Paper Inspiration: Mohawk Introduces Strathmore Notes

True to form in their celebration of craft and the maker movement, our friends at Mohawk are celebrating their historic Strathmore fine paper brand with the launch of Strathmore Notes, a new line of fine paper journals. Also making headlines is the introduction of Strathmore Pure Cotton Papers (more on that in a bit). With it’s heritage stemming from Scotland’s Strathmore Valley and the country’s national symbol, the thistle, Strathmore has been delighting printers and artisans with it’s beauty and uncompromising quality since 1892.

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Strathmore Notes is a new line of paper journals made from papers crafted in Mohawk’s century old paper mill in upstate New York. Each journal sports Strathmore Grandee Charcoal Gray on its cover, a true felt paper perfect for featuring the brand’s embossed thistle icon. Available in three paper styles with a colorful hand-sewn spine.

• Strathmore Pure Cotton Paper – featuring luxurious 100% cotton-fiber paper with a crisp wove finish and the prestigious Strathmore Watermark, orange stitching and matching foil stamp, unlined pages
• Strathmore Watermark Laid Paper – featuring luxurious 25% cotton-fiber paper with the prestigious Strathmore Watermark, turquoise stitching and matching foil stamp, unlined pages
• Strathmore Premium Smooth Paper – featuring a luxurious, super smooth finish, magenta stitching and matching foil stamp, with an innovative linear pattern formed directly in the paper

Strathmore Notes Journals are available in three sizes: small (3.5 x 5.5), medium (5 x 8.25) and large (7.5 x 10);each journal is individually packaged in beautiful, brightly colored wraps featuring designs depicting the iconic Strathmore thistle, complete with a selection of four customizable bookplates.

Each journal is individually packaged in beautiful, brightly colored wraps featuring designs depicting the iconic Strathmore thistle, complete with a selection of four customizable bookplates. As if that wasn’t enough, each Strathmore Notes Journal is linked to enhanced content via Mohawk Live, Mohawk’s mobile augmented reality app.

In addition Mohawk is introducing their new line of Strathmore Pure Cotton Letterpress Papers. We’ll be sharing more info on the new Strathmore Letterpress Papers in a bit, in the meantime sign up to join our mailing list and get all the latest paper inspiration delivered directly to you!

Print Samples – A Sensory Experience

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

About + Samples – by Arjowiggins

Arjowiggins Creative Papers have developed a limited edition book, About + Samples better known as “A+S61.” Designed by stereochromie in Paris, the piece is meant to serve as a working tool and a beautiful object. The promotion was designed for “art directors and those brands wishing to communicate in a way that is arresting and distinctive.” The ‘A’ tells the story of Arjowiggins papers and their intimate secrets. The ‘S61’ presents a selection of Arjowiggins 61 most coveted papers.

The two grades selected for the book covers are Curious Matter and Conqueror. The box encasing the books is produced on Keaykolour 100% recycled Camel. The packaging the promotion comes in is on Keaykolour 100% recycled Graphite. Deciding to highlight the paper itself, the design is understated and the debossed text appears like a shadow on the cover stock. Matching the minimalist design, the print technology has been kept simple as well, using unvarnished type printed in match silver to reveal the grain of the paper.

Developed as a limited edition sample promotion (only 1,000 were produced), it was sent to industry trendsetters with a focus in France, Italy, UK and Northern Europe – where Arjowiggins felt luxury brands and designers are especially active. Since the piece is so gorgeous, we can overlook the fact the promotion didn’t make it to North American – although we would love to see that arrive in our http://parseandparcel.com/the-sample-studio/. In the U.S., their Curious Collection of papers are distributed via Appleton Coated.

To see more paper inspiration like A+S61 delivered to your inbox, join the Parse & Parcel mailing list.


Mohawk Maker – Pride in the Details

Issue Three of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly is out. If you’re not familiar with the Mohawk Maker campaign, it celebrates the culture of craft and the maker movement – you can read more about it in our earlier post Mohawk is for the Makers. The current issue is about the details that make the artisans work authentic.

One of the details in this piece is the paper it’s printed on: Strathmore Pure Cotton. Strathmore has been around for over a century, with it’s heritage stemming from Scotland’s Strathmore Valley and the country’s national symbol, the thistle. Strathmore’s founder, Moses Horace pioneered the print promotion as we know it, collaborating with a graphic artist and printer, the promotion paved the way for craftsmanship in papermaking. This spirit of collaboration between designers and Strathmore continued throughout the twentieth century, including such design icons as Paul Rand and Milton Glaser. In this issue of the Maker Quarterly, Mohawk continues this tradition of collaboration with a print dedicated to the importance of details by graphic designer and letterer, Jessica Hische.

The centerfold reveals a bold and unexpected surprise: a poster illustration commissioned for Mohawk featuring the Wes Anderson quote, “The details that’s what the world is made of”. All of the images in the illustration refer to Wes Anderson’s movies, see if you can recognize them in this time lapse video above showing Jessica at work illustrating the poster. For a better look at the details, subscribe to The Parcel and get loads of paper and design details (including this one) delivered to your doorstep monthly or join our free mailing list and get paper inspiration delivered to your inbox.

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Neenah Environment – Fresh Colors, Raw Finish

Environment_Swatch_OpenIt’s hard to believe that Neenah Paper’s Environment grade has been around for 25 years, but it’s true. Long known for its sustainable offering of papers, the grade has been refreshed with a new look and some fab new papers added to the line, and we couldn’t be more excited to check it out.

