It’s no secret I love paper. But over the last decade, things got kind of dicey for the industry I love. Social media became the darling of marketing, and web design got all the attention. Print sales were already declining and a bad economy only sped up the process. Every industry goes through this kind of reset, but not everyone can adapt to the changes needed to survive. A few suppliers got out ahead of things and started advocacy campaigns: Paper Because, Down to Earth, Do You Know the Facts – but much of these resources seemed to focus on promoting and educating those within our industry. That’s not a bad place to start, but to have a lasting impact the industry needed to change the perceptions of those outside the industry. As the economy gradually recovered something interesting happened, people unfamiliar with the industry were becoming enamored with paper. And when you think about, there’s no more perfect medium than paper for connecting people. It’s this sentiment that is at the heart of the new consumer advocacy campaign by The Paper and Packaging Board, How Life Unfolds.
I recently asked my fellow LinkedIn group members what’s the first thing you do when you receive a print sample. There were two responses that came up repeatedly. One, there should be a support group for ink on paper sniffers; and two, print is a highly sensory experience. My experience with Sappi’s promotion, Print &, is proof positive on the subject.
This should come as no surprise to fans of print, but there’s scientific proof explaining why print has such an emotional influence on us. According to a study by Millward Brown, paper based marketing makes a greater impression on the brain than digital. They used MRI’s to test the same image used on screen and printed on paper and the test showed tangible materials leave a deeper footprint in the brain. We process print as being more “real” – it has a place and reference in our memory. The brain associates the tactile experience with its perception of the content, how’s that for subliminal messaging. If you haven’t seen it yet, the print promotion, Print &, by Sappi is proof positive on the subject.
Designed by Studio Hinrichs and printed entirely on McCoy Silk, this piece put me in sensory overload. I found myself doing exactly what others in the discussion had stated. First I ran my hand across the luxurious cover, noticing the smooth hand of the paper and then feeling the spot gloss UV on the image. As I opened the cover, I give the sheet a good flick with my thumb and listen for a snap. It’s my little test of a quality cover stock, at 130# this sheet holds up. As you may noticed by now, I am all about the tactile experience when it comes to print samples.
Inside, I am drawn to the soft touch coating on the interior cover. I page through the piece and am struck by the gorgeous combination of photography, illustration and typography Studio Kinrichs is known for. I notice the balance between the positive and negative spaces. Stopping on a spread that calls readers to interact, I pay attention to the solid black area to see if it passes the “orange peel” test. I scour it looking for the tiniest imperfection in coverage (non-glare coated papers are very unforgiving when it comes to large areas of solids like black or metallics). Of course there’s none – this is McCoy we’re talking about.
As I continue to flip through the piece, I cannot believe I am going to admit this next part, I pull the sample close to my face and take in a good whiff. I’m shameless in my approach. I don’t even check to see if anyone’s looking, I close my eyes and inhale. Before you judge, know that almost everyone who responded to this thread admitted to doing the same thing, along with some other behaviors that could be cause for another study.
Now that I’m over my initial sensory experience, I dig into the content. And man, does this piece deliver. Full of interesting tidbits like “consumers that can afford to access information in any medium state a preference for print.” This translates to over 460 publications alone targeting the wealthy, a 400% increase since 1997. “Print improves brand perceptions and customer engagement,” and “Among 18 to 24 year olds, 69% say they prefer print and paper communications to reading off a screen.” All of this proving how print & other mediums drive greater success using a smart push-pull marketing approach.
This piece would win a place in my keeper file for the design alone, but the fact that it’s coupled with amazing print techniques throughout, stunning photography and illustrations all backed by powerful content makes it one for The Parcel as well. This is what I call paper inspiration. To learn more, sign up to join our community and get inspiration delivered to your inbox.
It took until the final season of Mad Men, for the show’s creator to enlist the work of iconic graphic designer Milton Glaser. The man who is synonymous with the advertising look of the late 60’s will have the ads he designed for the premier of the final season begin appearing next week on buses and billboards around the country.
