Interesting communication pieces, using specialty paper or unique designs, are being used to break through the clutter that competes for the consumer’s attention. A case in point is the award-winning folded invitation to last fall’s annual Unisource Chicago Paper Show, printed on Classic Linen...
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Interesting communication pieces, using specialty paper or unique designs, are being used to break through the clutter that competes for the consumer’s attention.
A case in point is the award-winning folded invitation to last fall’s annual Unisource Chicago Paper Show, printed on Classic Linen Papers from Neenah Paper. The end product was the result of a collaboration that included O’Connor Design (Chicago), Ace Graphics (Naperville, IL), and the Fold Factory, an online resource and provider of folding templates.
“Unisource’s Paper Show is an annual event for Chicago’s creative community, to expose them to everything new that is going on with paper,” notes Jim O’Connor (who owns the design firm with his wife Debra). “With the invitation, the idea was to illustrate something that couldn’t be done on the Internet, playing up the quality of paper. The tactile nature of paper, the fact that this was printed on interesting stock—all played a part in the design concept.”
A nine panel reveal, from a Fold Factory template, was used, showing the interactivity that you can have with a printed piece—something you can’t have with a screen. “From the beginning, we had the idea that we would create something that shows the attributes of printing and paper, incorporating a format that allows someone to open this piece up and there is something brand new, and then you open it again, an so on. The words we used were also a part of this, sort of a tongue-in-cheek play on words.”
In addition to folds, O’Connor Design also incorporates die-cuts, embossing and textures to draw in the end recipient. For one client’s annual report, a circle was die-cut through the first several pages to draw the reader through, with a big bang at the end.
“We are constantly looking to make paper do as much as it can,” says O’Connor. “We love working with paper. I know the trend is swinging the other way, but that is why we are always looking to create things that really stand apart.”
Neenah, which targets designers looking for that creative edge, recently released its new promotion for its line of Environment Papers. Titled “Creative (un)Blocks,” it is described as a collection of inspiring samples and suggestions to help designers break through their inevitable slumps and take their creativity to the next level.
Neenah partnered with Josh Chen, principal and creative director of San Francisco-based Chen Design Associates to conceptualize and develop the original artwork in Creative (un)Blocks, which provides designers with actual printed matter they can turn to when the need for inspiration strikes.
Digital Printing; More Media Than Ever
Advancements in digital printing have spurred more media advancements, creating even more possibilities. Digital printing has gone way beyond imaging on plain paper, as new substrates allow printers and designers to offer clients graphic options that were previously not feasible, due to financial or logistic constraints.
“There’s a keen interest in materials in the digital printing arena, notes Chris Harrold, Vice President of Market Development, Emerging Technologies, Mohawk. “Materials are meeting beautiful printing and meeting digital printing technologies.”
Spectrum Printers Inc., an employee-owned commercial print shop in Tecumseh, MI, runs Nekoosa's MagnaCote pre-magnetized sheets on its offset press when longer runs demand it, or Digital MagnaCote on its Konica Minolta 7000 and 8000 machines for short-run, quick turn around, personalized printing.
A few years ago, Spectrum Printers Inc. introduced MagneCote to its customers by including a magnetized calendar with a holiday greeting card; customers are now requesting the substrate for reminder cards, envelope stuffers, business cards and large point-of-purchase displays for the retail industry.