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Paper Inspiration #144: Sephora VIB Rouge Press Kit
 
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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: 4901 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #274: State Street Honey Packaging
 
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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: 1925 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #17: Texas State Health Brochure
 
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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: 14433 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #213: My-Ness Chapbook
 
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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: 1534 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #214:  Lovesong Chapbook
 
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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: 1348 paperspecs
Designing with Letterpress - The Poster
 
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While the whirr of the electronic world grows louder, an equally enthusiastic response emerges - namely a craving for beautiful handmade items that speak directly to our humanity. This trend has created new interest in designing with letterpress. Go inside the concept, design and production of the limited edition poster from PaperSpecs' "Designing with Letterpress" webinar.
Views: 1832 paperspecs
IN THE DESIGN STUDIO: Marie Todd Branding
 
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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: 792 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #186: Motion Silhouette
 
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PaperSpecsGallery.com emphasizes Motion Silhouette. What B. J. Novak accomplished in his recently published “The Book with No Pictures,” Tatsuhiko Niijima and Megumi Kajiwara have done in their book with no words. “Motion Silhouette” is an exquisitely handcrafted piece that turns the notion of a traditional printed book on its head to become a performance piece.
Views: 1921 paperspecs
In the Design Studio: Beauty of Engraving
 
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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: 1303 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #179:  Gear Fit VIP Launch Kit
 
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PaperSpecsGallery.com calls attention to Gear Fit VIP Launch Kit. When it comes to packaging design that has a premium look and feel, the Samsung brand is consistently at the top of the game. This Gear Fit VIP launch kit was created and produced by Structural Graphics in conjunction with TracyLocke.
Views: 1607 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #293: Octopoda Wine Label
 
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"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: 1133 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #200: Leap For Survival Invitation
 
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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: 1420 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration: #128  The Fox with the Golden Fur
 
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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: 2113 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #323: Crumpled City Maps
 
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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: 1532 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #249: Spinning Promo
 
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"We opted to create interest and connection via a puzzle-like challenge, offering a bit of edge and sophistication. It’s a small package that packs a punch." - Lisa Sanders, Lisa Sanders Public Relations Lisa Sanders wanted a simple yet sophisticated self-promotion that would explain what public relations was and generate interest for her PR business. “The message needed to distinguish my firm from rivals while also providing insight into the type of solutions Lisa Sanders Public Relations provides,” she explains. She also wanted it to be compelling enough to keep the recipient from pitching it into the garbage after reading it. Many businesses provide public relations services. Some are well-known brands; most are not. Sanders has found that the majority of the latter tend to sell themselves using corporate-speak — words like “communications” and “messaging” — which she describes as “long on syllables but short on description and passion.” She wanted to take a different approach that combined sophistication with simplicity. Red Peak Branding delivered by creating a tactile, 7-by-7-inch interactive information wheel that cuts through the noise of typical marketing materials. The deliberately limited color palette mirrors the colors of Lisa Sanders Public Relations’ brand identity and keeps the visual clean. Jumbled copy, presented in a unique layered structure, creates a clever yet not overwhelming mess of messaging that the recipient must unscramble by spinning the wheels to make the type align. The message that’s finally revealed — “A Tricky Story Well Spun” — smartly communicates what Lisa Sanders Public Relations offers, with a touch of fun. Text alignment and registration proved to be the biggest challenges in creating the information wheel. Sanders enlisted the services Almaden Press for offset printing, which included two spot colors with aqueous coating. The piece was then diecut and finished with a grommet. Choosing the right paper also was critical so the piece could turn freely. The team chose Finch Fine 130 lb. Cover for the base wheel; the top wheels were printed on Finch Fine 100 lb. Cover. The final result was an interactive, graphic message that set the promo — and Lisa Sanders Public Relations — apart from the pack.
Views: 1099 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #239: Ideo Snapshots
 
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“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: 1404 paperspecs
In the Design Studio: Diablo's Shadow
 
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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: 754 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #80: Mexican Tile Inspired Invites
 
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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
 
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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: 929 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #220: Currents Identity
 