After looking at the new swatchbook, designed by Jake and Pum Lefebure and the team at Design Army, it’s clear Neenah has given designers what they’ve been asking for: a fresh color palette inspired by natural, real-world surroundings. With descriptive names like Grocer Kraft, Honeycomb, Weathered and Concrete, the line includes seven new colors. Displayed in the swatch alongside the white & midtone shades, they create a simple, fresh waterfall of 30% – 100% PCW paper offerings. But wait, that’s not even the best part.
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Neenah added an amazing new tactile finish to the mix – RAW™. Described as “a unique hand and a generous loft,” we love the way it feels. It’s got a textured, earthy, natural quality to it – and the Grocer Kraft shade is available as a digital sheet as well. Finally, a go to kraft sheet for those smaller print runs. Oh and did we mention Neenah is stocking MATCHING ENVELOPES as well? They are, in 19 styles. And yes that includes catalog, booklet and – wait for it – No. 10 policy envelopes!! (Hello, we just found our correspondence envelope).
New_Environment5As if reading our mind, Neenah has thoughtfully designed this swatchbook to be a great print sample as well. The cover features the new Weathered 130#C and shows off how beautifully the sheet holds an emboss. Flipping it open, on the left side are six pages of print samples, showcasing everything from straight up four color process to silver metallic ink on the raw finish. This piece includes samples of embossing/debossing, opaque white ink on a digital application and a great die-cut and score.

Fresh Colors_Raw finishWe can think of hundreds of way to use this grade – luxury packaging, shopping bags, gift card sleeves, direct mail and the list goes on. So excited to try it, we especially want to see what that Concrete shade in the new RAW finish looks like with copper metallic ink on it. Did you know Neenah offers this really cool tool where you can upload your design and get a real, digital print proof on the actual paper stock you want to use? Such a great way to try before you buy.

Make sure to update your paper cabinet with the new Environment swatchbook, available today. We’d love to hear how you’re using the sheet, join our community and you could win a sampler featuring the new Environment papers.

Introducing Parse & Parcel

I noticed the trend a few years ago, shortly after I transitioned from paper rep to eBusiness Manager at my former company, Millcraft. As I blogged about paper samples and mill promotions, designers started commenting about how they loved these new products. The more I wrote, the more requests I got asking how they could find these promotions. The thing was many of these samples weren’t necessarily new, in fact most had been out in the market for some time. As my conversations continued, I realized it’s not just paper promotions many designers were unfamiliar with, it was accessing the resources to help make the process easier. That’s when the switch flipped.

As a paper rep, my job was to help designers find solutions. On any given day, I’d meet with 4-5 different studios. Getting an appointment was never an issue, even at the busiest agencies – everyone made time to see the paper promotions. I’d bring them samples from their favorite paper mills, real jobs printed on papers designers loved. Some samples were over the top crazy, combining three or four different paper stocks with just as many techniques. They were always fun to share, you could see the wheels of creativity turn as designers ran their fingers over the pages, studying the various print techniques used. Other times, they’d ask for comps for project they were working on. I’d have our sample studio mock up dummies based on the specs they provided – even providing perfect binding if needed. I’d usually have these shipped out, sometimes I’d drop them off it was a really urgent request.

The problem is not every designer is able to get that kind of service. The perception is you need connections to score these kind of promotions, but here’s the truth – the services exist but local paper companies are selective about who they offer these types of services to. Paper companies tend to focus on businesses that print in large quantities because that’s where they make the most money. Jobs created by most design studios, freelancers and students don’t offer enough ROI to support servicing them. How do I know? Because I saw it happen first hand with my company, our competitors and our suppliers.

This is where Parse & Parcel comes in. From sourcing local product availability to comparing colors and textures to ordering swatch books and purchasing paper samples – I believe information and resources should be accessible to all designers regardless of size, quantity, location or client roster.

Throughout the site you’ll find valuable resources to help streamline the print process and assist with every phase of design – monthly curated collections of professionally designed print samples, a complete offering of swatchbooks neatly organized and beautifully packaged and a full service sample studio from which to choose paper and envelope samples or mock-ups. And you’ll want to join our mailing list so you never miss a thing and get the inside scoop on giveaways and promotions we’re offering.

Think of us as your own personal paper consultant. Because providing access to inspiration is just part and parcel for those who love working with the design community.

Welcome to Parse & Parcel, we’re so happy to have you here.

Cheers!
Jill

 

Shed Lab Sketchbooks

We love these sketch books from Shed Labs.  Utilitarian in design and function, they combined the best of both worlds when it comes to paper. By using a premium sheet for the cover and an economy grade for the pages, they got a big bang for their buck.

In our opinion they chose the perfect cover stock for this design – French Construction. This paper represents the rewards of “hard work.”  The covers are printed on 100# Steel Blue, Factory Orange and Safety Green. Since the piece only requires one sheet of cover, it makes sense to splurge here given the size of the product (3.75″ x 5.25″ finished). The one consideration we’d stress is to make note of the grain direction since scoring is required and this is 100# cover stock. The guts are printed on 60# Text Lynx Opaque Ultra from Domtar – a dependable yet budget friendly choice.

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To achieve the white color on the cover, they mixed varnish with a subtle gray – very clever. Additionally, the books were designed as a continuous piece of art – so one begins where the last one left off. Interested in learning more about pieces like this? Join Parse & Parcel and sign up to receive The Parcel.

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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

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.