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. 

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.

Printed Samples Worth More Than 1,000 Words

When you talk to clients, show them real-life samples, even if the samples are not perfect, even if there are difficulties to consider. That, my dear printer friends, is what we as creatives need to see. We can paint the sky blue all we want; if you cannot print said blue, none of us are going to be happy in the end.

The Calitho Flag Promotion (Video)

We have to salute the team at Studio Hinrichs who designed the following Calitho promotion to create an impact with size, color and presentation. Standing out at a stately 35x23, the commemorative rendition of the U.S. flag makes a bold, graphic statement. Presents: Cult Partners' Holiday Promotion (Video)

This week presents Cult Partners’ year-end promotion, which is so appropriate for its client base. But really, who wouldn’t love 90-proof, white rum made by an artisan distillery and presented in this beautifully labeled bottle? You can see their inspirations—snowdrifts, mid-century design, abstract type, and holiday nostalgia—in every design choice Cult Partners made for this label.

The Paper Trifecta: Whiteness, Brightness and Shade

I was stunned. Stunned that someone I would consider an industry expert obviously did not know their stuff. With an easy swagger he interchangeably used the terms "whiteness" and "brightness" and "shade." Well, my mother taught me "If you cannot say something nice..." Anyway, here I am to set the record straight.

Leap for Survival Invitation (Video)

This week presents the Leap for Survival Invitation. The reason for this fundraising dinner? Very special frogs. With fewer than 120 Corroboree frogs left in the wild, Australia’s Taronga Zoo required a stirring concept for their charity event, and Another Color gave them just that with the Leap for Survival Invitation.