Spring is my favorite season. Partly because I live in Cleveland, where it’s gray from October until April. And while I like gray, that is a long time to go with out any sign of life or color to be seen. So when those first shoots of spring bulbs poke their heads through the earth, I get all the feels. That’s a sure sign it won’t be long before the raucous color of spring takes over the landscape. The fresh, vibrant shade of spring green is among my favorite colors of all time. So imagine my delight when I saw Greenery was announced at the Pantone Color of the Year.
Part 1 – Plus a GIVEAWAY!
It’s a given in design that trends are part of the landscape. Something gets hot and suddenly it’s everywhere (um, rose gold foil). To me the interesting thing about trends is how they build on themselves. And type design is no different. Trends come and go but true classics always inspire. And inspired is exactly how one feels after experiencing Neenah Paper’s newest promotion, Fresh Takes on Classic Type.
At first look, I knew P&P had to do something fun to share it with our audience. So we invited a group of local designers to join us in the sample studio for a Toast to Type! A celebration of type, design and paper.
There’s nothing like the promise of paper samples and sprinkles to get busy designers to take a break and venture out of the studio for an afternoon. Last week we teamed up with two of our faves, Millcraft and Neenah, to host an intimate paper & ice cream social for creatives.
Showcasing the brand spanking new swatchbook release of The Design Collection, creatives got a first-hand look at some inspiring ways to use color and texture to enhance their print design. Along with the swatch book update, Neenah released a fab little sampler of designer’s fave techniques produced on the fifteen different grades that make up The Design Collection.
I love sending cards. I think it’s one of the most sincere ways to convey a sentiment. Whether it be an expression of gratitude, joy or love – it truly is the thought that counts. But I confess, I am not a fan of card shopping. Mainly because I struggle to find one that’s equally appealing in graphics and message. And don’t even get me started on the envelope. For me, a card is a reflection of the giver and just like choosing what outfit to wear to a shindig, requires a careful amount of thought and creativity. This process would be so much easier if I could just take the image in my head and create my own perfect card and envelope. Well it just so happens that a small group of creatives and myself were able to do just that. Inspired by the arrival of The Envelope Kit from Neenah, Parse & Parcel hosted a Valentine’s Day themed Crafty Hour in the sample studio this week.
I recently asked a group of designers if they ever felt like their comps looked better than the final results. The comments are ongoing, with reasons ranging from unrealistic expectations to lackluster production, but one point keeps coming up – it’s about the relationship designers have with their suppliers. After working with creatives for a while now, I know this to be true but am baffled by the number of suppliers who don’t understand the concept. So many reps fail to do one critical thing – do what you say you’re going to do. So often designers will meet with a rep initially, listen to their pitch, actually like what they see/hear enough to engage with them when they have an appropriate project, only to be let down when it comes time to the rep actually providing the service they need. It gets even worse if the designer is a freelancer. Whether that thing is a quote, suggest options, or provide sample services, there is no relationship without trust.
There’s something about a bright, new paper swatch book that makes me giddy. To me, it’s the same feeling I had as a kid when I got new school supplies – I’m all excited about the possibilities it holds for future projects. So when the new Mohawk Superfine swatch book arrived in The Sample Studio this week, my wheels started turning. Aside from the fact that I am a huge fan of Superfine (our P&P letterhead and envelopes are printed on the eggshell finish), it also happens to be one of the most versatile sheets out there.
It took a while but the dog days of summer are finally here. In a summer where we’ve had more spring like temps than sweltering heat, I for one welcome its arrival. Mainly because it means I get to enjoy drinks on the patio while my husband grills up dinner (it’s too hot to cook indoors). But it won’t be long before the lazy days are over and the back-to-school frenzy begins. While we can’t do much about the start of another school year, we can help when it comes to getting organized with your
school supplies, paper resources. The Sample Studio is open for business.
I had been warned. Get to the exhibit hall early on opening night, it’s crazy. So last month at HOW, I left Simon Sinek’s keynote speech a little early so I could be among the first to see all the paper samples from the mills. It worked – but only for one booth. By the time I looked up it was a frenzy of people clamoring to get at all the swag. It was like Black Friday for designers. There was a line that wound its way around the perimeter and through the center of the exhibit hall. After being knocked around several times by these enormous yellow/orange CSA designed packages, I knew where all the fuss was coming. Not one to miss out on a good thing, I hopped in line. It was definitely worth the wait, not only did I get some awesome print samples, I was among the first to catch a peek at Kraft-Tone, the new grade from French Paper.
Where did summer go? We’ve been busy bees this month, filling orders, packing and shipping The Parcel and moving into our new digs in Cleveland. This past week we started stocking The Sample Studio, a giant 40′ wall of floor to ceiling paper samples. Aside from a few minor paper cuts, it’s coming along nicely. Stay tuned – we’ll be sharing more on that in a bit.
As 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.