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.
It’s official, spring’s here. I know the calendar says the vernal equinox began on March 20th – but I have my own system. Living near the Great Lakes most of my life, I know a date on calendar means nothing in terms of reality. So I rely on something much more scientific, my senses. While I saw a few snowflakes flying this weekend, I also saw the first harbinger of spring in my book – the crocus. I base the next three months on this sighting alone. I know in 10-14 days the hellebores will be in bloom, followed shortly by the forsythia and cherry trees. That’s my signal to breakout the putrid liquid fence. This step is a necessary evil because it prevents the deer from devouring my spring landscape. As a gardener, I live for my display of spring bulbs. Tulips are by far my favorite – probably because much like paper, they come in an abundance of gorgeous colors.
I was scrolling through my facebook feed when a post from a design friend stopped me in my tracks. “Dear paper companies – cease and desist showing designers premium / unique papers that when we actually go to use them – you inform us right before press you cannot fulfill an order. I am so over print production.” I cringed, this is the exact opposite reaction every paper company wants a designer to have about their products. As someone who has lived and breathed paper for the better part of my career, I have to wonder why the disconnect between availability of premium papers and designers still happens?
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.
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.
There’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.
When it comes to print, few techniques convey such an intense sense of artistry and craftsmanship as engraving. Did you know engraving’s modest beginning produced a system enabling mass communication and the spread of priceless art? It was actually the first way to enlighten the masses. It’s a tradition steeped in history and the website from Neenah Paper, The Beauty of Engraving, is dedicated to the craft. Detailing the milestones of engraving’s history, the site also showcases the work of contemporary designers using the medium today in a series of prints. The newest addition to the series was created by lettering artist, Kevin Cantrell, and we’re super excited to be able to giveaway 10 of these limited edition prints to our audience.
Where did summer go? We’ve been busy bees this month, filling orders, packing and shipping The Parcel and moving into our new digs in Cleveland. This past week we started stocking The Sample Studio, a giant 40′ wall of floor to ceiling paper samples. Aside from a few minor paper cuts, it’s coming along nicely. Stay tuned – we’ll be sharing more on that in a bit.
It’s no secret I love stationery. I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years, and am always on the hunt for interesting pieces to add to it. You name it, and I probably have an example of it – everything from Victorian (I know but my mom gave it to me) to hand marbled Florentine papers to letterpress kitsch. Lately I’ve been obsessed with vintage Italian typography in all forms – from signage to packaging design. You may have seen our post on the Perfetto! pencils and packaging we scored earlier this year. Now I am obsessed with these Louise Fili notecards and packaging she designed for Princeton Architectural Press.