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. 

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!

Lights! Camera! Design! This holiday calendar gift from Taylor Design sets an identity-packed scene with engaging script, brilliant paper plotting and thrilling illustrations.

This week, calls attention to Artifacture's Open House. Simple can be thrilling. Especially when it’s about to spring a surprise on you. As it does here. With this simple (you were warned) invitation from Artifacture.

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.

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