Sabine Lenz

Sabine Lenz

Sabine Lenz is the founder of, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.

Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.

Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the “paper queen” who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge. 

If You Spec It...They Will Make It

"My client has used this salmon colored writing paper for years now, but the mill discontinued it!" Janice was more than distressed when we met at a recent AIGA event in San Francisco. As a creative person her imagination was running wild trying to come up with a solution. She contemplated having a white sheet flooded front and back with just the right color...poor Janice.

Why It's Time to Put Your Head in the Sand

Let’s take our collective heads out of the sand and face the fact that our work is never done. There are always print jobs to be saved and awarenesses to be raised. It’s our job to leave those creatives saying one thing, and one thing only: "Wow. And I mean, wow." Presents: Anne Lessmeister Business Card

"All the world’s a stage," wrote Shakespeare. The same can be said for this delightfully different business card that was designed, photographed, printed, and assembled in-house by the creatives at Perezramerstorfer. Their actress client, Anne Lessmeister, literally takes center stage in this mini paper play with four acts.

These Rebels Definitely Make the Paper Cut

While everyone else still zigs, these artists zag. They are renegades who defy the "people-only-buy-based-on-price" theory and produce stunning, handmade wares. And their business cards zag right along with them. Presents: Bridging Business Culture Politics

This week calls attention to the "Bridging Business Culture Politics Brochure." The design team at Zeppelin University created a shining example of how to bring a concept to life. Their theme is a lofty one: Bridging the distance between people through education, bridging the gap between a student’s present and his/her future, and bridging the academic disciplines within the university.

Why Outsourcing is [Not] Way Too Risky

I know that most PSPs are more than reluctant to outsource any value-added production. Yes, it is more of a hassle. Yes, it requires that extra step. But is it not worth it to get a specific project or make a good client really happy? Presents: The Girl And Dragon Label

This week, presents the Girl And Dragon Label. Cult Partners takes us on a Game of Thrones adventure in Gothic-luxe style with this wistful wine label. The stock choice, palette and illustrations, make the tale of this bottle irresistible. Flexo printed in four-color, the first thing that catches my eye is the romantic illustration of the girl—flowing hair, ropes of pearls, garlands of flowers. Presents: The Krampus Defense Kit

This week presents the Krampus Defense Kit. Little known, but much feared in German-speaking cultures, Krampus is the Yin to Santa’s Yang. While Santa gives gifts during Christmas, Krampus doles out punishment for bad behavior. The design team at Swink used this folklore to inspire a very inventive holiday self-promotion, the Krampus Defense Kit.

The Crucial Shelf Life of a Swatchbook

If your swatchbook is 2+ years old, make sure to check and see if a newer version is available; your clients are relying on you to be the well-prepared professional we both know you are. Presents: The Lillium Exhibition Catalog

This week presents the Lillium Exhibition Catalog that was designed by the team at Kunnert & Tierney for the Joseph Walsh show - Lilium. Embossed and lasercut organic shapes play against a gold foil-stamped and fold-in front cover. While beautiful in its own right, the design and execution also echo the play of light and shadow central to the artist’s sculptures.

What Printers Can Learn from French Butchers

Designers are always hungry for new ideas. They are eager for you to tell them about unique possibilities—new inks, binding trends, unusual combinations of paper and binding options. Don’t tell them about the latest printing equipment you bought—sorry but quite frankly designers (I am one, I should know) aren’t interested. Presents: 2014 BAFTA Film Awards Campaign (Video)

This week presents the 2014 BAFTA Film Awards Campaign. Designing for events as large as the British Academy of Film Awards (BAFTA) requires skills and talents so diverse that it’s much like directing a film...or building an entire city from the ground up. Leading the 2014 creative team, Human After All was charged with building awareness and excitement.