Edge Painting is the New Black

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Edge painting, edge coloring, colored edges – whatever you call it, is the hottest trend in business card design. The process is not new by any means, but it’s definitely getting a lot of exposure these days and with good reason – it makes a huge impact. When using engraving ink for this process you can expect a shimmery edge on metallics or a flat, matte effect on colored edges. For the uber-shiny look metallic foil edges are the way to go. Double the wow-factor when combining with other special print techniques like letterpress or embossing.

Paper Resource: New Mohawk Carnival + Via Swatchbook

new-mohawk-carnival-via-swatchbook-parse-and-parcelSome might say when it comes to organization I’m a bit obsessed. But when you’re dealing with hundreds of paper samples every day, organization is the key to overcoming overwhelm. The paper mills understand this, so they try to make the process of showcasing their products easier via swatchbooks. Over the years the mills have tried to get inventive with their design, the most recent to deviate from the standard format was Mohawk.  I give them props for trying something different but honestly the format was not user friendly. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned they were redoing their swatchbooks. The first shipment arrived in The Sample Studio this week and let me just say the new Mohawk Carnival + Via Swatchbook is so worth the wait.

Spec Rep Secrets: Learn by Making Mistakes

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I guess it’s true what they say, you learn by making mistakes. While I’ve certainly learned a lot throughout my career, I’ve also made my share of mistakes – and a few of them were doozies. I remember one mistake I made early on as a spec rep. I was working with a young agency, they were small but doing some pretty amazing work. I got involved with the paper for an identity system for a sizable law firm. Let’s just say when things go south on a project, the last client you’d want to have an issue with is a law firm.

Google Uses Print to Launch Material Design

Google-uses-print-parse-and-parcelThere’s no denying digital’s effectiveness. If you want to get information out quickly and relatively inexpensively it’ll do the job no doubt. Now if your goal is to differentiate your brand, make a lasting impression or provide the user with a memorable experience than we have to say nothing compares to print. But you don’t have to take our word for it, just check out the print collateral Google used to help launch their new visual language – Material Design.

Giveaway: The Beauty of Engraving Limited Edition Print

The-beauty-of-engraving-limited-edition-printWhen it comes to print, few techniques convey such an intense sense of artistry and craftsmanship as engraving. Did you know engraving’s modest beginning produced a system enabling mass communication and the spread of priceless art? It was actually the first way to enlighten the masses. It’s a tradition steeped in history and the website from Neenah Paper, The Beauty of Engraving, is dedicated to the craft. Detailing the milestones of engraving’s history, the site also showcases the work of contemporary designers using the medium today in a series of prints. The newest addition to the series was created by lettering artist, Kevin Cantrell, and we’re super excited to be able to giveaway 10 of these limited edition prints to our audience.

Accent Opaque: The A-List

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All images via Katie Benjamin Steed

When it comes to ink on paper, nothing shows the craft of print better than stunning photography. While most of the work to perfect the image is done during pre-press and production, one component that can make or break a project featuring heavy photography is paper selection. One of the best examples I’ve seen featuring photography is the recent promotion on Accent Opaque, The A-List.

Vistaprint Logo Redesign

vistaprint-logo-redesignDespite what people may say about print’s decline, the folks at Vistaprint have done quite well during their 19 year tenure, generating more than $1.2 billion in revenue in 2013 alone. Which makes their recent logo redesign, featuring a large amount of overlays in a custom alphabet, even more puzzling to me.

Road Trip: Mackenzie Printery Museum

Road-trip-mackenzie-printeryI’ve always loved Canada. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, Canada felt like an extension of home. It is just on the other side of the Niagara river, accessible via four bridges from the greater Buffalo area. As a kid, my family traveled to Canada often, passports weren’t necessary then and traffic was nothing like it is now. There is still something magical about Canada to me. Even with the added inconveniences I still love visiting our neighbor to the North. So when I realized summer was almost over and we still hadn’t taken a trip of any sorts, I set my sites on one of my favorite spots – Niagara-on-the-Lake.