Design For Good – Ideas That Matter

Ideas That Matter is a grant initiative founded by Sappi designed with the design community in mind. Creatives are frequently asked to donate their services to create campaigns for non-profits. Sappi developed a grant program to help offset the cost of production for collateral to help raise awareness and assist in fund-raising for the cause at … Read more

Spec Rep Secrets: Start with the Envelope

Colorful identity system by Stitch Design

As a paper rep, my favorite projects to work on with designers were identity systems. They always seem to be the ones that offered the most freedom, especially when it comes to paper specification. Typically once the design elements are established, the focus turns to print and paper. So when it came time to pick the stocks for Parse & Parcel, I figured I got this. After all, paper is my specialty.  But like a bride to be planning her wedding, I got so caught up in the details that I forgot my own rule when it comes to identity design. Start with the envelope first.

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Paper Resource: Neenah Cabinet Update

neenah-cabinet-parse-parcelYou know we love anything that makes accessing paper, and paper info easy. So we were thrilled to see our friends at Neenah just released a new version of their online paper resource tool – CabinetTM. Now you can gain access to all of Neenah’s swatchbooks online, so when you need to reference a sheets size, basis weight or color availability you’re not SOL if you don’t have the swatchbook handy.

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Paper Promo: Feel, Think, Do – Haptic Design

Did you know people who rely solely on touch and no images feel a stronger connection to a product? It’s true, it’s been proven in a recent study on haptics (sense of touch). As someone who loves paper I wasn’t surprised to hear this, but it did offer an explanation as to why I gravitate towards papers with a tactile finish and nice heft to them. Show me a print sample featuring a blind emboss and there’s a good chance you’ll never see it again. Needless to say, I was a little woozy when I saw the new promotion about haptic design from Neenah Paper called feel think do.
haptic-design-promo-parse-and-parcel

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Design Resource: Essential Social Media Design Cheat Sheet

Social-Media-Cheat-Sheet
Just when you’ve designed the perfect layout for your twitter profile page, the network announces a site redesign. With all of the social media profiles you and clients have, staying on top of responsive design enhancements can be a full time job.  The essential social media design cheat sheet courtesy of Omnicore makes life a little easier.

The graphic is full of good info, including image size requirements, where to position graphics for optimum mobile viewing and notes specific to the social network.  Did you know on Instagram, photos imported from a native phone camera will save at a lower resolution than those taken with the app’s camera?

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Spec Rep Secrets: Do You Know the House Sheet You’re Printing On?


I got an email last week from a former customer of mine wanting info on a printer’s house sheet, which was a private label. The job was scheduled to go to press that day and he hadn’t heard of the paper being used and wanted to know what it was. It’s a fair question. As a creative professional one’s reputation is based on the quality of one’s work, and when it comes to print, paper has a huge impact on the final results. So the fact that my former customer was reaching out to me for answers made me think – do designers really know what they are getting when it comes to a house sheet?

It’s kind of like asking if you know what you are getting when you buy a generic brand at the grocery store. For me, I frequent a local grocer that’s been operating in my city since the early twentieth century. The stores are clean, well stocked, their employees are friendly and knowledgeable, their commitment to sustainability very transparent and their prices are fair – not the cheapest, but that’s OK with me. I trust them to sell me a quality generic brand – not some chemical laden, GMO product imported from half a world away. Obviously not all generic brands are equal and the same goes for private label house sheets. It comes down to one thing – do you trust your printer? Hopefully the answer is yes. If you’re not sure, here are some things to think about when it comes to using private label house sheets.

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Hoefler & Co. Launch Discover Typography Site

Talk about discovery retail as a platform, Hoefler & Co. created an interesting way to discover typography through understanding and experiencing different typefaces. The site consists of three different categories in ‘zoomable’ landscapes. Suggested typefaces that reflect each category’s subject, Wanderlust, Redline, and Barrel Proof, are grouped together. A pop-up window appears when users click … Read more

Paper Inspiration: Strathmore Pure Cotton Letterpress Papers

I’m not not sure exactly when it happened but at some point during my career I fell head over heels for letterpress. Really, what’s not to love? From a light-weight kiss (slight impression) to an impressive bite (heavy indentation), letterpress imparts a tactile, hand-crafted feel that’s second to none. Which is probably why everyone from … Read more

Giveaway: Jessica Hische Daily Drop Cap Stationery

daily-drop-cap-stationery

From the time I learned cursive in second grade, I’ve been fascinated with lettering. I love everything about it – the curves, the loops, the flourishes. I think I covered every square inch of my folders in middle school trying to perfect the lettering of my favorite band (The Doors) – I was 13 and had a thing for Jim Morrison. I drove myself nuts trying to get the proportions of the “o” correct. Now, anytime I see a sample featuring hand lettering it goes in my keeper file. So you can imagine my delight when I heard of Jessica Hische’s Daily Drop Stationery for the Luxe Project.

daily-drop-cap-stationery

A letterer and graphic designer, Jessica Hische began the Daily Drop Cap project in 2009 illustrating a decorative letter every day until she completed twelve sets of alphabets. Now she’s turned the gorgeous project into a full line of stationery for the The Luxe Project by Moo. The collection includes a full suite of luxe products including letterhead, business cards, notecards and mini-cards (so cute) all printed on one of our favorite papers – Mohawk Superfine. The self professed crazy cat lady is donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of her collection to the ASPCA.

Daily-drop-cap-stationery

We were lucky enough to have Jessica answer a few questions for us. Check out Jessica’s insights on the Daily Drop Cap project, her take on ‘procrastiworking,’ and the importance of paper specification among other things.

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