How to Access Sample Services – Even if You Don’t Have a Rep

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I recently asked a group of designers if they ever felt like their comps looked better than the final results. The comments are ongoing, with reasons ranging from unrealistic expectations to lackluster production, but one point keeps coming up – it’s about the relationship designers have with their suppliers. After working with creatives for a while now, I know this to be true but am baffled by the number of suppliers who don’t understand the concept. So many reps fail to do one critical thing – do what you say you’re going to do. So often designers will meet with a rep initially, listen to their pitch, actually like what they see/hear enough to engage with them when they have an appropriate project, only to be let down when it comes time to the rep actually providing the service they need. It gets even worse if the designer is a freelancer. Whether that thing is a quote, suggest options, or provide sample services, there is no relationship without trust. 

New – Mohawk Superfine Swatch Book

Mohawk-Superfine-Swatch-Book-parse-parcelThere’s something about a bright, new paper swatch book that makes me giddy. To me, it’s the same feeling I had as a kid when I got new school supplies – I’m all excited about the possibilities it holds for future projects. So when the new Mohawk Superfine swatch book arrived in The Sample Studio this week, my wheels started turning. Aside from the fact that I am a huge fan of Superfine (our P&P letterhead and envelopes are printed on the eggshell finish), it also happens to be one of the most versatile sheets out there.

Will 2016 Be a Good Year for Creative Jobs?

2016-salary-forecast-creatives-parse-parcelDuring my freshman year at college I worked in the alumni office. I was one of the students who called alum asking if they’d pledge support for their beloved alma mater. I have to say I never really appreciated this job until years later. Last night I received one of those calls from a senior who is in the same program I was (sort of). She’s a communications major with a focus on integrated marketing and social media, we chatted for a bit about her senior year – turns out she may be a great intern candidate for Parse & Parcel next semester. I wish I had seen The Creative Group 2016 Salary Guide, prior to our conversation, it looks like 2016 will be a good year for creative jobs and a promising year for my future fellow alum.

Down the Rabbit Hole with Anna Bond

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I’m so excited to introduce Sarah Schwartz, the founding editor of Stationery Trends, an award-winning trade quarterly magazine devoted to all things paper! I met Sarah earlier this summer at The Strathmore Archives event we hosted in Cleveland. In addition to being a global trend expert and speaker in the stationery industry, Sarah shares resources and insights in her fab side project The Paper Chronicles. Sarah recently featured the work of one of my faves, Anna Bond of Rifle Paper, chock full of stunning illustration and print techniques I know you’ll all love – so let’s go down the rabbit hole with Anna Bond and Sarah! 

La Bottega – Cucina Italiana, An Identity True to Form

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Growing up in an Italian family, it’s no shocker that I can cook. While I enjoy it, I wish I had more time to do it properly (btw, so does my husband). Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or require mad culinary skills but it does require thoughtfulness. Watch any decent cooking show and you’ll find the chefs all say the same thing – in order to make a truly fabulous dish you need to start with the best ingredients possible.  When it comes to great print design the same holds true. The brand identity for La Bottega – Cucina Italiana is a perfect example of how using the best resources available produces stellar results.

Weekly Faves

Handlettering & image via Anthony Hos

 

TGIF for sure as we head into a much needed holiday weekend around here. It seems like the week leading up to a long weekend is always hectic. Deadlines get moved up and everyone’s trying to fit Monday’s workload in before they cut out early. For those that find themselves with a few minutes of downtime this weekend, here’s a recap of our weekly faves.

Share on Cougar

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In case you didn’t realize it, I like to share.  If you follow P&P you probably already know that.  I just think the most effective way to help educate about paper as it relates to print and design is to share my experiences with full disclosure – the good, the bad and the ugly. So when the team at Domtar dished about the problems they encountered producing their newest promotion Share on Cougar, I knew I had to see it for myself.

Google Canada Wins in Print

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If you’re an online company targeting media buyers and creative directors, what’s the best way to highlight the advantages of advertising on your channel over more traditional mediums like television? Um, print. Yes, that’s correct, print. Google Canada hosted an event called YouTube Pulse and created materials dubbed the New Prime Time meant to communicate the premium quality of their medium to a highly visual and literate audience. Apparently we’re not the only ones impressed by this as the serieswas awarded gold in the Graphis Design Annual 2016.

Visual Trends – 2015 and Beyond

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Trendspotting. We all want to know what the next trend is before it’s a thing. Part of create compelling design is knowing what’s current and translating that into messaging that will get noticed and remembered. Corbis, the company known for their stock photography, has put out a report on visual trends, here’s the areas they predict will underscore the best creative in 2015 and beyond. 

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Design To Touch

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I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when I get a printed piece is to run my hand across it. It doesn’t matter what the piece is – a menu, an invitation or a book cover – an involuntary reaction occurs. Much like taking a breath, I do it without even realizing it. Well, that is until I realize I’m in a restaurant or some other public place feeling up a menu and that probably looks really odd to non-industry people. When I got a copy of the book, Design to Touch Engraving: History, Process, Concepts, & Creativity, I lost complete sense of space, time and decorum.