One of the things I enjoy most about working with creatives is the chance to peek behind the curtain. I’ve said it before, I’m a bit of a peeping tom when it comes to design. This is why I love social media – it’s not just about liking a brand or a blogger, but you get to actually learn a bit about the creatives behind the brand. It’s not just the gorgeous compositions that suck me in but rather the stories behind those who create them. It was scrolling through instagram that I came to learn about Trouvé Magazine and its founder, Amanda Marko.
Trouvé is a new publication that celebrates the creative lifestyle and those who live it. Trouvé has discovered the stories and images behind the creative and shares them with the world, in print – I love that. Given the fact that no so long ago print magazine were shutting down left and right, I appreciate the many beautifully crafted lifestyle magazines that are being celebrated – not just for their gorgeous photography but seriously good content. And while I love having access to so much content online, when it comes to magazines I’m a die-hard print junkie (I have all my Martha Stewart Living mags going back to 1994, and still read them). Solid content is always relevant and in today’s noisy digital world, a great way to differentiate one’s brand. So I felt compelled to reach out to Amanda to see if Parse & Parcel might be able to help support Trouvé and its mission.
One conversation with Amanda and I knew Trouvé was something special. Amanda is a graphic designer by trade, so it’s no wonder why the content and layout are so good – it’s a magazine about creatives after all. However, unlike many new magazines today, Trouvé is self-funded – there are no kickstarter backers behind this publication. That fact was pretty impressive, so I knew Amanda really needed to get the most out of her print budget. After checking out the inaugural print issue, I was seriously impressed. The images are as good as the content, but I did see a couple areas where my paper knowledge could come in handy. In speaking with Amanda I knew that sustainability was at the top of her priority list along with creating a very organic, clean aesthetic for the magazine – so I knew an uncoated paper was the perfect fit. At the time, Trouvé was printed on 24 PT. C1S cover with a soft touch laminate and 60# Offset from a paper mill best known for making copier paper.
At first glance, the cover stock was a good fit. Since Amanda had chosen to add a soft touch laminate to the cover, use a C1S (coated one side) board grade was a smart choice for staying within budget. It offers bulk, a smooth coated surface so the dot is nice and crisp, and the soft touch coating makes it feel very luxe and tactile.
Once I opened up the magazine I saw that the offset text stock was not doing much to help the beautiful photography or solid areas of black ink featured through the magazine. Her print rep was mindful of the budget since this was a startup publication, but I knew there were options that would be not only be affordable but also offer much better formation and surface uniformity for those areas of heavy solids. The other issue was opacity, the first volume was on a 60# text – when you are operating on a tight budget, a downgrade in basis weight can equate to a 10% savings. However, in this case it was important to think about the tradeoff, which was a lack of opacity (show-through) and surface unformity. Opacity can be especially challenging in projects with heavy ink coverage on one side of the page and type on the other. I wasn’t quite sure if I could help but was going to give it my best shot.
At the same time I was working on this project, I was having a conversation with a manager at Finch Paper. Finch is known for making a range of uncoated papers: a very affordable offset (Finch Offset Opaque), a mid-range opaque (Finch Opaque) and a budget friendly text & cover sheet (Finch Fine). I knew the mill was looking to increase its arsenal of quality print samples, and wanted to know of any potential projects on their papers that were well designed and showed off the beauty of ink on an uncoated paper. So a couple conference calls between the three of us and a mockup later, Trouvé & Finch were onto a collaboration for the second issue.
In the end, the paper for the issue was not only upgraded from an offset to Finch Opaque but also increased in basis weight from 60# to 70# Text – without increasing the budget! Oh, and did I mention that Trouvé Magazine was picked up for distribution by TWO national retailers? Finch got a great print sample to help demonstrate the performance of their paper. There’s nothing quite like seeing how a paper performs under real world circumstances to know if its the right fit for a job and that’s where print samples help. Both Finch and Amanda were thrilled with the results and I got to do one of the things I love most – helping designers by educating them on the paper best suited for the project.
I’m excited to be able share this project with our subscribers and include it in The Parcel. If you’re not a subscriber, (what are you waiting for?) our Spring Sale is happening now – save $100+ with free shipping on our yearly subscription! All I know is I can’t wait to see what treasures are found in the next issue of Trouvé.
All images via Trouvé