What form of media does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rely on to welcome new members to the club? Print, of course. And why not? After all print has been proven to form some of the most personal, intimate connections with its audience. The team at Design Army created an experience around becoming a new member to this elite group. See how Design Army used the power of print and packaging to create a special experience for each new member.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – packaging design is all about the details. It has to be, especially when it’s geared towards the B2C market. The whole point is to get noticed enough that the consumer actually picks up the product. It’s not enough to merely have an attractive color palette and a standout logo mark – while those are critical elements of branding, they’re table-stakes in the world of packaging design. If you really want a product to get noticed, one needs to create an experience filled with excitement and the promise of delight for the buyer/recipient. And that’s exactly how I felt from the moment I first laid eyes on the Wondermade packaging.
Image via Studio of Christine Wisnieski
Starting a business is hard. Really hard. I can’t tell you the countless hours I’ve spent developing the concept behind Parse & Parcel. There are so many details and a ton of planning involved. And no matter how much you plan, things are always changing. The tough part is how to plan for change without knowing exactly how things will change. This is a problem every business faces, but it’s especially difficult when you’ve got a physical product and you’re trying to find the perfect packaging solution – and you’re a start-up.
So I’m going through the new promotion from Domtar, Mark Your Mark, when I saw something that stopped me mid flip. While the piece itself is about identifying different market segments, what really caught my attention was the design for the restaurant segment. This particular sample set contained a menu, coaster, order pad and business card. I immediately noticed its elegant simplicity – black and white illustration with a pop of gold ink. I flipped to the production notes and read two words that stopped me in my tracks. Digital Gold. Wait, what? Yes, gold digital metallic ink. Now my print peeps are going to tell me this technology has been available for a while. And yes, gold digital metallic inks have been available for a few years. But the print results I saw in this piece looked so much better than anything I had ever seen done before. What I saw was true digital metallic inks – gold flecks and all.
When I was a kid I couldn’t wait until I turned 18. I was so annoyed by adults telling me what to do all the time – clean your room, practice the clarinet, be nice to your sister. Sheesh. To me, turning 18 meant freedom. After all, I would technically be an adult and that meant I could do what I want, right? Yeah, I know. But the one thing about turning 18 that remains as true today as it was all those years ago is the right to vote. Given the state of today’s politics, I can think of no greater privilege. So when Parse & Parcel was asked to participate in the AIGA Get Out the Vote exhibit, I leapt at the chance to be a part of it.
AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign calls on the power of design to motivate the American public to register and show up to vote on election day. Designers are encouraged to join the campaign by designing and sharing a poster. AIGA has partnered with the League of Women Voters to present an online gallery of non-partisan posters for printing and public distribution. In addition there are two exhibitions that coincide with both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (July 18 – 21) and Democratic National Conventions in Philadelphia (July 25-28), as well as the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas this fall (October 17 – 19).
There’s nothing like the promise of paper samples and sprinkles to get busy designers to take a break and venture out of the studio for an afternoon. Last week we teamed up with two of our faves, Millcraft and Neenah, to host an intimate paper & ice cream social for creatives.
Showcasing the brand spanking new swatchbook release of The Design Collection, creatives got a first-hand look at some inspiring ways to use color and texture to enhance their print design. Along with the swatch book update, Neenah released a fab little sampler of designer’s fave techniques produced on the fifteen different grades that make up The Design Collection.
I started collecting stationery as a kid in the 70’s. Back then the selection of available stationery was not nearly what it is today. I had a shoe box full of paper ephemera, most of it featuring the likes of Betsey Clark and Suzie Angel. I had no idea what went into producing these gems, I just knew I liked the cute characters and colors they featured. Fast forward forty years to the 2016 National Stationery Show and I found myself lucky enough to be a part of the NSS Class of 70 trading card promotion by Legion Paper – and I loved every single minute of it!
One of the things I enjoy most about working with designers is getting a behind the scenes look at the process of a project. Usually I enter into the process during the pre-production phase, after the design concept is complete and before specs go to printer for quote. It’s always a treat when I get to see a project come to life. The only time it’s more special is when it’s a passion project. A few weeks ago we shared the campaign to fund the development of the font, Lustig Elements, whose roots were born in the 1930s. Today, The Beauty of Letterpress by Neenah presents the Lustig Elements Collection, a remarkable new series of limited edition letterpress prints, commissioned in honor of notable design pioneers Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen.
The Lustig Elements Collection is available for purchase on The Beauty of Letterpress beginning today, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. This first installment of the collection includes four letterpress prints designed by Craig Welsh, of Go Welsh. Only 100 of each print were produced.
The Lustig Elements Collection gets its name from a typeface that modernist designer Alvin Lustig began to design in the 1930’s but never completed. Welsh, a design educator and award-winning designer based in Lancaster, PA, rediscovered the font and began a mission to revive it. Over a four-year period he worked closely with AIGA Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen to bring the Lustig Elements font to life. The newly completed typeface was created for both wood type and a digital font.
Progressive Annual Report – How Nesnadny + Schwartz Uses Paper Specification to Create Award Winning Annual Reports
There are just some projects that are iconic, and the Progressive Annual Report is at the top of the list. Mark Schwartz, the late founder of Nesnadny + Schwartz, built his career on bold moves – and the boldest had to be in 1982, when he called up the CEO of Progressive and offered to take photos for their annual report. Since then Nesnadny + Schwartz’s annual reports for Progressive have won more than 500 national awards. And one look at this year’s report, it’s easy to see why. But there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into producing such an amazing finished piece. We ought to know, Parse & Parcel constructed the paper dummies for the project. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the progression of a project from concept to production.
I took geometry my sophomore year of high school, let’s just it wasn’t my strong suit. I suppose it could’ve had something to do with the the way in which it was taught. While my friends and I had fun in class, it certainly wasn’t due to the engaging nature of the subject. Now, had it been framed in the context of typography, with it’s letterforms and shapes, I’d have been all in. That type of inspiration was definitely not coming from Sr. Clement’s class. I’d have never guessed that one day I’d be smitten with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a font whose roots lay in the foundation of geometry, Lustig Elements. A font designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1930s known as Euclid is being revived as Lustig Elements by Craig Welsh and Elaine Lustig Cohen.