5 Surefire Signs of a Good Sales Rep

Finding a good rep can be challenging. You may prefer a certain company, but your rep might but be less than adept. On the other hand, you may find a certain rep to be a delight to work with, but perhaps her company’s products/services are too limited. We’ve all been there. And as someone who has been on both sides of the desk, I know all too well the pitfalls many reps and clients face. I thought I’d share my list of tell tale signs a good sales rep exhibits.

AIGA Get Out the Vote!

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When I was a kid I couldn’t wait until I turned 18. I was so annoyed by adults telling me what to do all the time – clean your room, practice the clarinet, be nice to your sister. Sheesh. To me, turning 18 meant freedom. After all, I would technically be an adult and that meant I could do what I want, right? Yeah, I know. But the one thing about turning 18 that remains as true today as it was all those years ago is the right to vote. Given the state of today’s politics, I can think of no greater privilege. So when Parse & Parcel was asked to participate in the AIGA Get Out the Vote exhibit, I leapt at the chance to be a part of it.

AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign calls on the power of design to motivate the American public to register and show up to vote on election day. Designers are encouraged to join the campaign by designing and sharing a poster. AIGA has partnered with the League of Women Voters to present an online gallery of non-partisan posters for printing and public distribution. In addition there are two exhibitions that coincide with both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (July 18 – 21) and Democratic National Conventions in Philadelphia (July 25-28), as well as the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas this fall (October 17 – 19).

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Paper & Ice Cream!

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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.

NSS Class of 70 Trading Card Promotion

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I started collecting stationery as a kid in the 70’s. Back then the selection of available stationery was not nearly what it is today. I had a shoe box full of paper ephemera, most of it featuring the likes of Betsey Clark and Suzie Angel. I had no idea what went into producing these gems, I just knew I liked the cute characters and colors they featured. Fast forward forty years to the 2016 National Stationery Show and I found myself lucky enough to be a part of the NSS Class of 70 trading card promotion by Legion Paper – and I loved every single minute of it!

The Design Collection – Color & Texture That Wows

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I’m tired of the little black dress. Yes, I’m guilty of having one in my closet that I rely on way too much. On paper it checks all the boxes: it’s black, it fits and I can wear it to a number of events. So yeah, technically it works. But does it WOW? No way. And I have to admit, sometimes I want a little wow factor. Well the same can be said about the paper specified for print. Basic white papers are fine for everyday projects. But if you’re looking to create a project that wows – the package that’s too irresistible to touch or the catalog to beautiful not to take – then color and texture are where it’s at. Lucky for us we don’t have to look too far, because Neenah Paper gives us the best of both worlds with their comprehensive new swatchbook, The Design Collection.

Biggest mistake graphic designers make with print

The #1 Mistake Designers Make With Print

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I see it happen all the time. Most designers are guilty of it and don’t even realize they’re doing it. It’s not because they’re hacks, I’ve seen some crazy talented designers do this. It’s not because they’re working with nightmare clients. I’ve seen this happen on print projects for dream clients. It’s not because they’re under ridiculous deadlines or on shoestring budgets. I’ve seen plenty of designers produce amazing work under those circumstances. It’s not any of those things. The #1 mistake designers make when it comes to print design that’s ruining their work?  

Lustig Elements Collection – A Labor of Love Comes to Life

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One of the things I enjoy most about working with designers is getting a behind the scenes look at the process of a project. Usually I enter into the process during the pre-production phase, after the design concept is complete and before specs go to printer for quote. It’s always a treat when I get to see a project come to life. The only time it’s more special is when it’s a passion project. A few weeks ago we shared the campaign to fund the development of the font, Lustig Elements, whose roots were born in the 1930s. Today, The Beauty of Letterpress by Neenah presents the Lustig Elements Collection, a remarkable new series of limited edition letterpress prints, commissioned in honor of notable design pioneers Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen.

The Lustig Elements Collection is available for purchase on The Beauty of Letterpress beginning today, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. This first installment of the collection includes four letterpress prints designed by Craig Welsh, of Go Welsh. Only 100 of each print were produced.

The Lustig Elements Collection gets its name from a typeface that modernist designer Alvin Lustig began to design in the 1930’s but never completed. Welsh, a design educator and award-winning designer based in Lancaster, PA, rediscovered the font and began a mission to revive it. Over a four-year period he worked closely with AIGA Medalist Elaine Lustig Cohen to bring the Lustig Elements font to life. The newly completed typeface was created for both wood type and a digital font.

Spec Rep Secrets – Earth Day Edition

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In 1970 a movement began that gave a voice to an emerging consciousness focusing humanity towards environmental issues. Forty-six years later, Earth Day represents the one day each of us can take actionable steps to preserving our planet. Today Parse & Parcel shares our top tips for creatives everywhere – to help them foster better sustainability practices when it comes to finding the right paper with respect to the integrity of the project and our planet.  

Progressive Annual Report – How Nesnadny + Schwartz Uses Paper Specification to Create Award Winning Annual Reports

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There are just some projects that are iconic, and the Progressive Annual Report is at the top of the list. Mark Schwartz, the late founder of Nesnadny + Schwartz, built his career on bold moves – and the boldest had to be in 1982, when he called up the CEO of Progressive and offered to take photos for their annual report. Since then Nesnadny + Schwartz’s annual reports for Progressive have won more than 500 national awards. And one look at this year’s report, it’s easy to see why. But there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into producing such an amazing finished piece. We ought to know, Parse & Parcel constructed the paper dummies for the project. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the progression of a project from concept to production.

Lustig Elements – a Kickstarter 75 Years in the Making

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I took geometry my sophomore year of high school, let’s just it wasn’t my strong suit. I suppose it could’ve had something to do with the the way in which it was taught. While my friends and I had fun in class, it certainly wasn’t due to the engaging nature of the subject. Now, had it been framed in the context of typography, with it’s letterforms and shapes, I’d have been all in. That type of inspiration was definitely not coming from Sr. Clement’s class. I’d have never guessed that one day I’d be smitten with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a font whose roots lay in the foundation of geometry, Lustig Elements. A font designed by Alvin Lustig in the 1930s known as Euclid is being revived as Lustig Elements by Craig Welsh and Elaine Lustig Cohen.