Making the Grade

Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, 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. 

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.

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.

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.

Advertising media, interactive displays, product labeling and packaging, security—all are perfect playgrounds for NFC technology. Yes, some of the marketing applications are similar to QR codes, but without the ugly square that has been driving design-minded folks crazy for years.

OK, I’m not proud of this: I tried to sneak some Xerox beta samples from GRAPH EXPO last year, but their team watched me like a hawk. So you can imagine my delight when last week, Xerox officially debuted the subject of those samples: their digital metallic inks. And even better, the ink is actually available, as in NOW!

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