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. Presents: The Currents Identity System (Video)

This week, calls attention to an identity system created for Currents Identity, a Plymouth, Minnesota-based apartment community. Seldom do you see much thought put into the marketing of an apartment development these days, even a luxury one. That’s not the case with Currents whose online nautical theme blends creatively with a truly sumptuous identity system. Presents: Finefolk Marketing Materials (Video)

When Finefolk was looking for a way to extend its brand beyond the store, Design Ranch created a unique invitation for Finefolk's spring fashion show. The invitation is a smart 11-by-13-inch poster that is cleverly twisted and turned and folded to become a self-mailer, with a small RSVP card tucked away inside. Presents: Here Magazine, A Look at LA's Koreatown (Video)

Tailored to guests at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles Koreatown, Here magazine gives "insight into the neighborhood around it—not just the tourist hot-spots," explained Adam Johnson of design firm Xtra Shiny. The bright white 80-lb. Via Linen Cover turns out to be an excellent choice for this perfect-bound volume that resists the urge to go for a full bleed with its cover photo while making the magazine name and GPS coordinates stand out on the spine. Presents: Super Bowl Party Invitation (Watch Video)

NFL team owners are really big on big. Big stadiums. Big players. Big wins. So when the National Football League wanted to get owners to attend its party for this year’s Super Bowl face-off between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks in Phoenix, they went long, they went deep, and they went big. Produced by DataGraphic in Brentwood, New York, the chunky 4.5x10" invitation feels appropriately substantial thanks to that 130-lb. Classic. Presents: Tenshen Wine Labels (Video)

It takes a certain talent to make the elaborate seem effortless, the complex seem simple. And so it is here with these two labels for Tenshen Wines. Cult Partners uses the underlying theme of tension (the kind involved in making the right move at the right time) to create a visually memorable brand.

Why Designers Don't Buy Variable Data Printing

If I had a dollar for every time the subject of variable data printing (VDP) came up over the last few weeks, I’d be a happy woman indeed. And never more so than at GRAPH EXPO, where vendors and PSPs alike were touting the possibilities of this powerful digital printing option. Still, I have yet to find a designer OUTSIDE GRAPH EXPO who knows what VDP is, and is eager to embrace it. Presents: Lovesong Chapbook (Video)

This week, calls attention to the "Lovesong" chapbook. The romantic souls at Brooklyn’s Communica Design transformed the poetic verse and watercolor paintings of Beirut artist Afaf Zurayk into a light and airy 56-page meditation on love and all its complications.

Why Designers Don't Attend GRAPH EXPO

The landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years for sure, but visiting GRAPH EXPO must be every print-service provider’s dream come true: the latest and greatest printing technology as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, if you were a designer, the chances of being able to have a chinwag with one of your peers were not good. Presents: [my-ness] Chapbook (Video)

This week, calls attention to the [my-ness] chapbook that was published by Missing Links Press. Ingalls Design created this thoughtful and inspiring printed piece. The details serve to complement and enrich Jane Hirshfield’s moving poetry where each selection begins with the word "My." Presents: Wayward Arts Typoccult (Video)

The design team at The Workhouse has revealed its obsession with typography in Wayward Arts Magazine (Issue 18) from Flash Reproductions. Drawing connections between typefaces and tarot characters, the over-sized 12-card deck is nothing short of mythical, magical and magnificent.

If You Spec It...They Will Make It

You can get your desired color of paper (and weight, for that matter) custom made by a paper mill. Just for you. Just the way you (or your client) likes it. In fact, most mills have always offered this as an option, yet not many printers or designers that I’ve met seem to know it.