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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: 850 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #236: Beatie Wolfe NFC Album Deck
 
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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: 722 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #326: Ellie Cashman Design Identity
 
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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: 680 paperspecs
Weekly Inspiration #230: Rodrigo Sassi Catalogue
 
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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 #360:  SUNY Cobleskill Brochure
 
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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: 548 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #322:  Ringling College Acceptance Package
 
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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: 1544 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #287: Dear Stefan and Jessica
 
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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: 724 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #238: Tiny Feather
 
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“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: 1205 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #348: A Gentleman’s Guide to Classic Cocktails
 
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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: 787 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #279: This Book is a Camera Pop-up Book
 
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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: 3884 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #344 : Letterjazz New Year’s Card 2018
 
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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 ;-)
Views: 827 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #267: Modern Furniture Business Card
 
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"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: 1090 paperspecs
In the Design Studio: Brand New Conference
 
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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: 1136 paperspecs
Neenah Paper - HOW Conference 2010 Denver
 
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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: 360 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #308: Reticence Stationery
 
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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: 805 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #351:  Comtesse du Barry Advent Calendar
 
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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: 708 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #106: Teikna Design Business Cards
 
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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: 2138 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #166:  Kent & Emily Invitation
 
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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: 2578 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #178: AIGA Gift Wrap Collection
 
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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
 
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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: 611 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #272: Gardner Design Identity System
 
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"The simplified name personalization system of die-cut tabs applied by grommets is definitely a highlight. It allows us to create cards for new designers with great ease and efficiency." - Brian Miller, Gardner Design Way back in 1999, before the letterpress craze was in full swing, Gardner Design made the unique decision to create a stationery system in which all the typography was letterpress printed. Gardner had struck up a trade with a trusted local printer who had a full-service shop, including letterpresses, and the firm was eager to show off its knack for detail through its own communication materials. “The trade situation seemed like a unique opportunity to turn our stationery system into a physical ‘proof’ of this attribute we strive to provide to our clients,” says Brian Miller, designer, art director and co-creative director of the project. Miller’s favorite part of the system is the hand-applied nametag that’s fastened with gold colored grommets. This little touch of hardware is a perfect “supporting element” for items such as business cards and thank-you notes. The die-cut tabs —printed on Neenah Environment Rust — allow the firm to create cards for new employees easily and efficiently. The stationery system is a tactile feast playing with die cutting, embossing and the deep impressions letterpress brings. While the company logo is blind embossed on most pieces, a dotted typographic “G” is letterpress imprinted, giving it a slight deboss feel. To round this off, a number of fake die-cut lines were added for extra intrigue. The entire system, including the envelopes, is 2-color letterpress printed on a toothy Domtar EarthChoice Tradebook Eggshell. The biggest lesson Gardner learned was how utterly complex a project like this can become due to all the separate passes through the press for embossing, debossing, printing, die cutting, perforations and scores. This required a separate art file for each component of each piece. “Also, as this was early in the revival days of letterpress printing, we didn't realize the HUGE difference we would have seen if we would have insisted on higher embossing dies,” Miller explains. “We got lucky and were able to push the dies to the point where they did the job, and their imprints still always receive tremendous reactions from clients. But to this day, though I still enjoy the reaction from every client I hand a card to, I can't help but wonder just how cool things would be if we knew more about the options of embossing/debossing dies. Getting another 30% more impression would be pretty awesome!” Seventeen years after the initial design, the system is still working for the company, thanks to the use of simple, non-trendy, classical typefaces, Miller says. “This was a lesson in typographic restraint while focusing more on the value of production techniques to raise the feeling of quality overall throughout this system.”
Views: 742 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #317: Zara Kids Packaging
 
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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: 1325 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #313: Yesterday's Headlines Beer
 
