A Word in a Font is Not a Logo

I finally had time to sit down and read the latest edition of Inspire – The Magazine About Packaging & Design by Iggesund. I was delighted to see the feature on famed designer Louise Fili.

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The article talks about her start in the industry working for Herb Lubalin, her work at Pantheon where she created over 2,000 books covers and how it led the way for her evolution into logo design. Today, as she designs food packaging she has remained true to the pillars of her work since she launched as an independent designer: “food, type and all things Italian.”

The Craft of Engraving

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Developed around the 16th century, engraving or intaglio printing, is a method of printing an image from lines cut below the surface of a metal plate. The feel of an engraved piece happens when the paper is pressed into a metal plate. If you are a fan of engraving or thinking about using engraving on your next project, you’ll want to check out this amazing site from Neenah Paper dedicated to the craft: The Beauty of Engraving. The site has a comprehensive gallery including curated collections – the current featured gallery is curated by Jessica Hische.

Paper is meant to be touched, to see these techniques first hand, sign up to receive The Parcel.  In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind the next time your working on a project using engraving.

  • Engraving will give the sharpest image, the die is cut by hand, either chemically etched or burned via laser.
  • Photos and continuous tone illustrations are etched into a plate, image reproduction is as clear as lithography.
  • Engraving is not inexpensive, so it limits its applications – but plate sizes are small (limited to 5″ x 7″) and can maximize impact on a project.
  • Engravers use special inks for copper and steel dies; steel is often used for the longest print runs and higest quality. Limited quantities can be done with copper dies, up to about 5,000.
  • Know your paper stocks, coated papers tend to crack – so make sure you test the paper you’re using. Caution should also be taken if using laid papers as they can cause feathering. The engraver can compensate for this by adjusting the ink flow or pressure on the die.

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  • The quality of the paper is critical, because of the craftsmanship and sharpness, engraving requires fine papers – cotton or wove stocks offer the most beautiful results.
  • Always use match colors for engraving, four color process in not suitable with this technique – it uses different inks than litho inks.
  • The technique lends itself to using lighter inks on darker papers due to the high opacity of the engravers inks.
  • Be careful is using gloss inks, they can take on a metallic appearance.
  • Avoid trying to reproduce large areas of color – they can appear mottled or uneven. Instead, think about an outline of the image with a screen tint.
  • To eliminate the debossed impression engraving leaves on the back of envelopes, convert the envelopes after they’ve been engraved. Be sure the engraver prints the envelopes with the flaps open to avoid debossing.

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Paper as Dreamy as the Moon

With so many print options available to graphic designers, it’s easy to overlook the simplicity of paper. Here’s a stunning design example in which paper takes the starring role.
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Featured on FPO, Joyeux Noel was designed by Kevin Cantrell for A3 Design. The paper, Moondream, is made by Italian papermaker Gruppo Cordenons and distributed in North America by Neenah Paper. It’s the perfect selection for this holiday poster. Employing hot metal stamping as its sole print technique, the substrate becomes translucent when heat is applied. Sometimes it’s all about the paper. Join us to receive inspiring paper & design samples delivered to your doorstep.
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Images via Under Consideration

The Basics of Menu Design

Forget about making the best sellers list, what every one is reading these days are menus.  The newest print promotion from Neenah is dedicated to a subject near and dear to the graphic designer’s heart (and stomach) – Menu Design. And a well designed menu can more than cover its expense in just one days tally, while a poorly designed one can have customers saying “check please” instead of asking to see the dessert menu.

The last time Neenah did a print promotion on menu design was more than 5 years ago – and we still have freelance designers asking if we can score them one. Once you look through this promo, you’ll know why. Did you know a menu program should run for thirty-six months or that the biggest mistake in menu design is how the prices are listed?

Make sure you don’t miss out on great promos like Neenah’s Menu Design, join us and sign up for The Parcel.

Here’s a peek inside
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Mohawk is for the Makers

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Mohawk is no stranger to fans of paper + print. If you’ve been following them over the past few months, you’ve no doubt witnessed their brand transform – new logo, new website and new promotions. They recently launched a fab new campaign that celebrates craft in a digital world, with some new promotions all about the Maker Movement.

The concept was designed and created by Hybrid Design in San Francisco. Meant to celebrate Mohawk Superfine and tie into the company’s existing “What Will You Make Today?” mantra.  The team at Hybrid felt “heading down the traditional paper promotion trail wasn’t right for the new Mohawk of today. We needed something different, so we started thinking about Mohawk in the “maker” context. And a campaign was born.”

The campaign consists of three new publications which “feature the stories of printers, designers, manufacturers, artists, artisans, musicians, and all those who make their living as makers.” The Mohawk Declaration of Craft, The Mohawk Craft Cooperative, and The Mohawk Maker Quarterly publications promote and underscore the importance of craftsmanship and collaboration in a digital era. In addition Mohawk’s partnering with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as Supporting Sponsor of the 2013 Martha Stewart American Made program and awards ceremony. Learn more about the Declaration of Craft and the Maker Quarterly, sign up to join Parse & Parcel.

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All images via Mohawk

Massimo Vignelli & The Grid

“The grid is an integral part of book design. It’s not something that you see. It’s just like underwear: you wear it, but it’s not to be exposed. The grid is the underwear of the book.” – Massimo Vignelli

Michael Beirut and the team at Pentagram worked on the concept of a short film highlighting Massimo Vignelli’s building block of design – the grid.  The film reveals each successive step as Vignelli’s sketches are transformed into a finished book. Having worked with Vignelli for 10 years, Beirut was familiar with his unique way of designing books, which involves sitting with the all the ingredients — text and images — and drawing each page with a pencil, including all the photographs, using a grid as a layout guide.

Domtar Dares You to DREAM

In Domtar’s DREAM promotion they ask the reader to think back to childhood – when they had no limits, no barriers to their expectations. Like children who play passionately and imagine anything is possible – Domtar asks us to explore a little more when it comes to putting ink on paper.

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From the moment you open the cover of DREAM – which is printed on Cougar 130# cover, four color plus varnish and clear foil – it’s apparent this piece pushes the limits of printing on uncoated white paper. You’ll see everything from solid, heavy black coverage with a registered silver foil, to four color process, to touch plates, to a clear foil using a double etch die for a dimensional feel (where the glitter is on her mask in the image below), to a domed embossed with a spot raised-image UV coating (so cool, feels kind of rubbery) – all printed offset with conventional inks.

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Make sure to check out our personal fave: Dream No.5 – Playhouse Dreamhouse, the birch trees look three dimensional, and the smoothness of the sheet really showcases the design elements featured in the photography.