been intricately and painstakingly drilled into the egg cluster. Illustrations of tadpoles show through the voids. A rim of varnish remains giving the piece a dimensional quality.
Views: 1405 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #317: Zara Kids Packaging
Young children are notorious for preferring to play with the boxes items arrive in more than the items themselves. And in the case of this clever packaging for Zara Kids, who could blame them? Created with a flush fit paper tube, the eyes of the characters are printed on the neck underneath, with die cuts in the cap allowing for crazier and crazier facial expressions as you turn the base. I could happily while away an hour interacting with these tubes that simply beg to be played with. Sliding the cap up and off reveals the actual product inside – a bottle of fragrance for children age 3 to 14. (Who knew this yearning for scent started at such a young age? ;-)) “We were asked to come up with two illustrations/characters that were fun and attractive, spoke to a child’s visual language, and that also clearly differentiate boys from girls,” the packaging’s designers, Lavernia & Cienfuegos, explain. “We created a bunny and a robot with carefully selected color palettes to fulfill these requirements. In addition to this solution, we had a special interest in giving the characters on the packaging a playful spin (literally) instead of just being attractive protective casing that is thrown away once opened. We came up with the idea, through using cardboard tubes, to rotate the lid so that the eyes of each character change with each turn. A nice little touch is that the positioning of the lids is not fixed to the base of the tube, which means that each reference lines up differently at the point of sale.” One of the most interesting details is the way printer Grupo Fatecsa used 5 spot colors (two of which were needed to recreate the kraft paper look) to not only create the robot (boys fragrance) and rabbit (for girls), but also to simulate the color of kraft paper on the 80 gsm matte sheet. This was then wrapped around a cardboard tube and glued in place. All of which proves just how effective a relatively simple pair of die cuts can be when used by designers with imagination and, let’s face it, a fun sense of humor. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some twisting to do… ;-)
Views: 1222 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #348: A Gentleman’s Guide to Classic Cocktails
Like many things, the notion of the gentleman who knows his Gin Gimlets from his Cosmopolitans may be a thing of the past. But ladies AND gentlemen both will find something to savor in this set of elegant cocktail recipe cards produced exclusively for Ellicott & Co.  Inspired by maker communities across the USA, Ellicott & Co.’s mission is to provide uncommon, heritage inspired goods for the modern man. How interesting, then, that something that is digitally printed can also be considered a product of the “maker” movement. Printed by Anstadt Communications on 80 lb. Verso Blazer Digital Satin Cover, these 16 cards are works of art all their own thanks to a fun retro design by Infantree, and creative use of Scodix digital enhancement technology. There’s a lot of information to unpack in that sentence. Yes, 150 sets of cards were printed CMYK on an HP Indigo 7900 in just three days. The sheets were then run through the Scodix Ultra Pro off-line unit, which added an inviting tactile quality to the pieces. The “Scodix Sense” effect was used in various ways. Think of it as clear raised ink that can be applied all in one pass, ultimately creating a more tactile element. The illustrations of the cocktails on each card are highlighted with a simple spot gloss. The “Classic Cocktails” title sports a spot gloss look and raised feel. All of the fine, decorative line work you see – front and back – was created using digital foil with some clear polymer on top. The result: cards that feel more like a royal summons from Buckingham Palace than recipes for your favorite gin or vodka concoction. The 16 cards – 15 recipes and one cover – were then enclosed in a bellyband. What is most exciting is that this is an example of Scodix – an enhancement system you normally see mostly in marketing materials – being used for a consumer product. The more that designers come across these types of projects “in the wild” where they can see – and feel – them up close, the more likely they are to dabble in Scodix, MGI, and “sleeking” in general for their own projects – and that’s worth toasting, whatever your cocktail of choice.
Views: 764 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #308: Reticence Stationery
Sometimes when I see an artist’s humdrum business card I’m reminded of the off-duty comedian’s reply to someone he’s just met who tells him he doesn’t seem funny: “Well, I’m not doing it NOW.” Still, a card that fails to somehow convey an artist’s work is a real missed opportunity. It is NOT an opportunity missed by bronze sculptor Driaan Claassen thanks to the mesmerizing stationery designed for him by Erwìn Bindeman. This is not so much a case of a designer creating collateral for a business – Driaan’s Reticence – but one artist having wonderfully influenced another. How else to describe business cards that seem to be relics of an alien race carved from obsidian, or envelopes that draw you in with a hypnotic pattern? The “alien” idea is not as odd as it might first sound. The South African artist’s sculptures are themselves eerie blends of shiny bronze and dark matter that wouldn’t be out of place in the forthcoming “Alien: Covenant” flick – substantial meditations on the interplay of darkness and light. Erwìn’s stationery captures this concept perfectly in paper form with symmetrical interplays between foil accents, type and the spot UV symbol on the front of the card, all set against the backdrop of the black paper. Duplex laminating the cards only furthers their resemblance to the chunky sculptures themselves. The certificate of authenticity for each sculpture, for example, with its record-like concentric circles and 3-level embossing, draws further comparisons with the alien motif, giving the visual impression of a message received from space. “These certificates had to be as unique as his bronze art pieces themselves and had to bring the same essence and attention to detail,” Erwìn explains. “Most importantly they had to look and feel authentic.” These certificates were foil stamped on Arjowiggins Curious Skin 270gsm and finished off with a 3-level blind embossing, adding that final stamp of authenticity and balancing the darkness of the paper with the lightness of the foils. So often paper choice is crucial to the success of any project, and in this case it is a fascinating one. The use of Arjowiggins Curious Skin could have easily undercut all of the work that went into this design, negating the hard look of the stationery with a soft touch. But here, too, that uncanny skin-like feel instead knocks us off balance, giving us one final extraterrestrial experience to ponder and enjoy.