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At a time when our culture lives, sleeps and breathes irony, it takes a lot to capture people’s attention with a winking, knowing smile. But hats off to Durham Brand & Co. who did it brilliantly with their packaging and labeling for Braxton Brewing Co.’s Yesterday’s Headlines Vol. 02 Cherry Kettle-Soured Ale. To start with, you’ve gotta love that name. The phrase, usually reserved for things (and people) deemed no longer relevant, here has a double meaning. First it refers to the beer that Braxton brewed over the previous year; it’s also an allusion to the stories printed on the paper in which each bottle is wrapped. First printer Steinhauser used vintage wooden type blocks to hand stamp the brand on the labels. This was then scanned into the computer and offset printed onto Wausau Coated’s Ever Opaque Bright White Felt pressure-sensitive labels. The result is gritty, grungy, and completely compelling – a garage band concert poster run through the prism of designers with a flair for making type sing. The cherry red on the words “Headlines” and “Cherry” supply the extra little twist that kicks the label up from good to great. Bonus points for commemorating the date of the beer’s second anniversary blow-out on the label itself without marring the aesthetic in the slightest. The label done, press releases and other copy – including news about the second anniversary celebration – were gathered together and screen printed onto newsprint, which was then hand-wrapped around each bottle, the Braxton logo always front, center, and resting at a jaunty angle. In an age when newsprint is known primarily for being that stuff that gets blown around your local subway station, it’s really eye-opening to see how good it can actually look when the professionals get to work.
Views: 362 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #119: St. Lucia Travel Brochure
 
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PaperSpecsGallery.com tales a trip to the sunny Carribean. Lapping ocean. Azure sky. Breathtaking vistas. Soothing amenities. Everything you need for a tropical paradise experience. Now ... how do you convey all that luxury and relaxation in a printed marketing piece? You wrap it all up in a banana leaf of course!
Views: 1546 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #56: Fizz Promotional QR Coasters
 
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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: 578 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #330: This Book is a Planetarium
 
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If you spent any time in American libraries growing up you probably remember a wide variety of posters urging you to open a book to “explore new worlds.” With her latest publication, “This Book is a Planetarium,” paper artist Kelli Anderson has transformed that trite little saying into a colorful reality. In addition to offering a working model of the heavens, this book also includes several fun and functional demonstrations of key scientific laws, all produced by expertly folding, engineering and designing with paper. When I was shooting the video about her last pop-up masterpiece, ‘This Book is a Camera,” I recall thinking at the time that Kelli had a whole world of creativity just waiting to burst forth given the right circumstances. If anything, “This Book is a Planetarium” suggests that I may have actually underestimated her talents. I say that because the pop-up inventions packed between these covers don’t just perform little miracles, they also teach us how our universe works. I particularly appreciate the explanation she gives in her own “behind the scenes” video for the book: “I was drawn to working with paper because it seems like it’s too humble a material to actually do anything. But in fact it can be bent to tap into these forces in the world that are otherwise hard to see. There’s no piece of technology that makes the directional tendency of sound waves more evident than just rolling up a paper cone and speaking into it.” Or as in the case of this book, crafting a speaker – complete with a multipart, multicolor stand – designed to amplify music played on your smartphone. “By making something handheld like a book,” she adds, “I could both explain why light beams behave the way they do and also make that information touchable and visceral so people can get both a figurative and literal grasp on a few fundamental scientific principles.” Inside we not only find the titular planetarium that casts the constellations upon your ceiling with the aid of your phone, as well as the aforementioned speaker, but also a: - Set of removable spiralgraph tools that slot into a special drawing area – just slip in a piece of paper and relive your childhood - Stringed instrument you can play with the removable pick provided - Perpetual calendar that tells you what the day of the week will be on any date in the future - Decoder ring that allows you to write secret messages. What makes this book truly impressive is the fact that each one of these pop-up devices must be printed and finished very precisely as Kelli designed her mock-ups – if they’re so much as a millimeter off, they simply won’t work correctly. After exploring the wonders of each page, we finally come to the back cover of the book, which playfully poses the question “What can paper do?” After spending some time with “This Book is a Planetarium,” my response is “What can’t it do?”
Views: 1273 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #294: TED ‘Dream’ Program
 
