Act Now! A Peek Inside

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?

Act-Now-2-720Designed 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.

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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.
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USPS Love Stamp Release

It’s here, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  The USPS 2014 Love stamp was released for sales today.  The stamp, Cut Paper Heart, was designed by Art Director Antonio Alcala featuring illustration by Q. Cassetti.

2014-Love Stamp

“It is meant to be decorative, happy,” Cassetti said, “not necessarily a valentine, but love all year round.”

The digital illustration depicts a large white heart enclosing a smaller pink heart with a saw-toothed edge along its left-hand side. Surrounding the central hearts are pink swirls with smaller hearts embedded in the design, and a ragged-edge motif that echoes the edging on the small pink heart.  The hearts and swirls are contained within a red square that has “pinked” edges, as if cut with pinking shears. A white border frames the entire design.

Cassetti hand drew the illustration so that she could keep the scale of the details appropriate to a stamp-size design. She then scanned the drawing and modified it on the computer. “The goal for the finished art is to have it not appear to be digital,” Cassetti explained.

For a look back at some of the stamps in the Love series, check out our Pinterest board.

A Self Promotion that Delivers

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.

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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.

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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 .

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Do Not Open

It’s no secrect, we love mail. And we can’t think of a better way to start the week than by receiving a beautiful hand-lettered envelope designed just for you. If you agree, then you will LOVE the new project from the talented letterer and designer, Erik Marinovich. Inspired by gifts he’s received from colleagues, Marinovich would send out oversized hand addressed envelopes that included a thank you note and tote. After seeing his intended recipients were pinning the envelopes up on their walls, he decided to launch Do Not Open – a personal project.

DNO4All that’s required is a submission of an address and (for a fee) you’ll receive a beautiful and unique hand-lettered envelope. No two addresses will look the same and the envelopes are standard issue #7 kraft bubble mailers sized 14 1/4″ x 19. Don’t hem and haw on this one, the project is limited to 250 envelopes.

While we love the simplicity of the kraft mailer, being paperphiles we can’t help but wonder how incredible these works would be designed on oversized envelopes constructed of cover weight paper – equally durable yet less bulky, lending themselves well for framing such original works of art. To learn more about envelope options and resources available to graphic designers, join Parse & Parcel .

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Images via DoNotOpen.it

Neenah Puts the Ahhh in Correspondence

Recently the folks at Neenah Paper sponsored the Correspondence Salon for Ladies & Gentlemen event to help celebrate the grand opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. In honor of the event they created a piece to make philatelics swoon – The Classic Correspondence Kit. The kit, which features Neenah’s flagship Classic brand of papers, and its contents were designed by Studio A. Here’s a peek at what the lucky attendees received.

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Images via Neenah Paper