Do you have exquisite taste on a tight budget?
Then these crucial insider tips will go a long way toward stretching your resources.
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By Aaron Berman Like some of those exotic beer blends you come across while perusing your local grocery shelves, there are certain design combinations that make you think: Boy howdy, now why didn’t I think of that. Here’s an example that has been a major hit with our More »
Storytelling has become the latest darling in marketing and communications. This unusual annual report shows how to create a narrative experience that rings authentic. The designers used a progressive unfolding of pages to reveal new information. Find out more about the Goodwill Annual More »
This letterhead and identity fill our design cup to overflowing with refreshing, effective and satisfying creative. All the pieces – pocket folder, letterhead, business card – seamlessly come together in way that mirrors the thoughtful mission of this organization. Find out more about the Water for More »
A borderline obsessive who won’t stop short of exceptional?
Do you agonize over typefaces, color swatches, paper samples and
the perfect printing concoction for your creation of graphic glory?
If so, then you’ve got the making of a PaperSpecs PRO.
In a show of international cooperation often lacking in the cinematic depictions of James Bond, an Australian printer and Aussie finisher joined forces with a British design studio to create a slick passport-like program for the Melbourne exhibit Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. Printed by Adams Print in Victoria, the 32 page booklet was designed by Praline and embossed by Tafeda in New South Wales.
The paper was supplied by KW Dogget Fine Paper in Australia, and used Tafeda’s special “dune” texture for the cover, which gives it an organic, environmentally friendly feel, Tafeda marketing manager Teresa Del Castillo told ProPrint. “My husband and I are fans of James Bond. We’ve seen almost every single movie so it was emotional to be involved.”
If you somehow missed the news, Amazon head Jeff Bezos unveiled plans to deliver their packages using unmanned drones, starting in 2015. As April Fools is months away, we suppose we will have to take him at his word. Anyway, years of sitting through endless pictures of people’s dinners, pets, children, and bloody-minded squibbles over everything under the sun were justified with the Tweeted image below [hat tip to Boing Boing].
And here’s a little video about Amazon’s plan (note the number of times it’s been played!):
Last summer, Valassis found itself the subject of a court petition over an increased discount – up to 34% – the USPS granted it in exchange for the larger volume of mail the direct-mail company promised to produce. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals denied that petition, which had been filed by the Newspaper Association of America.
The legal filing arose from NAA’s fear that the “negotiated service agreement” (NSA) that Valassis (distributor of commercial enticements such as the RedPlum inserts) arranged in 2012 allowed that company to go after advertising revenue from the sellers of durable goods such as The Home Depot – some of the only advertisers that newspapers have left since Craigslist destroyed the once-lucrative classifieds market. Needless to say, the association was not happy with the recent decision.
“We’re very disappointed that the court has given its usual deference to federal agency experts,” says Paul Boyle, NAA’s SVP of public policy. “Its decision said that the [Postal Regulatory Commission] did not analyze the NSA’s impact on competition, but that the law is ambiguous on whether they need to do this. We’d be curious to see where [NSAs] have produced tangible benefits for the Postal Service.”
Note: PaperSpecs editor Aaron Berman is a former employee of the Newspaper Association of America. He assures us the only thing he recalls of his time there meeting his wife, being sent to Leipzig to cover a tradeshow once, and another time losing his wallet in a cab in Dallas when he was covering something else. More »
It’s so easy to forget just how transcendent exquisite design can be, something we were reminded of when we came across this beautiful packaging by the Victor Branding Design Corp in Taiwan. The product is Taiwan High Mountain Tea, a range of maple, bamboo, cedar, plum, pine and lily infused teas. As The Dieline points out, each canister contains a tea grown on a mountain with a different altitude than the rest. Therefore each features a painting of the mountain, the bird indigenous to that mountain, and the particular plant that grows there (and gives that tea its taste).
The minimalist boxes alone are breathtaking before you even get to the more detailed canisters inside, and unfold to reveal a much more detailed image of the mountain with the canister at its center.
Even the language barrier works in its favor. Though we’re sure we’d all love to know how this packaging was crafted, we cannot, so are forced to enjoy the effect alone, which is probably the best way to experience this lovely piece. Babel as the protector of beauty’s secrets.
What the right hand giveth, the left taketh away. Look no further than news that the United States Postal Service grudgingly agreed to hold off requiring businesses to use Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMb) in order to receive discounts for using machine-sortable mail. But that’s only because the Postal Regulatory Committee reminded them that they’re already increasing postage rates next year, so hitting businesses with additional price increases was probably not a good idea if they wanted to hang on to their business customers.
So the good news is those IMb requirements won’t be kicking in until sometime after 2014. The bad: Price increases on First Class and Standard Mail, and on periodicals, will be going through on Jan. 26th.
Naturally the USPS wasn’t pleased with being told that it had to hold off charging businesses extra for not complying with those requirements. Meanwhile, the Post & Parcel quotes the USPS as saying that the move would “hinder the Postal Service’s ability to promote a technology that enhances the value of mail, which is critical to the development of next-generation digital products and services.” And they might well have a point.
Meanwhile, the Postal Regulatory Committee is worried that charging businesses more for not complying with IMb requirements would drive them to take their business elsewhere; THEY might well have a point, too.
The problem is that whatever the Post Office does, it can’t win. Like any other service designed to serve an entire nation’s needs equally for the same price, regardless of where they are located, somebody has to make up the shortfall. No matter how you look at it, the cost of moving a piece of mail 2,000 miles is a great deal more than to move it 20 miles.
In telecommunications, there is a tax on every user to pay for the additional cost necessary to run telephone lines to people out in the middle of nowhere. If only we knew what the postal equivalent of that tax might look like, we might find ourselves one step closer to ending this purse-string samba. More »