The Planner – a Stationery Endeavor

 

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I start my workday pretty much the same way, by grabbing a sheet of paper and scrawling out all the things I want to accomplish. My method is to write down everything in my head. Once it’s on paper I can stop obsessing and start working. Of course I am overly ambitious, and by Friday my desk is cluttered with piles of half completed lists. I needed a better way to plan my workday and projects. I tried tons of analog options. After spending a small fortune on pretty, but non-functional planners, I was at a loss. Nothing worked for what I needed. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and am so excited to share Parse & Parcel’s very first stationery endeavor – The Planner.

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Mohawk Goes Meta with Maker Quarterly Process Issue

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For most designers the process of creating is rarely a straight-forward line from concept and completion. Projects might be easier with a clear path to success, the reality is it rarely works that way. And that’s a good thing, life and work are about the journey, not the destination. The route between process and product is often a roundabout one, filled with equal parts joy and frustration. This issue of the Maker Quarterly is dedicated to that process. Designed by Hybrid Design, this issue celebrates the conscious path the makers take on the way to the destination. On top of that, Mohawk goes meta by bringing us inside the process of the making of the Process Issue.

New Year, New Look – New Packaging for The Parcel

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For Parse & Parcel, 2016 was a year filled with inspiration, experimentation, collaboration – and change.

We hosted three events in the sample studio, complete with three large-scale paper installations. Added a new intern to our team. We traveled back and forth to NYC, first to judge the Louie Awards, then later for the National Stationery Show. Connected with design and paper peeps in Atlanta for How Design Live. We got to be a sponsor for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign. We revamped the delivery for our flagship product, The Parcel – shipping four times a year (winter, spring, summer, fall). Learned all about digital metallic inks, tried our hands at letterpress and wrote articles for some of our fave online, and print, publications.

You would think this would be enough to do for one year but not quite…

Designing the perfect packaging solution for start-ups

Designing the Perfect Packaging Solution for a Start-Up

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Image via Studio of Christine Wisnieski

Starting a business is hard. Really hard. I can’t tell you the countless hours I’ve spent developing the concept behind Parse & Parcel. There are so many details and a ton of planning involved. And no matter how much you plan, things are always changing. The tough part is how to plan for change without knowing exactly how things will change. This is a problem every business faces, but it’s especially difficult when you’ve got a physical product and you’re trying to find the perfect packaging solution – and you’re a start-up.

You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Oh, really? Tell that to Jessica Hische. She’s built a pretty fab career designing book covers (among other things) for Penguin and Chronicle Books, with the sole purpose of being judged.

The reality is our work is being evaluated all the time. And I can think of no other profession where judgment is more intense than in graphic design. When someone is paying you to literally make their brand look good, you can believe they’re judging you and your work long before you ever meet them.

The Secret to Producing Memorable Print

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Most people think great design is the key to producing amazing print.

Great design is only half the battle. In my opinion, the reason many print projects fail isn’t because of the design. It’s because of a lack of detail.

Designers who are known for creating amazing print design, are involved in every aspect of the process – from concept through to production. And that includes specifying and sometimes even sourcing the paper.

For some of you, this may seem like a no brainer. But I’d ask you, how often are you settling for the printer’s house sheet on your work? Be honest. When was the last time you actually had work produced on the paper you envisioned using and specified for the job?

You can blame it on a lack of budget, availability issues, or a tight deadline. Those are just excuses. Every print project faces those same challenges.

The truly memorable, award winning work excels not in spite of, but because of those challenges.

Attract the Client Work You Dream of in 2016

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It’s that time of year again, after the binging of the holidays comes the cleansing of, well, everything. It’s always during this time of purging that I think about how much I want to accomplish, especially with work. I think about what I could have done differently this year that would have long lasting benefits for the future. For creatives this can be challenging, especially when you’re constantly comparing your work to that of your peers, and with the constant reminder of it all over social media, there’s no escaping it. *Sigh* If only I had those clients…Why not make this the year you finally attract the client work you dream of?

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Gilded Gift Wrap – A Collaboration

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One of the things I love about having my own business is the fact that I can create the kind of projects I like. There are a few types of paper promos I adore, and gift wrap is at the very TOP of my list. So when it came time to think about the holiday promotion for The Parcel this year, I knew what I wanted to do. As luck would have it, literally the day I started planning the project, my friend Christine Wisnieski, sent me an email about paper recommendations for a new product line for her shop, gilded gift wrap, and a collaboration was born.

Spec Rep Secrets: Where Have All the Paper Reps Gone?

where-have-all-the-spec-reps-gone-parse-and-parcelAs a paper spec rep I worked with all types of creatives from art directors and production managers in big agencies, to designers in small to mid size studios, to students and freelancers venturing out on their own. A spec rep has one objective, to make sure their company gets the paper spec resulting in an order from the printer. It sounds easy enough but it’s not – especially if you’re the spec rep trying to justify the cost of your role within the company.

One reason is a lack of communication. Many spec reps never explain to their customer how the process works. They assume the designer knows to tell the printer to buy the paper from them. So when this doesn’t happen, eventually the rep stops calling on the designer. I have to say, I never experienced this. I figured if I was working with the designer on the job, supplying samples or securing special pricing, I should be clear about asking the designer to specify me on the print job. Most customers appreciate knowing this info up front – plus it usually opens the door for an honest conversation about the type of work they do and who they print with.

Paper Inspiration: Samples Delivered to Your Doorstep

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Is it any wonder creatives are frustrated when it comes to print? Designers love print, yet convincing clients to invest in it can be difficult – especially when budgets are tight. Samples are a great way to show clients how print creates brand value, but accessing them is another story. Relying on sales reps only gives you a small idea of what’s available and limits you to one company’s capabilities. We know what it’s like to see all these incredible print projects being produced but have no idea how to find the resources to produce work featured in your favorite industry magazine and online publications.  Paper inspiration starts with access – how can you spec it if you don’t know it exists?

PAPER INSPIRATION DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR

Each month subscribers of The Parcel receive a curated box of luxe paper, print and design samples. Meant to help educate and inspire, The Parcel showcases samples from your favorite paper mills like Neenah, French, Mohawk, Sappi and more.

Here’s how it works:

  • Choose from our monthly our yearly subscription packages
  • Each shipment includes 5 – 7 premium print + graphic design samples
  • Showcasing premium suppliers and paper options
  • 1-2 personalized samples for your design preferences (ex. Letterpress printing, identity, illustration, etc.)
  • Tutorials showing you print techniques, trends + tips from industry experts

Our experts personally curate the samples each month and include highlights on each piece we think are unique and interesting. Included in each shipment is an interactive tutorial – learn about the latest design trends and print techniques from your phone or tablet. In addition, each shipment of The Parcel includes detailed production notes, you’ll know exactly how something was produced so you can show your client (or printer) what to expect when using those techniques in your own design.

Who it can help:

  • Freelancers who don’t have anyone calling on them and don’t know where to turn for help
  • Junior designers and students looking to build a stellar library of samples that can assist them throughout their career
  • Creatives who feel their options are limited due to in-house print shop requirements – the proof is in the paper samples
  • Print sales reps looking to expand their customer base through great paper and print samples
  • Paper merchants who don’t have a dedicated specification sales force but still want to educate their market
  • Creatives looking to learn about the latest design trends and print techniques

THE PARCEL helps during the creative process by showing exactly how a project was produced, which also helps keep production costs in check – not to mention avoids disappointing clients later on.  Think of it as your own personal paper rep.

#deliveringpaperinspiration