One of the perks of my job is that I get to see some pretty amazing paper promotions. Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection of fab samples showcasing every print technique imaginable. I refer to my sample library often, especially when a designer asks to see something special. The one area of my stash that is in hot demand these days is luxury packaging. It seems everyone with a new business or product is embracing the tactile medium of paper as a means of differentiating their brand. There’s tons of great info online about haptics (the science of touch), but to me there is nothing quite like experiencing the real thing. I always thought it would make so much sense to just have one really well executed packaging piece that highlights paper as an essential part of packaging design. So when I opened the new Neenah packaging promotion – The Power of Paper: On Neenah, I almost passed out.
With temps hovering around twenty degrees this week, we didn’t need Punxsutawney Phil to tell us winter will be sticking around for at least six more weeks. All this frosty weather means we’ll continue to be spending a lot of time indoors and plugged-in, but there’s no reason we can’t make things a little brighter while doing it. So we’re happy to share our February wallpaper featuring a sweet Valentines themed illustration by Chris Corsi. We love the idea of hand-delivering a valentine to that special someone.
I was scrolling through my facebook feed when a post from a design friend stopped me in my tracks. “Dear paper companies – cease and desist showing designers premium / unique papers that when we actually go to use them – you inform us right before press you cannot fulfill an order. I am so over print production.” I cringed, this is the exact opposite reaction every paper company wants a designer to have about their products. As someone who has lived and breathed paper for the better part of my career, I have to wonder why the disconnect between availability of premium papers and designers still happens?
I don’t know about you, but right about this time of year I reach the end of my rope with winter. Growing up in Buffalo you’d think I’d be used to lake effect snow and sub-zero wind-chills by now, but somehow the winters of my childhood seemed so much more fun. I’m not so sure we can do anything about the weather, but we can do something about making things here a bit more fun. We’re introducing a new feature on the blog and maybe just help warm-up with wallpapers this winter. Each month we’ll share a new wallpaper from illustrator and P&P staffer, Chris Corsi, which you can use for your desktop or phone.
It’s no secret I’m a sucker for great packaging. If you follow Parse & Parcel on social media at all, you know how deep my affection for well crafted packaging design runs. While this obsession might seem natural for those who live and breathe design all day, there’s actually some science behind it. Numerous studies on haptic design (see no. 4) show that simply touching an object increases our perception of ownership over that object. That explains my collection of luxury packaging boxes. After seeing the recent rebranding project for Bing Bang NYC Jewelry, I see my box collection growing.
It’s nothing new to see a cookbook that focuses on the food, but the concept behind MENÜ has certainly caught my eye. The book tells the larger story of twenty-two chefs who are changing the gastroculture in Budapest, Hungary. With a mix of culinary talent, the design celebrates the concept of food as community in an experiential way. Wanting to convey its similarity to that of a rare object, MENÜ is a limited edition print collection of stories and food.
Singapore-based design and branding company Oddds recently completed a new project—rebranding themselves—in what they call “The New Anthropology.” Drawing from studies of humanity, culture, and design, Oddds has taken typography and iconography to a whole new level. The whole project is influenced by elements of mysticism and illusion; inspirations like the sea speak to the company’s clean aesthetic.
It’s been a busy year at Parse & Parcel. We launched our business complete with a new website and subscription products, moved into a new space, set up The Sample Studio and added two members to our team – Molly & Chris. I am incredibly grateful to be able to do what I love and help the print and design community that means so much to me. I knew I wanted to do something special this holiday season to say thank you to everyone who has supported Parse & Parcel this past year. With that being said, I wanted whatever we did to be true to our mission to help educate and inspire. What better way to deliver paper inspiration than by sending each member of our mailing list a set of custom holiday cards?
I knew I wanted to give something special to our members that would be both education and functional, so I decided to focus on using colored and textured paper stocks to demonstrate what could be done with digital printing. I chose digital because although it’s used a lot, I still don’t see much being produced on tactile, color paper.
Last month I was having a discussion in my LinkedIn group regarding business card trends prompted by my previous blog post, Edge Painting is the New Black. A fellow member commented that 99% of his clients are looking to produce business cards in an efficient and inexpensive way, and most who do request a specialty print technique back off due to sticker shock. While I respect his expertise, I disagree that price alone is the reason for it. I noted that just a few years ago, the same could have been said for heavyweight, duplex business cards on premium papers. Then along came MOO.com – somehow they figured out a way to offer a well-produced, quadplex business card on a premium text and cover paper that was not only affordable but easily accessible to anyone. My hope was the same thing would happen with specialty print techniques. At the time I posted that comment, little did I know MOO was days away from launching a new product answering my request – MOO Letterpress, the feel of letterpress business cards made accessible and affordable.
It was love at first sight. I could hardly believe my eyes, but two of my all time favorite combinations were staring me right in the face: kraft paper paired with copper metallic ink. Oh Mohawk, you had me at hello. I was thrilled when I got the brand spanking new Mohawk Carnival + Via swatchbook last month. I didn’t think things could get much better with one of my “go-to” budget friendly grades…until I got the current copy of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly Issue No. 5 – PERCEPTION.