Be willing to make modifications if necessary to make design and production work well together. Paper can have dimension, function and beauty.
– Robin Eppard, Creative Director
Like chocolate and peanut butter, there are few combinations better calculated to grab our attention than “Greeting Card Association” and “Awards.” After 75 years, the GCA knows a thing or two about paper magic; we could only imagine how fabulous the winners of its Louie Awards would be. Turns out we didn’t even get that far – their “Call for Entries” piece alone got us right between the eyes.
The minute this Stardream Copper Smooth envelope lands in your mailbox, you know you’re in for something special. I mean when was the last time you saw this level of engraving on an envelope? Opening it (gently), you find the piece that greets you is another rarity: a colorful invitation boasting fine-line accents and foil stamping that never seems overly showy. It feels like it’s inviting you to a mad tea party, and unfolding it takes you right down the rabbit hole.
You quickly discover this is anything but hyperbole as the illustrations that give you the history of the awards and tell you how to enter have the whiff of fairy tales about them, each brought to three-dimensional life by clever die cuts that alternately lunge toward you or sink coyly away. (These die cuts also bring added dimension to the striking awards logo on the back.)
“Combining a modern infographic look with a vintage design style accomplished two goals,” explains The Occasions Group Creative Director Robin Eppard. It “utilizes vintage icons and pop-up windows to tell a complicated process of the what, how, who, when and how much, giving the piece a third dimension. The vintage style, aqua color and copper foil depict the 1941 look and feel of the times, to enhance the 75th anniversary of the Greeting Card Association. The shimmer stock and the copper foil add glamour to the Louie Awards it represents.”
It will probably come as no surprise that the Greeting Card Association called upon some of its members to pitch in on the production of this invitation – from foil stamping and engraving to the variable data printing of those whimsical labels. While this was a godsend for the project, coordinating things was a challenge in itself, says Robin.
It entailed “paper, dies and specifications [being] sent to various facilities, and secondary finishing sent to other production facilities, with the final piece being folded, stuffed, address labeled and hand stamped and mailed by the last production facility.”
Robin’s advice for tackling a project with so many moving parts? “Begin with clear specifications. Coordination is key, communication is essential, and patience a necessity.”