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If you were to sum up the TED experience in one word, “dream” is as good as any. The program’s guest speakers repeatedly and with great self-assurance try to sell us on dreams of all kinds. The dream that we can be successful, go farther, do more, and maybe in the end even be better human beings. For the TED 2016 Dream conference in Vancouver last February, Hybrid Design went all out to capture the essence of the “dream” concept in visual form. From posters to event space they gave the gathering a positive, distinctive look. Nowhere was that better accomplished than in the official main stage program beautifully printed by MET Fine Printers. “We saw ‘Dream’ as much as a command as a process, so we began by expressing it in concrete terms: solid, impactful and loaded with potential,” says Hybrid Design Principal and Creative Director Dora Drimalas. “Massive bold typography and an electrified blue/fluorescent combination throughout vibrate, almost as if containing pent up energy.” The program not only contained information about the conference itself, “it also doubled as a sketchbook for attendees and speakers alike,” says Dora. “We created a simple way for TEDsters to take notes from each speaker in a clean, transportable format which they could easily look back on, once they had left the beautiful Vancouver Convention Center. Made to survive the 5 day convention packed with events and parties, nothing is more reliable than a well-made printed notebook.” As you can imagine the delight is in the details. Take the Wire-O binding – a lay-flat option that’s simply perfect for the conference experience. Who wants to struggle against their notebook binding when they’re trying to take notes? Yet they also opted to conceal the wire binding behind an elegant cloth spine that goes beautifully with the book’s covers. Inside, the 70 lb. Mohawk Options pages were a perfect choice, giving you the impression of the type of uncoated sheet you’d expect to find in a textbook, yet displaying the sharp details of a coated one. Particularly fun is the combination of bold typography and photos with orange notes seemingly handwritten here, there and everywhere. “The scribbles and doodles throughout the book form a more intimate perspective on dreaming,” Dora explains. “This element of process reminds the attendees that the job of a dreamer is never finished.” All told, this tome has the look and feel of a keepsake that will sit on shelves for years to come, reminding attendees that for one short time in their lives, they were encouraged to turn off their phones, settle back, and dream.
Views: 772 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #127: Peacock Parfumerie Packaging
 
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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: 887 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #343: Cook in a Book Series
 
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You can’t flip a circle of pizza dough these days without hitting someone or something related to cooking: cooking shows on television, on YouTube, social media, it’s everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except on the bookshelves of 2- to 4-years-olds. At least that was the case before Lotta Nieminen’s Cook in a Book series of board books from Phaidon began coming out in 2016. Now, with the help of cleverly designed paper tabs and dials, toddlers and preschoolers can “prepare meals” right along with mom or dad safely and easily. In recent years we’ve been spoiled by increasingly intricate pop-up books such as Kelli Anderson’s 3D masterpieces – this is something different. The volumes in this series – “Pancakes,” “Tacos” and “Pizza” – use lift-up flaps, pull tabs, wheels and punch-out pieces as interactive elements just perfect for little hands. What makes this so unique is the clever way in which these seemingly simple paper creations are brought to life by careful planning. Take the “Pizza” book. As the aspiring chef reads (or is read) each step, they can actually help in the preparation of the dish. For example, Step 2 calls for adding salt and flour. Pulling a single tab causes little salt particles to fall from the salt box, and a stream of flour from a measuring cup – both using the same paper pulled behind strategically placed die cuts. A wheel can be rotated to give the appearance of a spoon stirring, another wheel allows you to set the oven “temperature.” And by the time you reach the end of the book you can remove a pizza “slice” from the pan on the page – a die cut pizza slice, anyway. The art in the Cook in a Book series reflects the collage illustration style Lotta employs in her marketing work for clients such as Facebook, Herman Miller and Hermès, adding a modern look to one of the oldest of print mediums: the children’s book. While these volumes may not feature the intricate pop-ups we’ve come to expect from paper engineers like Peter Dahmen, they are endlessly inventive in their use of die cuts, flaps and tabs to bring interactivity to an audience only just discovering the joys and creativity that paper provides: young children.
Views: 790 paperspecs
PaperSpecs.com | Paper Inspiration #251: Frogbox Cardboard Poster
 
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“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!
Views: 1988 paperspecs
Paper Inspiration #181: The Law Office of Matthew Messina Identity
 
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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.
Views: 544 paperspecs

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