Designers Influence Colored & Textured Papers

Are you tired of choosing a paper for a project, only to find out it’s not available locally or you can’t get it in small quantities? Yeah, we’ve there a time or twelve. It’s never fun, especially when the client has their heart set on something. Well, here’s your chance to do something about it and help influence what colored and textured papers become easier for designers to access.

Join fellow creatives and take this brief survey (5 minutes, promise) and make your voice heard.

Say hello to colorful, tactile business cards and inspiring invitations. Yep, envelopes are a part of this too!

And just to say thanks for taking the survey, we’re giving you a chance to win your choice of either The Parcel or The Swatchbox! But you have to respond for a chance to win.

Louie, Louie – The 28th Annual Louie Awards

LOUIE_LOUIE_PARSE_PARCELSo many greeting cards, so little time.

Last week I joined some industry peeps in NYC to judge the entries for the 28th Annual Louie Awards. The Louie Awards are the Oscars for the national greeting card association. And they’re kind of a BIG deal.

My fellow judges and I had just two short days to judge over 300 entries and narrow the field in 50+ categories. While it was a bit overwhelming at first, it didn’t take long to realize finding the category standouts was actually pretty easy – and I have to admit I was kind of shocked, and a little disappointed by this fact.

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.

National Stationery Show – Promotion Celebrating 70 Years

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It’s no secret, I’m nuts about stationery. I’ve been collecting it since I was a kid, my BFF Cindy got me into it when I was 8 or so. We’d beg our moms to take us to the local stationery store so we could stock up on all our faves – Suzy Angel, Ziggy (it was the late 70’s) and anything with Snoopy on it we had to have. We each housed our collection in a shoe box we covered with gift wrap. And we were constantly sorting them, arranging them by size, color and order of importance. But the best part was the trades. We’d pour over each others collection and then offer up trades trying to get the other’s prized possession. For me, it was always this yellow notecard with an illustration of a girl on the front holding a fish bowl (I think). Don’t ask me why but I had to have it. I’d offer up 9 or 10 different cards in exchange for just that one, but Cindy never budged. Eventually more important things diverted our attention (like boys) but my love of stationery never wavered. So you can imagine my excitement when Parse & Parcel was asked by Legion Paper to collaborate on a promotion commemorating the 70th year of the National Stationery Show in a special  The Legion Paper Trading Card Pack

The Secret to Designing an Unforgettable Business Card

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Going to industry events can be stressful, especially when you’re hoping to make new business connections. As if finding the right outfit isn’t enough pressure, the whole idea of networking can freak some people out. Let’s say you get past all the small talk and actually meet someone you want to follow up with. The moment of truth comes when you reach into your pocket and hand over your business card. In that moment an impression is made – whether or not it’s memorable comes down to one 3.5″ x 2″ card. As someone who’s seen (and studied) an extensive number of them, I’m sharing the secret to producing an unforgettable business card.

How Life Unfolds – Advocacy Campaign Targeting Consumers

how-life-unfolds-parse-parcel It’s no secret I love paper. But over the last decade, things got kind of dicey for the industry I love. Social media became the darling of marketing, and web design got all the attention.  Print sales were already declining and a bad economy only sped up the process.  Every industry goes through this kind of reset, but not everyone can adapt to the changes needed to survive. A few suppliers got out ahead of things and started advocacy campaigns: Paper Because, Down to Earth, Do You Know the Facts – but much of these resources seemed to focus on promoting and educating those within our industry. That’s not a bad place to start, but to have a lasting impact the industry needed to change the perceptions of those outside the industry. As the economy gradually recovered something interesting happened, people unfamiliar with the industry were becoming enamored with paper. And when you think about, there’s no more perfect medium than paper for connecting people. It’s this sentiment that is at the heart of the new consumer advocacy campaign by The Paper and Packaging Board, How Life Unfolds.

Paper Resource: Kraft-Tone by French Paper

french-krafttone-parse-parcelI 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.

Paper Reverb – Making Paper Specification a Part of the Design Process

paper-reverb-parse-parcelI’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.

Choosing Environmentally Friendly Paper

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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.

National Letter Writing Month – Giveaway

national-l;etter-writing-month-parse-parcelI 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.