The Secret to Producing Memorable Print

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Most people think great design is the key to producing amazing print.

Great design is only half the battle. In my opinion, the reason many print projects fail isn’t because of the design. It’s because of a lack of detail.

Designers who are known for creating amazing print design, are involved in every aspect of the process – from concept through to production. And that includes specifying and sometimes even sourcing the paper.

For some of you, this may seem like a no brainer. But I’d ask you, how often are you settling for the printer’s house sheet on your work? Be honest. When was the last time you actually had work produced on the paper you envisioned using and specified for the job?

You can blame it on a lack of budget, availability issues, or a tight deadline. Those are just excuses. Every print project faces those same challenges.

The truly memorable, award winning work excels not in spite of, but because of those challenges.

MENÜ 2 – A Cookbook with a Nomadic Twist

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Last year we told you about MENU, a cookbook focusing on food but with a bit of a conceptual twist – mixing culinary talent and design to celebrate the idea of food as community in an experiential way. Well this limited edition collectible is back and this time the emphasis is on food with nomadic twist. MENÜ 2 is part storybook/recipes from Budapest centered people and part culinary wanderlust, as seen through the eyes of their Hungarian counterparts.

Pantone 2016 Color of the Year – Paper Picks

2016 Color of the Year - Top Paper Picks | Parse & Parcel

I have to say when Pantone announced their new Color of the Year for 2016 I wasn’t too surprised. I noticed this combo take hold in pop-culture a few years ago. It could be spotted popping up everywhere, from the art-direction of (then new) lifestyle magazines likes Kinfolk and Cereal to luxury packaging design like that of Bing Bang NY, to the set design and cinematography of The Grand Budapest Hotel. You could see this coming a mile away. But what Pantone did do that was a total departure from years past. The 2016 Color of the Year is a first for Pantone, they selected two colors to bestow the honor on this year, Rose Quartz & Serenity – a two-fer. While it’s nice they offered up the color match for us, it doubled the work for those looking to match paper for things like invitations, stationery and envelopes. I know what at total PITA trying to find on epaper color match can be, let alone two. No worries, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and complied a list of my top paper picks for Pantone’s 2016 Color (or colors) of the Year.

Attract the Client Work You Dream of in 2016

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It’s that time of year again, after the binging of the holidays comes the cleansing of, well, everything. It’s always during this time of purging that I think about how much I want to accomplish, especially with work. I think about what I could have done differently this year that would have long lasting benefits for the future. For creatives this can be challenging, especially when you’re constantly comparing your work to that of your peers, and with the constant reminder of it all over social media, there’s no escaping it. *Sigh* If only I had those clients…Why not make this the year you finally attract the client work you dream of?

National Stationery Show – Promotion Celebrating 70 Years

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It’s no secret, I’m nuts about stationery. I’ve been collecting it since I was a kid, my BFF Cindy got me into it when I was 8 or so. We’d beg our moms to take us to the local stationery store so we could stock up on all our faves – Suzy Angel, Ziggy (it was the late 70’s) and anything with Snoopy on it we had to have. We each housed our collection in a shoe box we covered with gift wrap. And we were constantly sorting them, arranging them by size, color and order of importance. But the best part was the trades. We’d pour over each others collection and then offer up trades trying to get the other’s prized possession. For me, it was always this yellow notecard with an illustration of a girl on the front holding a fish bowl (I think). Don’t ask me why but I had to have it. I’d offer up 9 or 10 different cards in exchange for just that one, but Cindy never budged. Eventually more important things diverted our attention (like boys) but my love of stationery never wavered. So you can imagine my excitement when Parse & Parcel was asked by Legion Paper to collaborate on a promotion commemorating the 70th year of the National Stationery Show in a special  The Legion Paper Trading Card Pack

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Gilded Gift Wrap – A Collaboration

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One of the things I love about having my own business is the fact that I can create the kind of projects I like. There are a few types of paper promos I adore, and gift wrap is at the very TOP of my list. So when it came time to think about the holiday promotion for The Parcel this year, I knew what I wanted to do. As luck would have it, literally the day I started planning the project, my friend Christine Wisnieski, sent me an email about paper recommendations for a new product line for her shop, gilded gift wrap, and a collaboration was born.

The Difference Between Average and Awesome Comes Down to Character

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Have you ever seen a print promotion so awesome you wanted to kiss it? Ok, maybe that’s taking my adoration of ink on paper a little far but I swear that’s how much I love the new piece, Character, from Neenah Packaging. I know what you’re thinking – Neenah has a crazy budget and if your clients had their budget you’d produce something awesome too. But here’s the thing, it’s not about the budget, it’s about inspiration and execution. After examining this promotion, I am convinced the difference between average and awesome comes down to character.

The Secret to Designing an Unforgettable Business Card

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Going to industry events can be stressful, especially when you’re hoping to make new business connections. As if finding the right outfit isn’t enough pressure, the whole idea of networking can freak some people out. Let’s say you get past all the small talk and actually meet someone you want to follow up with. The moment of truth comes when you reach into your pocket and hand over your business card. In that moment an impression is made – whether or not it’s memorable comes down to one 3.5″ x 2″ card. As someone who’s seen (and studied) an extensive number of them, I’m sharing the secret to producing an unforgettable business card.

Mohawk Maker Quarterly – Character

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Just when I didn’t think they could get any better, Issue No. 7 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly – Character, comes along. Putting out quality editorial and design content is tough, but to do so on a consistent, quarterly basis is pretty impressive. In fact, I’d say it speaks to the character of a company – and Mohawk has always been one paper maker who walks the talk. So it’s not lost on me that the paper selected for its production, Mohawk Loop, reinforces the theme of this issue. From the companies and artisans profiled in it, to the paper it’s printed on – when it comes to character this issue of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly has it in spades.

Curious About Print Production

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It’s no secret, I love paper promotions. I think it all stems from my curiosity of what’s possible. When I look through a new piece I start thinking about all the different ways I can use a certain print technique or paper finish. I think about past projects and wonder what if? While I’m pretty adept at paper and all of its characteristics, I find I’m still learning new things all the time when it comes to print production – mainly because the technology keeps evolving. In the latest installment of the Appleton Coated series, Curious About Print Production, we get to explore the effects of printing colored images on colored paper and how to achieve different results using specific production techniques.