If you only design for the screen, you're missing out on one of the classic perks of the design process — paper samples and swatchbooks. These are typically provided free or at modest cost by paper companies and their vendors, and allow you to not only see but touch the stock, which makes all the difference when choosing the ideal medium for your work. Related are sample books from printers showing all their finishing options, such as varnishing, coating, laminating, die cutting or laser cutting. Being well stocked with both is important to ensure that your work can best meet your clients' requirements.
However, there is a third category that shows off paper stock being used for a range of thematically linked designs and different printing processes. These are typically the work of paper companies and go beyond simple swatch books by tapping the skills of established designers to really show a range of paper stock at its best. One of the more interesting of these recently came my way in the form of a lush, 28-page publication singing the praises of print. It's geared to marketing communications managers, ad planners and publishers, all of whom are increasingly tasked to create and manage campaigns that span multiple media. Sappi Fine Paper North America believes, not surprisingly, that print has a vital role to play among the many new digital platforms that via for our attention online.
Aptly dubbed Print &, the publication makes a case for print that begins by referencing neuroscience studies indicating that print leaves a "deeper footprint" on consumers than digital. To bring this pont home you're encouraged to view a large, tactile representation of a brain in direct sunlight, at which point a reddish glow shows up on part of it, thereby showing "print's effect on the brain." While whether it actually shows that is debatable, what's undeniable is that via this virtuoso printing process the publication has already demonstrated something that digital can't do. Which is that as a physical object held in the hand, print can be one heck of an involvement device. The rest of Print & continues in the same vein, combining a strong case for the effectiveness of print with bold design and a seemingly endless array of fancy techniques that includes flocking, soft-touch coating, reticulated varnish, photochromic ink, raised UV coating, engraving, liquid foil, thermography, embossing, metallic inks, unusual folds, cutting and folding, thankfully all explained at the end of the publication. There's even a QR code-driven augmented reality aspect that animates certain page elements.
All in all, Print & provides a good reminder of just what print is capable of. I've included some spreads below but of course you really need to hold this to appreciate it and to that end you can snag a copy by requesting one from your local Sappi sales rep. Don't be shy, they'll be glad to send you one.