Views: 798 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #56: Fizz Promotional QR Coasters
This set of four coasters is a great marriage of form and function with a high note of technology thrown in for a delightfully balanced marketing piece. Letterpress is always a favorite of PaperSpecsGallery.com as is this thick and toothy white pulp board. Including a 2-dimensional quick response code really allowed the creative minds at Fizz to show their potential "spirits" clients just how successful marketing is done.
Views: 572 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #127: Peacock Parfumerie Packaging
PaperSpecsGallery.com presents Peacock Parfumerie Packaging. This sweet shadow box from an artisan perfume jewelry house is a feat of structural engineering and design panache. With a nod to its vintage glamour inspiration, the package is impactful, chic and luxurious at every score, tuck and fold.
Views: 883 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #152:  Alecom Corporate Brochure
PaperSpecsGallery.com presents Alecom Corporate Brochure. "Let Us Lighten the Load." To convey this marketing message, Cacao Design created a truly unique corporate brochure that literally floats inside its white presentation box. Cutouts on either side of the box reveal a stripe of signature color (orange) and a feat of levitation that would make David Copperfield proud.
Views: 1837 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #251: Frogbox Cardboard Poster
“Laser cutting [cardboard] is a finicky thing; it can take a couple tries to get it right.” - Pamela Rounis, Designer The tactile, eye-catching posters Rethink Communications came up with for Frogbox set out to make people rethink their moving supplies…and THAT sentence is the first and last predictable thing about them. That’s because they laser cut cardboard in such a way as to dramatize the material’s inherent weaknesses, creating minor works of art in the process. For those unfamiliar with Frogbox, it “is a reliable alternative to traditional moving boxes,” explains one of the posters’ designers, Pamela Rounis. “They rent durable plastic moving boxes that can withstand the elements and protect fragile belongings better than cardboard.” For the posters, Rethink began with a single sheet of 2-ply cardboard, then proceeded to laser cut one of three phrases from the top layer, allowing the corrugated bottom layer to show through. The result is a stunning marquee effect, simultaneously reminding you of how easy it is for the material to be damaged, yet looking like a million bucks while doing so. In any other project, the cut out phrases above and below the main one would be highlights in and of themselves. A green-and-white “Fragile” sticker affixed at a jaunty angle plays well with the eccentricity of the laser cuts. It reminds you of frogs, calls to mind memories of moving house, and also gives the whole piece just enough color to keep it from fading into the background. (The sticker reads: “Protect what’s FRAGILE with durable and reusable moving boxes from FROGBOX.”) Considering the name of the company they’re promoting, we have to give Rethink Canada major props for eschewing predictably cutesy frog illustrations in favor of a look that’s as classic as it is evocative of the message it’s trying to deliver. Thankfully, no frogs were harmed in the making of these posters; the same cannot be said of cardboard – and that’s a great thing!
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PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #344 : Letterjazz New Year’s Card 2018
Just look at the distinctive saw-tooth edges on the label, printed with a custom-blended gray ink on 70 lb. Neenah Strathmore Label paper. Turning it over we find another Strathmore label, this one perforated, making the opening of the cottony envelope feel like an event. But we’re not here simply to admire an envelope, uh uh. Carefully tugging along the perforation you lift the flap and pow – your eyes are instantly overwhelmed by the moody juxtaposition of the black Sumo stock and hot foil stamped patterns. Removing it you discover that it is in fact a chunky, gorgeous “Happy New Year” card that is probably the best thing to happen in 2018 so far. The gratifyingly heavy stock is courtesy of the aforementioned black Sumo paper on the front duplex laminated to a sheet of Sumo white for the back. The front is even more stunning in person than it is in photos, featuring an illustration by longtime Letterjazz collaborator Dirk Uhlenbrock that’s just brimming with foil dots, dashes, swirls and wavy lines that give every impression of a storm at sea. The precision with which the bronze and gold foil are registered is every bit as breathtaking as the design itself. Flipping the card over to the white back we find a simple “wishes for a creative and successful New Year” message letterpress printed in German. It’s rendered in a light gray ink similar to the one found on the label. They could easily have gone with a straight blind emboss – getting that lovely deep impression without using any ink – but the addition of this subtle hue makes the deep impressed text that touch easier to read. And in case you missed it, the total basis weight for the duplexed piece is 2018 g/qm! (Actually, it’s 2100 g/qm but they just couldn’t resist starting the new year off with a little joke ;-)
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Paper Inspiration #181: The Law Office of Matthew Messina Identity
PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention to The Law Office of Matthew Messina Identity. If I asked you to imagine an identity suite for a law office – and I’m talking all the pieces: letterhead, #10 envelope, business card, and notecards – this is likely not what you’d picture. In fact, it’s so atypical, I’m thinking the design team or the client is a risk-taker. Of course, the real story is much more interesting.
