Some of the most impressive pieces of print design are the ones that make you slap your forehead and sigh, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” This Scrabble card is a perfect example. It uses blind debossing and a red pencil to transform the ordinary birthday card into a fun and interactive experience. (True, the concept is more “word search” than “Scrabble” but with creative thinking like this, who wants to quibble?)
Designed by Rollny & Müller, Fokus Visuelle Kommunikation, the super-chunky 600 gm. (400 lb.) Gmund Cotton Linen Cream paper was blind debossed [PRO Guide to Embossing/Debossing] by Letterpress Manufaktur Salzburg to create what is ostensibly a mishmash of letters on the sheet.
Look closely, however, and the keen-eyed among you – OK, the keen-eyed German speakers among you – will notice that there are words hidden in the luscious, pillowy cotton surface of the paper.
The idea? Before you give this card to the lucky recipient, you use the red pencil to color over specific letters to reveal just the types of positive, uplifting words the birthday boy or girl would love to see on their special day, including “Success,” “Dreams,” “Travel,” “Happiness” and “Love” – nearly 30 words in all. (Don’t forget to leave some for them to find and color themselves.) In addition, the German words for “Happy birthday to you” come pre-letterpress-printed in light Green.
This is a lovely example of how the marriage of touchability (the softness and thickness of the paper itself) and interactivity (coloring the words) can make that all-important connection with the audience that goes way beyond aesthetics. And of course making it a word search means you encourage the user to spend even more time poring over it than they otherwise might. No surprise, then, that it was a finalist in the 2019 Gmund Awards. That settles it: I say today is everyone’s birthday, and our gift is the inspiration this card provides!