Interactive Print

Ed15_promoPaper has been around forever, it’s the original communicator. Ed 15 – Interactive Print from NewPage shows how paper + print just keep getting better. Finding new ways to connect to the audience as well as with other media, proving collaboration trumps competition anytime.

To have that kind of staying power, print has been re-imagining itself since Gutenberg invented the printing press. Just look at the current ways it’s engaging with other media to convert readers via augmented reality, QR codes, or SMS technology. If that wasn’t enough proof, the piece showcases a variety of print techniques from using thermochromatic inks that reveal themselves with sunlight, heat, touch, UV, even water. Want to see it for yourself? Join us  to receive an invitation to Parse & Parcel.

 

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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Shades of Radiant Orchid

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It’s official. Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014. If you look at the color wheel, the hue is a sharp contrast to last year’s Emerald. According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director for the Pantone Color Institute, this years selection is an “invitation to innovation. The purple family offers opportunity to do creative things.” Apparently that’s what we all want right now.

One group who’s sure to be looking to this color for inspiration in 2014 is brides. By the time the first crocus sprouts up in Spring, brides will be blushing for invitations in this shade. And why wouldn’t they? With a bevy of options to choose from, no need to limit the invitation elements to shades of white – from cover weight to announcement envelopes, there’s a hue of Radiant Orchid to make creatives swoon. Here’s a list of our paper pics in the PMS 18-3224 range:

Check out our Radiant Orchid Gallery on Pinterest.  To see more inspiration on the 2014 Color of the Year, join Parse & Parcel .

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

Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine

If you are looking for the perfect paper to impart that special holiday feel to your next print project, consider one of the pearlescent or metallic text and cover papers available today. With the use of mica coatings, these papers lend themselves beautifully to print, allowing the luminosity of the sheet to show through the ink. Made without metals, the only special attention required when printing on these gorgeous substrates is oxidizing inks.

These papers not only look beautiful printed but lend themselves equally well to embossing, letterpress and die-cutting – oh and did we mention they also print well with most toner based applications? And if you’re thinking about using them for a wedding suite or holiday card, many offer matching envelopes in a variety of sizes. Not sure where to start – here’s a list of our faves:

  • Esse by Neenah Paper in Pearlized Latte, Crystal, Cocoa, Opal, Silver and White -gorgeous in both smooth and textured finishes
  • Starwhite by Neenah Paper in Flash White, Flash Pearl and Flash Blue with a fiery shimmer
  • Shine by Reich Paper in over twenty colors with beautiful deep tones like Onyx and Midnight – bonus they have matching square sized envelopes available
  • Curious Metallics by ArjoWiggins and distributed by Appleton Coated, one of the originals in this category with a vast array of colors, all of which are FSC certfified and some offer 100% PCW options
  • Aspire Petallics by CTI Paper in a variety of gorgeous colors like Autumn Hay, Beargrass and Copper Ore, these come in both smooth and linen finishes and are suited for toner with some also formulated for on ink-jet
  • Stardream from Italian paper-maker Gruppo Cordenons distributed by Neenah Paper in over thirty amazing colors

Join Parse & Parcel to get a preview of papers like these shimmery beauties and see how creatives are using them in real-life projects.

Image via Gruppo Cordenons

Brilliant Bubbly Design

Just in time for the holidays, venerable Veuve Clicquot gets creative with the new ‘Fashionably Clicquot’ packaging, combining both fashion and function. When its cover is removed, the Fashionably Clicquot’s pleated paper pack unfurls to transform it, from an elegant package containing the Veuve Clicquot Yellow label, to an ice bucket!

The pleated ice bucket and carrier case all-in-one pack also boasts an easy-to-carry ribbon handle and black printed graphics. These details reinforce the luggage theme found in a range of Veuve Clicquot objects.

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Animated Typography – from Paper to Screen

As his Graduation Project, graphic designer Thibault de Fournas created this fun animated short showing the evolution of typography. The short is divided in two parts, the basic rules of typesetting and the evolution of typography in cinema used mainly for opening and closing titles. Enjoy!

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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Neenah Puts the Ahhh in Correspondence

Recently the folks at Neenah Paper sponsored the Correspondence Salon for Ladies & Gentlemen event to help celebrate the grand opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. In honor of the event they created a piece to make philatelics swoon – The Classic Correspondence Kit. The kit, which features Neenah’s flagship Classic brand of papers, and its contents were designed by Studio A. Here’s a peek at what the lucky attendees received.

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Images via Neenah Paper