Just when I didn’t think they could get any better, Issue No. 7 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly – Character, comes along. Putting out quality editorial and design content is tough, but to do so on a consistent, quarterly basis is pretty impressive. In fact, I’d say it speaks to the character of a company – and Mohawk has always been one paper maker who walks the talk. So it’s not lost on me that the paper selected for its production, Mohawk Loop, reinforces the theme of this issue. From the companies and artisans profiled in it, to the paper it’s printed on – when it comes to character this issue of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly has it in spades.
It’s no secret, I love paper promotions. I think it all stems from my curiosity of what’s possible. When I look through a new piece I start thinking about all the different ways I can use a certain print technique or paper finish. I think about past projects and wonder what if? While I’m pretty adept at paper and all of its characteristics, I find I’m still learning new things all the time when it comes to print production – mainly because the technology keeps evolving. In the latest installment of the Appleton Coated series, Curious About Print Production, we get to explore the effects of printing colored images on colored paper and how to achieve different results using specific production techniques.
In case you didn’t realize it, I like to share. If you follow P&P you probably already know that. I just think the most effective way to help educate about paper as it relates to print and design is to share my experiences with full disclosure – the good, the bad and the ugly. So when the team at Domtar dished about the problems they encountered producing their newest promotion Share on Cougar, I knew I had to see it for myself.
I’ve said it before, I’m kind of a voyeur when it comes to design. I walk the dog at night just so I can check out the interior design of homes in my neighborhood. And if it’s a home of particular note, I let my pooch have a good long sniff around just so I can get a better look. Luckily, when it comes to paper and print design I don’t have to go to such lengths. Many of the paper mills and industry publications host design competitions and share the details with their audience. I got my fix recently when Appleton Coated sent us their new print promotion, O1NE, featuring the 2015 U360 winners.
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.
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.
One of the perks of my job is that I get to see some pretty amazing paper promotions. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection of fab samples showcasing every print technique imaginable. I refer to my sample library often, especially when a designer asks to see something special. The one area of my stash that is in hot demand these days is luxury packaging. It seems everyone with a new business or product is embracing the tactile medium of paper as a means of differentiating their brand. There’s tons of great info online about haptics (the science of touch), but to me there is nothing quite like experiencing the real thing. I always thought it would make so much sense to just have one really well executed packaging piece that highlights paper as an essential part of packaging design. So when I opened the new Neenah packaging promotion – The Power of Paper: On Neenah, I almost passed out.
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.
The first time I visited Florence I suffered from Stendahl syndrome. No, I am not kidding. I was in the my early twenties and had never seen so much beauty in one place. It was overwhelming. The syndrome itself can cause rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion – even hallucinations in some people who experience something of enormous significance, mostly pertaining to art. If you’ve been following P&P you know my love of paper, but when it comes to the craft of print, especially letterpress, I am truly awestruck. With a collection of 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles of sizes and patterns, The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. I’m fairly certain if I ever visit the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum I’d surely suffer a relapse. So when I received the final limited edition Hamilton Wood Type specimen sheets from Appleton Coated you can understand why I got a little dizzy.
When it comes to ink on paper, nothing shows the craft of print better than stunning photography. While most of the work to perfect the image is done during pre-press and production, one component that can make or break a project featuring heavy photography is paper selection. One of the best examples I’ve seen featuring photography is the recent promotion on Accent Opaque, The A-List.