Colorplan Sample Book for G.F. Smith by Made Thought

Curator: Wade Jeffree
date: August 14, 2014
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: logo, paper, printing, Typography

For some time now, paper merchants have been looked upon by designers as an opportunity to produce “print porn."  Yes, most are beautiful things in their own right, but what were they beside a designer's wet dream?

This is where the strength of design studio Made Thought’s rebrand and repositioning of paper manufacturer G.F Smith, and more specifically their new Colorplan paper sample book, is brilliant. Not only does it show a level of restraint not shown in many other sample books, but its core value and offerings are evident in every piece. It's paper, and beautiful paper at that, so why not show the paper for what it is? It's a really strong concept that makes you think “I wish I did that,” executed to the utmost perfection of quality. Made Thought truly nailed this.

The effortlessly simple confidence and beauty of the product itself is always prevalent. All the pieces have minimal printing crafted using techniques that are exceptionally gorgeous. From the business card that uses a very traditional piece of craft called paper marquetry to showcase not one or two, but three styles of Colorplan offering at once, the three papers represent three signature aspects of the range: color, weight and embossing.

The same technique is also used on the sample booklet, which uses simple fold techniques to minimize material waste, and once again, showcase the paper. Minimal printing is used, with only the necessary details. You're clearly informed and understand how the paper will hold a texture and print when needed. The concept is inherent in the product and has been used with craft and high production value to form a real gem for the designer to truly salivate over, whilst having a piece that is useful for the potential specifier.

The transition from something that's inherently physical to the digital world is also somewhat seamless, and the best use I have experienced. You can view and get a gauge for how different stock weights bend and look just by viewing videos on the site. The colors and textures are fully viewable in hi-resolution downloads—I've used many in image mock-ups for client presentation. The production introduction videos are all exquisite.

Being so wrapped up in the paper and online components, I almost overlooked the bespoke typeface for the logo designed by Colophon. It’s subtlety only helps by heightening that the product is key through and through when showcasing their offering.

When a good product is coupled with strong thinking, beauty will take shape. It's obvious with this example. I implore you to get calling or emailing to get your hands on a piece. Below are further examples that incorporate the beauty shown in the above.

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Shadow Faces: Kumi Yamashita

Curator: MoMA Design Studio
date: July 4, 2012
Categories: Illustration
Tags: art, origami, paper, shadow
We love the simplicity of this work; when you get closer you notice how the wrinkles cast a shadow portrait.
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When Will You Die? TMBG Video: Office of Paul Sahre

Curator: Mikey Burton
date: March 14, 2012
Categories: Advertising, Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Motion Graphics
Tags: Craft, Hearse, Monster, music, paper, Paul Sahre, Truck, video

I love this They Might Be Giants video by the Office of Paul Sahre. I have so much respect for Paul! Is it because he’s an amazing designer, witty illustrator and foosball god? Or is it simply because we share the same Alma mater. It’s because he’s a humble dude who consistently churns out amazing work every year (check out the timeline).

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Paper.js: Juerg Lehni and Jonathan Puckey

Curator: Stewart Smith
date: November 8, 2011
Categories: Book & Magazine Design
Tags: HTML5, Illustrator, JavaScript, paper, Scriptographer

Imagine if Adobe Illustrator were free. And open source. And ran in your browser. And produced interactive, Flash-like animations. All through JavaScript. Here in 2011 browsers just aren’t powerful enough to tick all those boxes at once, but with insanely clever new frameworks like Paper.js the road map has been drawn. 

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Paper Pop! — Matt Hawkins

Curator: Rafael Fajardo
date: November 1, 2011
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Entertainment Design, Illustration
Tags: paper, papercraft, pop, urban paper, Warhol
In Paper Pop! Matt Hawkins captures the gesture of the seated Warhol effortlessly. As he writes on his website, he created this homage to Warhol for a pop art themed holiday party at his day job at C3, as a favor and decoration.
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