Last week Parse & Parcel had the pleasure of co-hosting The Strathmore Archives in Cleveland. We teamed up with our friends at Mohawk – makers of Strathmore, and local paper merchant Millcraft, to bring this exhibit to Cleveland. On what had to be the warmest evening of the summer, a group of 100 designers, printers and paper peeps joined us to celebrate the legacy of Strathmore and see first hand the evolution of American graphic design.
I had been warned. Get to the exhibit hall early on opening night, it’s crazy. So last month at HOW, I left Simon Sinek’s keynote speech a little early so I could be among the first to see all the paper samples from the mills. It worked – but only for one booth. By the time I looked up it was a frenzy of people clamoring to get at all the swag. It was like Black Friday for designers. There was a line that wound its way around the perimeter and through the center of the exhibit hall. After being knocked around several times by these enormous yellow/orange CSA designed packages, I knew where all the fuss was coming. Not one to miss out on a good thing, I hopped in line. It was definitely worth the wait, not only did I get some awesome print samples, I was among the first to catch a peek at Kraft-Tone, the new grade from French Paper.
I’m a talker. My family and friends will tell you, once you get me started on a subject that I care about, watch out. To me there’s nothing better than having dinner with friends and sharing some great conversation. Depending on the subject, things get kind of lively and that’s when the fun starts. So when the Cleveland chapter of AIGA asked if Parse & Parcel would host a paper reverb and share tips on how to make paper specification a part of the design process, I was all in.
It’s true what they say about side projects – you never know where they will take you. I knew in my heart I wanted to make Parse & Parcel a reality, but taking that leap can be scary. Lucky for me I have some amazing people on my side that have made all difference. For me one of those people has been Christine Wisnieski, an incredibly talented multi-discipline designer based in Cleveland, Ohio. I first met Christine when I was her paper rep, together we got to work on some pretty awesome print projects. She’s always been one of those designers that gets it, especially when it comes to paper and it’s importance when designing for print. So when I finally decided to bring this passion project to life, she was one of the first people I enlisted for help.
I knew at the onset the look and feel of Parse & Parcel had to be perfect, after all it’s a business geared to the design community. I felt Christine perfectly captured the spirit of Parse & Parcel and created a beautiful brand for my business, but was I biased? While supplier feedback had been positive and subscriptions steadily increasing, I couldn’t help but wonder if the industry understood it. Any doubts I had were put to rest earlier this month when Parse & Parcel won Best of Show at the AIGA Cleveland Design 730 Competition. Somebody pinch me.
Cleveland designers, join us in The Sample Studio on June 3rd for an AIGA Reverb all about paper. I’ll share my story on how my paper obsession evolved into a business helping creatives gain unique access to the latest trends in paper, print and design. Joining me will be designer Christine Wisnieski (the creative talent behind all of Parse & Parcel’s branding) and Beth Reardon from Mohawk Fine Papers. Together we’ll chat about how to make paper specification a part of the design process, and how these tips can take your design to the next level. Registration is free to CLE AIGA members and attendees will receive a special gift from Parse & Parcel. Hope to see you there!
We’ve all heard the expression, you can’t judge a book by its cover. While this may be true, we can’t help but form an impression when we encounter something for the first time. This week I took a field trip to visit the Mohawk Paper mill in upstate New York. From the moment I pulled into the lot and saw the colorful Mohawk logo, an impression was formed and I knew I was in for something special. That opinion held true when I got to experience the new Mohawk Maker. From the moment I ran my hand across that neon orange marbleized pattern on the cover I was hooked, the new Mohawk Maker Quarterly makes quite an impression.
I get asked a lot about what are the best environmentally friendly papers for print. Most people believe that just because a paper has 100% PCW that it must be the best choice for their print project, but that’s not necessarily the case. In honor of Earthday, I thought I’d share some tips on choosing the best environmentally friendly paper when it comes to print.
I have been a fan of paper since I was little kid. I started collecting stationery in grade school along with my BFF. We’d beg our moms to take us to Paul’s Teacher’s Pet so we could load up on our favorites. I always loved writing letters and looked for any excuse to dig into my collection. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I realized how much I loved sending and receving letters. Each evening on our way to the dining-hall, my friends and I would have to check our mailboxes. I have to say freshman year, box 1187 got more mail than all of my rommates combined. OK, so maybe I was the only one with a boyfriend back at home, but who cares it was mail. So when I heard that the USPS had dedicated April as National Letter Writing Month, I busted out my stationery collection and began to write.
So we’re kind of excited around the sample studio today. About a month ago, we found out Parse & Parcel was recognized with GD USA 2015 American Package Design Award. Today the print edition of GD USA arrived and we’re featured among the winners in the luxury packaging category (page 135). I have to say, as a business whose mission is to inspire and educate the graphic design community, the fact that the packaging for The Parcel was recognized by the design industry is especially rewarding.
One of the things I enjoy most about working with creatives is the chance to peek behind the curtain. I’ve said it before, I’m a bit of a peeping tom when it comes to design. This is why I love social media – it’s not just about liking a brand or a blogger, but you get to actually learn a bit about the creatives behind the brand. It’s not just the gorgeous compositions that suck me in but rather the stories behind those who create them. It was scrolling through instagram that I came to learn about Trouvé Magazine and its founder, Amanda Marko.