Singapore-based design and branding company Oddds recently completed a new project—rebranding themselves—in what they call “The New Anthropology.” Drawing from studies of humanity, culture, and design, Oddds has taken typography and iconography to a whole new level. The whole project is influenced by elements of mysticism and illusion; inspirations like the sea speak to the company’s clean aesthetic.
It’s been a busy year at Parse & Parcel. We launched our business complete with a new website and subscription products, moved into a new space, set up The Sample Studio and added two members to our team – Molly & Chris. I am incredibly grateful to be able to do what I love and help the print and design community that means so much to me. I knew I wanted to do something special this holiday season to say thank you to everyone who has supported Parse & Parcel this past year. With that being said, I wanted whatever we did to be true to our mission to help educate and inspire. What better way to deliver paper inspiration than by sending each member of our mailing list a set of custom holiday cards?
I knew I wanted to give something special to our members that would be both education and functional, so I decided to focus on using colored and textured paper stocks to demonstrate what could be done with digital printing. I chose digital because although it’s used a lot, I still don’t see much being produced on tactile, color paper.
Last month I was having a discussion in my LinkedIn group regarding business card trends prompted by my previous blog post, Edge Painting is the New Black. A fellow member commented that 99% of his clients are looking to produce business cards in an efficient and inexpensive way, and most who do request a specialty print technique back off due to sticker shock. While I respect his expertise, I disagree that price alone is the reason for it. I noted that just a few years ago, the same could have been said for heavyweight, duplex business cards on premium papers. Then along came MOO.com – somehow they figured out a way to offer a well-produced, quadplex business card on a premium text and cover paper that was not only affordable but easily accessible to anyone. My hope was the same thing would happen with specialty print techniques. At the time I posted that comment, little did I know MOO was days away from launching a new product answering my request – MOO Letterpress, the feel of letterpress business cards made accessible and affordable.
It was love at first sight. I could hardly believe my eyes, but two of my all time favorite combinations were staring me right in the face: kraft paper paired with copper metallic ink. Oh Mohawk, you had me at hello. I was thrilled when I got the brand spanking new Mohawk Carnival + Via swatchbook last month. I didn’t think things could get much better with one of my “go-to” budget friendly grades…until I got the current copy of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly Issue No. 5 – PERCEPTION.
The first time I visited Florence I suffered from Stendahl syndrome. No, I am not kidding. I was in the my early twenties and had never seen so much beauty in one place. It was overwhelming. The syndrome itself can cause rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion – even hallucinations in some people who experience something of enormous significance, mostly pertaining to art. If you’ve been following P&P you know my love of paper, but when it comes to the craft of print, especially letterpress, I am truly awestruck. With a collection of 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles of sizes and patterns, The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. I’m fairly certain if I ever visit the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum I’d surely suffer a relapse. So when I received the final limited edition Hamilton Wood Type specimen sheets from Appleton Coated you can understand why I got a little dizzy.
On the heels of their recent logo redesign, unique accommodations company Airbnb has launched a print magazine—Pineapple. Since interaction with their brand often ends with the app, the company wanted to have a more tangible offline presence. The quarterly issues of Pineapple reveal the hidden secrets of three locations where their services are offered; this time in 128 pages of ad-free, glossy glory.
If you’ve been following along on P&P you know that I love working on identity projects. While of course I’m partial to the paper specification process, I do appreciate all aspects of a well designed identity system. I’m always intrigued by the process, particularly what inspires certain concepts. In this identity for F61, a small print work shop in St. Petersburg, the logo was inspired by the schematics of printing equipment. Look carefully and you will see the angles and curves of the type follow that of the cylinders of a press. How great is that – a print equipment inspired identity.
Edge painting, edge coloring, colored edges – whatever you call it, is the hottest trend in business card design. The process is not new by any means, but it’s definitely getting a lot of exposure these days and with good reason – it makes a huge impact. When using engraving ink for this process you can expect a shimmery edge on metallics or a flat, matte effect on colored edges. For the uber-shiny look metallic foil edges are the way to go. Double the wow-factor when combining with other special print techniques like letterpress or embossing.
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.