Making the Grade

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. 

Designers and printers are pushing the proverbial envelope with laser diecutting, realizing breathtaking results in the process. Is this really a trend? To find out I did what we all do these days—I Googled it.

This week, features Jim Beam Wood Label. Someone must have felt intoxicated when they found this substrate from Graphic Wood Technologies. The 13-pt. Text Cherry Sheer Veneer makes for a spectacular Jim Beam Wood label on this bottle of American Stillhouse Limited Edition Bourbon Whiskey.

We know what the finished piece should look and feel like. We have touched and approved the paper; we know the individual print and finishing processes—our list of ingredients, if you will. And based on all this we expect a certain end result.

This week, features the Warm Holiday Wishes Card. The team at Design Is Yummy used an impressive menu of visual, tactile and interactive ingredients to create the perfect holiday card (i.e. one that you can drink).

This week, features a promotional piece created by Saad Branding+Design to highlight its solutions for creating brands that talk to people. From postcards and brochures to envelopes and stickers, the design team thought of everything and brought it all together coherently.

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