No Joke – New Wallpapers Are Here

April-wallpapers-parse-parcelTo me there’s nothing better than a blank page.  I love the idea of fresh starts, and while that may be a bit difficult to achieve with carry over of daily business happenings, I get great satisfaction in starting a new month on the calendar. I think of all the possibilities, look back at the previous month’s accomplishments and bring over good items that I didn’t get to tackle.  Before I know it a new plan takes shape and then its all about execution. While it’s easy to get caught up in the to-do list, I find that planning little moments of surprise into my day helps me hold on to that feeling of possibility.  One of those unexpected moments happens every time I logon and see the month’s wallpaper greet me, it’s a happy little surprise every time.  It’s April 1st and that means new wallpapers are here.

Downloads for desktop: gold on brown, teal on black, black on teal

Downloads for mobile: gold on brown, teal on black, black on teal

MOO Letterpress Business Cards – Accessible & Affordable

moo-letterpress-business-cards-parse-parcelLast month I was having a discussion in my LinkedIn group regarding business card trends prompted by my previous blog post, Edge Painting is the New Black. A fellow member commented that 99% of his clients are looking to produce business cards in an efficient and inexpensive way, and most who do request a specialty print technique back off due to sticker shock. While I respect his expertise, I disagree that price alone is the reason for it. I noted that just a few years ago, the same could have been said for heavyweight, duplex business cards on premium papers. Then along came – somehow they figured out a way to offer a well-produced, quadplex business card on a premium text and cover paper that was not only affordable but easily accessible to anyone. My hope was the same thing would happen with specialty print techniques. At the time I posted that comment, little did I know MOO was days away from launching a new product answering my request – MOO Letterpress, the feel of letterpress business cards made accessible and affordable.

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.

Road Trip: Mackenzie Printery Museum

Road-trip-mackenzie-printeryI’ve always loved Canada. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, Canada felt like an extension of home. It is just on the other side of the Niagara river, accessible via four bridges from the greater Buffalo area. As a kid, my family traveled to Canada often, passports weren’t necessary then and traffic was nothing like it is now. There is still something magical about Canada to me. Even with the added inconveniences I still love visiting our neighbor to the North. So when I realized summer was almost over and we still hadn’t taken a trip of any sorts, I set my sites on one of my favorite spots – Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Paper Resource: Neenah Cabinet Update

neenah-cabinet-parse-parcelYou know we love anything that makes accessing paper, and paper info easy. So we were thrilled to see our friends at Neenah just released a new version of their online paper resource tool – CabinetTM. Now you can gain access to all of Neenah’s swatchbooks online, so when you need to reference a sheets size, basis weight or color availability you’re not SOL if you don’t have the swatchbook handy.

Design Resource: Essential Social Media Design Cheat Sheet

Just when you’ve designed the perfect layout for your twitter profile page, the network announces a site redesign. With all of the social media profiles you and clients have, staying on top of responsive design enhancements can be a full time job.  The essential social media design cheat sheet courtesy of Omnicore makes life a little easier.

The graphic is full of good info, including image size requirements, where to position graphics for optimum mobile viewing and notes specific to the social network.  Did you know on Instagram, photos imported from a native phone camera will save at a lower resolution than those taken with the app’s camera?

Hoefler & Co. Launch Discover Typography Site

Talk about discovery retail as a platform, Hoefler & Co. created an interesting way to discover typography through understanding and experiencing different typefaces.

The site consists of three different categories in ‘zoomable’ landscapes. Suggested typefaces that reflect each category’s subject, Wanderlust, Redline, and Barrel Proof, are grouped together. A pop-up window appears when users click on a category, enabling them to learn about the typefaces it houses.

We checked out two of our favorites, Gotham and Archer. Gotham, is described as “No nonsense letters of the urban environment. From these humble beginnings comes Gotham, a hard-working typeface for the ages.” Archer is touted as being “friendlier than the average slab serif…forthright, colorful, credible and charming.” We think so too.

This is a fun site for novices, designers and typography enthusiasts alike. Of course, all the fonts can then be purchased on the Hoefler & Co. website.

Interactive Print

Ed15_promoPaper has been around forever, it’s the original communicator. Ed 15 – Interactive Print from NewPage shows how paper + print just keep getting better. Finding new ways to connect to the audience as well as with other media, proving collaboration trumps competition anytime.

To have that kind of staying power, print has been re-imagining itself since Gutenberg invented the printing press. Just look at the current ways it’s engaging with other media to convert readers via augmented reality, QR codes, or SMS technology. If that wasn’t enough proof, the piece showcases a variety of print techniques from using thermochromatic inks that reveal themselves with sunlight, heat, touch, UV, even water. Want to see it for yourself? Join us to receive an invitation to Parse & Parcel.


Moleskine + 53 = Book

We love this, Moleskine and 53 have collabrated to create BOOK – bringing your digital artwork to life in a customized hardcover Moleskine notebook. The service works off of 53’s PAPER app for iPad – which allows users to print 15 pages of their content onto coated matte paper (and it’s FSC certified). It’s a great example of print on demand at it’s finest – no need to resize pages, the app was developed match the iPad ratio. Simply create your art in the PAPER app, select what you want to be your cover image and in two weeks receive your own custom Moleskine book. To learn more view the video below from 53.

Book / Bring Ideas to Life from FiftyThree on Vimeo.