Pantone 2016 Color of the Year – Paper Picks

2016 Color of the Year - Top Paper Picks | Parse & Parcel

I have to say when Pantone announced their new Color of the Year for 2016 I wasn’t too surprised. I noticed this combo take hold in pop-culture a few years ago. It could be spotted popping up everywhere, from the art-direction of (then new) lifestyle magazines likes Kinfolk and Cereal to luxury packaging design like that of Bing Bang NY, to the set design and cinematography of The Grand Budapest Hotel. You could see this coming a mile away. But what Pantone did do that was a total departure from years past. The 2016 Color of the Year is a first for Pantone, they selected two colors to bestow the honor on this year, Rose Quartz & Serenity – a two-fer. While it’s nice they offered up the color match for us, it doubled the work for those looking to match paper for things like invitations, stationery and envelopes. I know what at total PITA trying to find on epaper color match can be, let alone two. No worries, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and complied a list of my top paper picks for Pantone’s 2016 Color (or colors) of the Year.

Attract the Client Work You Dream of in 2016

ATTRACT THE CLIENT WORK YOU DREAM OF
It’s that time of year again, after the binging of the holidays comes the cleansing of, well, everything. It’s always during this time of purging that I think about how much I want to accomplish, especially with work. I think about what I could have done differently this year that would have long lasting benefits for the future. For creatives this can be challenging, especially when you’re constantly comparing your work to that of your peers, and with the constant reminder of it all over social media, there’s no escaping it. *Sigh* If only I had those clients…Why not make this the year you finally attract the client work you dream of?

Will 2016 Be a Good Year for Creative Jobs?

2016-salary-forecast-creatives-parse-parcelDuring my freshman year at college I worked in the alumni office. I was one of the students who called alum asking if they’d pledge support for their beloved alma mater. I have to say I never really appreciated this job until years later. Last night I received one of those calls from a senior who is in the same program I was (sort of). She’s a communications major with a focus on integrated marketing and social media, we chatted for a bit about her senior year – turns out she may be a great intern candidate for Parse & Parcel next semester. I wish I had seen The Creative Group 2016 Salary Guide, prior to our conversation, it looks like 2016 will be a good year for creative jobs and a promising year for my future fellow alum.

ROI You Can See and Feel

ROI-you-can-see-feel-parse-parcelOne of the things I love about paper is its ability to connect with people. Growing up I had a pen pal from Manchester, England and one of the things I loved most about getting letters from him was the special airmail paper they were written on. When my penpal and I began correspondence, the U.S. had longed stopped traditional airmail, but not the U.K. So when I saw that red and blue bordered envelope I couldn’t help but get excited.  After all, something special was waiting inside just for me. I know I’m not alone in my love of the traditional airmail design, but there’s a reason for its popularity – we connect with it.  The same can be said for well designed print campaigns, the tough part is the design. However there are two components creatives can count on – color and haptics. This combo is one-two punch delivering ROI you can see and feel.

Airbnb Launches Print Magazine

airbnb-launches-print-magazineOn 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.

Google Uses Print to Launch Material Design

Google-uses-print-parse-and-parcelThere’s no denying digital’s effectiveness. If you want to get information out quickly and relatively inexpensively it’ll do the job no doubt. Now if your goal is to differentiate your brand, make a lasting impression or provide the user with a memorable experience than we have to say nothing compares to print. But you don’t have to take our word for it, just check out the print collateral Google used to help launch their new visual language – Material Design.

KTG Group Annual Report

KTG-group-annual-reportAt its most basic form, an annual report must communicate credibility and transparency. These days most companies opt to share this information online. We get it, annual reports can be expensive. However we’d argue isn’t the whole point to establish a connection that’s memorable with shareholders? That’s exactly what this annual report from KTG Group does.

USPS Retail Redesign

USPS Retail Redesign

I love mail. I’ve been smitten since my first pen pal as teenager. He was a boy from Manchester, England who was into heavy metal, skateboarding, and football. We had absolutely nothing in common but I loved getting those letters. There was something about seeing that air mail stamp and postmark that made me feel like I just won lottery. My fondness for mail grew when I got to college. Every day on our way to the dining hall, my friends and I would check our mail – box 1187 in the JCU RecPlex saw a lot of letters (I had a boyfriedn back at home and we wrote way too much). The best was seeing the yellow slip through the window – you knew you had a package waiting for you in the mail room. When I graduated and got my first  “real” job, I had to relocate and getting mail from friends and family far away was always a treat. Today I’m on a first name basis with the postal workers in my local branch with all the shipments of  The Parcel sent to subscribers. So I was thrilled to see the recent USPS retail redesign featured in great detail on the Brand New blog.

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

Print Samples – A Sensory Experience

I recently asked my fellow LinkedIn group members what’s the first thing you do when you receive a print sample. There were two responses that came up repeatedly.  One, there should be a support group for ink on paper sniffers; and two, print is a highly sensory experience. My experience with Sappi’s  promotion, Print &, is proof positive on the subject.
print-samples-a sensory-experience
This should come as no surprise to fans of print, but there’s scientific proof explaining why print has such an emotional influence on us. According to a study by Millward Brown, paper based marketing makes a greater impression on the brain than digital. They used MRI’s to test the same image used on screen and printed on paper and the test showed tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain. We process print as being more “real” – it has a place and reference in our memory. The brain associates the tactile experience with its perception of the content, how’s that for subliminal messaging. If you haven’t seen it yet, the print promotion, Print &, by Sappi is proof positive on the subject.
print-samples-a sensory-experience
Designed by Studio Hinrichs and printed entirely on McCoy Silk, this piece put me in sensory overload. I found myself doing exactly what others in the discussion had stated. First I ran my hand across the luxurious cover, noticing the smooth hand of the paper and then feeling the spot gloss UV on the image. As I opened the cover, I give the sheet a good flick with my thumb and listen for a snap. It’s my little test of a quality cover stock, at 130# this sheet holds up. As you may noticed by now, I am all about the tactile experience when it comes to print samples.

Inside, I am drawn to the soft touch coating on the interior cover. I page through the piece and am struck by the gorgeous combination of photography, illustration and typography Studio Kinrichs is known for. I notice the balance between the positive and negative spaces. Stopping on a spread that calls readers to interact, I pay attention to the solid black area to see if it passes the “orange peel” test. I scour it looking for the tiniest imperfection in coverage (non-glare coated papers are very unforgiving when it comes to large areas of solids like black or metallics). Of course there’s none – this is McCoy we’re talking about.
print-samples-a sensory-experience
As I continue to flip through the piece, I cannot believe I am going to admit this next part, I pull the sample close to my face and take in a good whiff. I’m shameless in my approach. I don’t even check to see if anyone’s looking, I close my eyes and inhale. Before you judge, know that almost everyone who responded to this thread admitted to doing the same thing, along with some other behaviors that could be cause for another study.
print-samples-a sensory-experience
Now that I’m over my initial sensory experience, I dig into the content. And man, does this piece deliver. Full of interesting tidbits like “consumers that can afford to access information in any medium state a preference for print.” This translates to over 460 publications alone targeting the wealthy, a 400% increase since 1997. “Print improves brand perceptions and customer engagement,” and “Among 18 to 24 year olds, 69% say they prefer print and paper communications to reading off a screen.” All of this proving how print & other mediums drive greater success using a smart push-pull marketing approach.

This piece would win a place in my keeper file for the design alone, but the fact that it’s coupled with amazing print techniques throughout, stunning photography and illustrations all backed by powerful content makes it one for The Parcel as well. This is what I call paper inspiration. To learn more, sign up to join our community and get inspiration delivered to your inbox.