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PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #315: Endangered Emojis Postcard & Poster
Esperanto might never have really taken off, but the Internet seems to be in the process of moving us toward a far more successful and truly universal language: emojis. And as Ashley Stone inventively demonstrates in this design-school project, emojis on paper possess the ability to make us think through important issues as we work to decipher them. What I find particularly appealing about her “Endangered Emojis” series is the simple-yet-effective way in which she adapted a real fundraising campaign led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – its “Stamp out Extinction” initiative – to appeal to teens and twenty-somethings. Back in 2011, the USPS unveiled postage stamps featuring endangered animals with some of the proceeds going to animal conservation funds. “That is where I got my idea to design postcards and to include the postage stamps within,” Ashley explains. For her Movements of Graphic Design course at Edinboro (Penn.) University last fall, she came up with the smartphone motif, which would naturally be attractive to younger people in particular. And as Apple is a significant contributor to the WWF, the postcard takes its cues from the ubiquitous iPhone. Not only is it die-cut in the shape and color of Apple’s message bubble, but it also features Apple’s emojis on the front. Admittedly some of these pictogram messages are easier to work out than others. Still, there’s something quite chilling as the gist of these messages become clear: a whale + rising temperatures + industrial smokestacks can’t be good. On the back of the postcard is a brief message suggesting that if you want to help the animal mentioned on the front – each of the 10 postcards focuses on a different one – you can set up a donation page for it at WWF’s website, where you can direct people to contribute for your next special occasion. “Instead of getting me a birthday present this year, why not help out a tiger” – that kind of thing. As you examine the postcard further, you quickly discover two things: 1) There is a die-cut paw print that matches the animal in question off to the side pointing at the message, and 2) Lifting the paw print actually lifts the whole right-half of the postcard back, revealing a thank-you message from WWF’s CEO, an image of the official WWF stamp for that animal, and real postage stamps featuring that same photo. You are encouraged to use these to send an additional donation directly to the preserve that specializes in that specific animal. The pieces themselves were printed using an Epson Artisan 1430 wide-format inkjet printer on White French Paper Parchtone 80 lb. Cover and hand cut and assembled by the designer. In addition to the 10 postcards, Ashley made one poster for each, again using the iPhone idiom. Looking at this poster is a bit like staring at those old Magic Eye prints – the longer you look at it, the more you see. For instance: Verizon is shown as the phone service provider because they are a WWF donor. The little alarm clock icon in the upper-right corner indicates the urgency of the cause. 61% battery life is a nod to the year that the WWF was founded. The hourglass emoji once again emphasizes that time is running out. And in one of those weird little coincidences that make life so fun, it turns out the WWF created its own online emoji campaign in 2015 – eerily called #EndangeredEmoji. In it, people were encouraged to include one of 17 emojis in their Tweets – each representing an endangered animal. At the end of each month the nonprofit would then tweet you a summary of the number of times you’ve used the emojis, asking you to donate 11 cents for each one. “I honestly was never aware of that campaign,” admits Ashley, proving that great minds do indeed think alike. Personally, I’ll take smartly-designed postcards and posters over someone tweeting donation reminders to me any day.
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In the Design Studio: Diablo's Shadow
PaperSpecs.com and Neenah Paper feature In the Design Studio: Diablo's Shadow. Few industries are as widely known for their creative packaging as the wine and spirits biz. And when you have an evocative name like “Diablo’s Shadow,” the pressure’s on to be that much more visually stunning. Employing gothic lettering, felt-like paper labels and a simple-but-clever illustration trick, Cult Partners ensured the packaging for Sutherland Distilling Co.’s line of rum and vodka would match the hand-crafted quality of its spirits. Watch Cult Partners’ Jeff Hester and Sutherland Distilling Co.’s Ryan Sutherland discuss the achievement that is the Diablo’s Shadow packaging in this video from our In The Design Studio series. The Neenah Classic Wine Label on the front of the bottle “really gave it a dimension of class,” says Sutherland Distilling Co. CEO and Head Distiller Ryan Sutherland, and no wonder. Its debossed gray lines look almost as if they’ve been letterpress printed, and help to set off the gold foil accents. Hand numbering and rubberstamping complete the effect, which is one of Old World attention to detail. Further underscoring this creativity is a hand-drawn map of Mt. Diablo and the Bay Area silkscreened on the rear of the bottle. While nearly illegible from the back, it is gloriously magnified when viewed from the front through the bottle and its contents. Jeff Hester’s takeaway from all this? “Anything is possible” in Diablo’s Shadow.
Views: 744 paperspecs