Some might say when it comes to organization I’m a bit obsessed. But when you’re dealing with hundreds of paper samples every day, organization is the key to overcoming overwhelm. The paper mills understand this, so they try to make the process of showcasing their products easier via swatchbooks. Over the years the mills have tried to get inventive with their design, the most recent to deviate from the standard format was Mohawk. I give them props for trying something different but honestly the format was not user friendly. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned they were redoing their swatchbooks. The first shipment arrived in The Sample Studio this week and let me just say the new Mohawk Carnival + Via Swatchbook is so worth the wait.
As someone who lives by the info in these resources, it’s so great to have everything in one book. For me it was love at first sight. This is a HUGE improvement over the previous oblong, accordion fold version that was more chip chart than swatchbook. At a full 2″ in width, this is one massive swatchbook. And it’s awesome. At first glance the size may be a bit overwhelming but I can assure you every bit of it is well planned and necessary. As you open the cover you get an overview of the Carnival + Via grades. Mohawk refers to it as their “most comprehensive and economical family of premium writing, text and cover papers.” Let’s just say when I need to find a paper for a budget driven project that needs to be readily available, tactile and requires a color other than white (although there are plenty of white shades within it), this is one of the first swatchbooks I grab.
As you open the gate-fold on the front cover, Mohawk presents the “Quick Spec” – all of the grades colors, finishes and basis weights at a glance. This is well laid out, with four waterfalls – the first two show the colors, the third shows finishes and the fourth displays the available basis weights. I have to say I am loving this feature. For me, the best part of “Quick Spec” is that I can easily see all 45 colors that are available – this tells me right away if what I need is available or if there’s something similar. It sure beats flipping through tabs trying to find all the colors that exist.
With that being said, Mohawk has done a great job of setting up the “Browse” section of this swatchbook. They’ve tabbed out all eleven finishes: Cordwain, Felt, Groove, Hopsack, Laid, Linen, Premium Linen, Satin, Smooth, Vellum and 25% Cotton and bound them using double wire-o binding so you can easily open the book and have it lay flat. Each tab has liner notes on the flip side, detailing all the reasons why that particular finish is special – a really nice detail. Opposite that is another waterfall of all the colors swatches in that finish with a sample of it in a particular basis weight. Opposite the waterfall you’ll find the specs of all the papers in that finish listed by color, including basis weight, sheet size, caliper packing info and more.
After perusing this compendium of paper swatches I had to find out how it was produced – so I flipped to the inside back cover. There was all info I could ask for including full production notes. The book was designed by Hybrid Design in San Francisco (the same folks who are behind Mohawk’s Maker Campaign) and printed at Fey Printing in Wisconsin.
Hats off to Mohawk for creating one amazingly thorough and well-designed swatchbook. On behalf of paper peeps across the country – thank you. Stay up to date with all newest paper swatchbooks and design resources, sign up here (it’s free).