Mr. Glaser was inspired by a member of the team’s manipulation of his own work – the 1966 Bob Dylan poster that someone cut the hair out of and then pasted it upside down. Check out the full story of the collaboration in this article by the NY Times.
Like many design fans we’ve been antsy for the new season to begin. This is the perfect fix.
We finally dug into the new direct mail promotion from Sappi and is does not disappoint. If you don’t already know, Sappi makes coated papers and is probably best known for their McCoy brand. All we can say is this is one piece you don’t want to miss. It’s chock full of good marketing info, making it a cinch to sell client’s on why they should use direct mail. Did you know that among 18-34 year olds, mail is the preferred means of receiving communications from their favorite brands?
Designed by VSA Partners in Chicago it’s printed entirely on Opus, which BTW is a very affordable option if your client’s on a budget. Within the mailer, there are previously printed campaign materials designed by VSA that serve as direct mail case studies—publications for Facebook, D’Addario and Chicago’s local The Butcher & Larder. If you’re a foodie, you will want the piece for The Butcher & Larder poster alone! This piece is a great road map on what to think about when creating a direct mail campaign – maybe if Bank of America had a copy they wouldn’t have such a disaster on their hands now.
Be sure to join our mailing list for the latest on what’s happening in paper, print and design. In the meantime, here’s a peek what’s inside Act Now.
OK, we know self promotions had better be good. It’s your shot at wooing perspective clients and demonstrating how your creative skills can impact their business. While we’ve seen a lot of creative promos over the years, this one by Pencil Agency in London caught our attention.
The agency is known for creating bespoke content for clients across all channels but with a particular love of print. With this in mind they decided to promote themselves as well as the importance of curated content for brands and produced a beautifully designed newspaper.
The piece was printed using navy and fluorescent orange inks – while we’re not sure of the paper selection given the nature of the piece we think French Paper Durotone Newsprint Extra White or White would be quite fitting. What really caught our eye was the custom made envelope they created converted out of navy paper (yes you can find some beauties in this shade, Neenah’s Oxford Blue Chip or Classic Crest Patriot Blue come to mind). Given the nature of the deep shade, the envelope is most likely produced on a cover weight stock giving it extra importance when held, enticing the recipient to open it. Upon opening the flap, a touch of fluorescent orange on the liner is revealed – a really nice detail.
A custom envelope like this one is a great way to standout on a clients desk, insuring your brand’s message reaches its intended audience. To see how you can received inspiring printed samples like this one, sign up to join Parse & Parcel.
They don’t get produced the way they once did, but annual report design has not lost its creativity. In this bold annual report for Noble Development created by Farmgroup – the piece was produced without one drop of ink. The creative team let the paper be the star of the show, employing strong print techniques like embossing, die-cutting and unique binding to carry the company’s message: “be different. be noble.” I have to give as much credit to the AE on this one as the creative. I can’t think of too many CEO’s that would opt for such a daring statement – but more really should.
The secret to producing such incredible results lies within the paper stock. With all the folding going on in the bindery, if you use too heavy a basis weight you run the risk of cracking, but with such few pages you need the piece to have some heft to it reinforcing the messaging. This is where samples play a critical role in the process. To insure you’ll get the kind of results you’d expect, order a mock-up on the actual paper stock you’ll be using. In this case, the annual is on three different stocks in very bold, yet corporate colors: white, black and gray. The paper has a simple, raw surface allowing the tactile feel of the sheet to be the textural backdrop for the heavy embossing and die-cutting techniques. To learn more about mock-ups and what’s in the sample studio – join Parse & Parcel.
Paper 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.
Just in time for the holidays, venerable Veuve Clicquot gets creative with the new ‘Fashionably Clicquot’ packaging, combining both fashion and function. When its cover is removed, the Fashionably Clicquot’s pleated paper pack unfurls to transform it, from an elegant package containing the Veuve Clicquot Yellow label, to an ice bucket!
The pleated ice bucket and carrier case all-in-one pack also boasts an easy-to-carry ribbon handle and black printed graphics. These details reinforce the luggage theme found in a range of Veuve Clicquot objects.