In case you missed my previous post, this is part two of our post about the making of our topography inspired journal and pencil box set. I’m sharing all the details of the project – the good, the bad and the ugly. Part one was about the concept and design phase of the project. I thought narrowing down paper selections was going to be the difficult part, boy was I wrong. This post is where the production process begins and so do the hurdles.
Did you ever have an idea for a project you were saving for something really special? You know, the one you keep tucked away for just the right circumstances. For me it was the pencil box. Looking back, I definitely under estimated a few things about the project. My timeline was way off. And honestly, the production skills required for a packaging project are different than four-color offset printing. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, the only way you grow is by challenging yourself. So I dove in, head first. This post is all about the process for producing the Topography Inspired Journal & Pencil Box Set – the good, the bad and the ugly.
When it comes to developing a retail brand, most designers will tell you the devil is in the details. Making sure brand identity and messaging connect with its audience involves many elements that require thoughtful attention to detail – especially print collateral. In fact, it is scientifically proven that consumers form powerful, emotional connections through touch. It’s called haptics, and when thoughtfully incorporated into a retail brand’s print collateral, it has the ability to turn customers into brand loyalists. And Neenah is leading the charge, inspiring a revolution of sorts with its newest promotion. CLASSIC® Retail Revolution is a resource for designers working with retail clients to help them see new and unique ways to use printed pieces as a tangible element of today’s retail experiences.
I’m half-way through my midday americano, when I suddenly remembered today’s the day. I pack up my planner and search for the nearest post office. Two minutes later I’m standing in front of Mrs. Pacindo at the USPS in Independence, Ohio, gleefully asking for the new Love stamp. By the look on her face, I could tell she thought I was a little too excited about a stamp. But today is the day that love flourishes for stationery enthusiasts, as the new USPS Love Stamp designed by Anna Rifle Bond (of Rifle Paper) debuts.
There’s this idea that in order to produce high-quality print, one must have clients with deep pockets. I was a paper rep for many years and I can tell you some of the best print projects I worked on didn’t have huge budgets. In fact, it’s often just the opposite. Producing great print is not about having a great budget, it’s about having great relationships. You can tell a lot about the relationship between a designer and print rep by the quality of the project’s print production. When production details are so well executed they blend synergistically with the design, that’s the tell-tale sign of a strong relationship between designer and printer. And this was the case with the NewBridge 2017 Annual Report.
The fun thing about what we do at Parse & Parcel, is getting to see glimpses of projects as we consult on paper and production. And rebranding projects are some of our favorites – especially those that take special consideration of the details. Our friends at the Studio of Christine Wisnieski share some insights into their process, and beautiful details, for the Harness Cycle rebrand.
So apparently shrieking in the middle of a sales office is a no-no. Sometimes I forget people are actually behind the cubes working as I am walking through to the sample studio. But I couldn’t help it. I just opened up the box Neenah sent and inside were the brand new Touché Papers swatch books. It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with the grade – but this is the first swatch book since Neenah acquired the grade. And I have to say, they’ve made some stunning additions to the offering. While the colors are gorgeous, wait until you experience the soft-touch finish of Touché Papers.
When we first saw the Craft Beer Branding Guide by the guys at CODO Design, we knew it was one for our keeper file. Born out of the website bearing its name, CODO teamed up with our pals at Neenah to produce a print version in pocket guide format. While the subject may be about craft beer, the strategy behind branding craft beer can be applied to many verticals. Especially those who have a physical product as part of their business. We shared the piece in the spring issue of The Parcel, it was an instant subscriber favorite. So we partnered up with our friends at AIGA to bring the team from CODO to Cleveland to share a bit about their business, their work and their love of craft beer and branding. It was a packed house at Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland for Craft Beer Branding with CODO Design & AIGA. Cody and Isaac dug deep and shared some really great insights into how they doubled down on a niche market to take their design firm national.
The Design Collection by Neenah features luxuriously tactile and colored papers available for commercial printing. It houses 15 different papers in one place, and features a richly colored grades like Stardream, Esse, Oxford, So…Silk, Plike, Slide, Astroking and Wild. That’s only half the story. Texture is the other word synonymous with The Design Collection. With finishes like Canvas, Felt, Pearlized, Heavy Vellum, Hi-Tech and Diffused, creatives have plenty to choose from. Options are good, right? Sometimes it makes it difficult to decide exactly what paper to use with a specific technique. That’s one reason why we love samples so much. Creatives and clients alike are visual. Thankfully, there’s Neenah’s new lookbook, The Design Collection – Surface Issue.
Parse & Parcel readers know we’re on a mission to make resources available to all creatives. So when we learn about like-minded endeavors, we have to share. Like so many creatives, we enjoy the pleasure of discovering a little gem. Especially those that have been given new life. This was the case when we were setting up the sample studio. In addition to the massive amounts of paper and print samples we keep on hand, we’re smitten with nostalic design memorabilia. When Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth launched their reissue of the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual on kickstarter, we backed it in the first few days. Its home is on the coffee table in our lounge area and always gets by our design friends who visit. There is definitely something about analog resources that attracts creatives. Luckily, Jesse and Hamish launched Standards Manual, a book store for designers.