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.

paper-reverb-parse-parcelimage via type twenty seven

We held the reverb inside The Sample Studio, so attendees got to see the set up of a real life sample studio complete with saddle stitcher, swatchbooks and wall of paper samples. Parse & Parcel moved into the studio in October (it’s inside the Millcraft building, so we get a lot of traffic from local industry peeps), we envisioned a space where area creatives could come and collaborate, touch and feel the paper samples and get inspired by the one of a kind print samples on display. And that’s exactly what we did at the reverb. It was the perfect mix of paper, conversation and inspiration!

paper-reverb-parse-parcelinside the sample studio


I asked two of my go-to industry friends to join me on the panel: Cleveland designer, Christine Wisnieski, (she did all of P&P’s branding, identity, print and web design) and Beth Reardon, sales rep from Mohawk Paper. Both are two amazingly talented ladies at the top of their respective fields. We chatted about paper specification, what it is, how to do it and why it’s important. Christine has been a huge proponent of using tactile, colored papers when designing for print. Her work is stellar (OK I might be biased but her industry accolades are not). Paper is one of those elements that can transform a print project from meh to WOW, and it’s in the best interest of print designers to control that process. Beth shared real life samples from her travels. She works with end-users and designers across the country on projects printing on Mohawk’s papers. She had some beauties like the book for YouTube Canada printed entirely on Superfine (amazing), and she shared some case studies highlighting businesses that use Mohawk’s incredibly tactile papers to help their messaging stand out without compromising ink fidelity – or blowing the budget.

paper-reverb-parse-parcelevent swag bag and new Mohawk Maker issue

Producing great print requires more than great design. Accessing resources like up-to-date swatch books and comps are an essential part of the process, so is knowing what printer is the right fit for the job. For many designers just starting out or branching out on their own, it can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s where having a network of resources, including print/paper peeps along with organizations like AIGA, really helps. And just in case you didn’t know, when it comes advice about print and paper, we’re always here to help (no charge) – just drop us a note.

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