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Sabine Lenz

Making the Grade

By Sabine Lenz

About Sabine

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. 


'It's Okay To Leave Them Hanging' Paper Promotion (Includes Video)

This week, features "It's Okay To Leave Them Hanging," a clutch purse made of paper that shows how retailers can communicate with their customers in an unexpected and very compactful way.  Read More >>

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Design Camp 2013 Gather 'Round Brochure (Includes Video)

Gather around the campfire kids and warm up next to some very creative designs from FAME Retail for the AIGA Minnesota Design Camp 2013 conference.  Read More >>

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'Journeys for Water' Catalog (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to the "Journeys for Water" catalog which teaches Survival Strategies in Urban India and the quest for safe drinking water.  Read More >>

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The Nike Tech Pack Book (Includes Video)

This week, features the Nike Tech Pack product book. Nike Inc. and MET Fine Printers in Vancouver, Canada, have teamed up again to elevate fleece to new high-tech heights with a super-big and super-heavy format for big design style, featuring well-known athletes.  Read More >>

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'My Favorite Place to Crash' Self-Promotional Piece (Includes Video)

Whether it's a Victorian row house in the city, an igloo on the frozen tundra, a tent in the mountains, or a house in the tallest tree, there's just no place like home, and there's no better way to show off what Event Crashers in in Franklin, IN, can do than with this clever promotional piece.  Read More >>

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Why QR Drives Creatives QRazy

Adding a QR code to an e-mail blast feeds the dislike creatives have developed for these odd looking squares. Don’t get me wrong, QR codes as such are an interesting tool if used creatively and sensibly. But we pretty much ruined it from the get-go and now...  Read More >>

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'New Move Trend Diary' Self-Promotional Piece (Includes Video)

This week, presents the "New Move Trend Diary," self-promotional calendar piece created by German design firm EIGA Design, that examines visual trend and documents exceptional design around the central theme of motion and move.  Read More >>

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Save Thousands by Scrubbing Data

A combination of merge purge—the process of compiling multiple data records, retaining the desired data and removing unwanted addresses—along with basic list hygiene, will help you keep a clean list with recipients who actually want to hear from you.  Read More >>

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A Look at an Artful, Accordion-Folded Self-Promotional Mailer (Includes Video)

This week, presents the Happy New Year self-promotional mailer from 2communiqué in Delmar, NY. This piece has an artful format—an accordion-folded string of six panels in an open-ended, kraft-colored paper carrier.  Read More >>

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Why Augmented Reality is Doing You a Disservice

Some marketers want to use technology whether it makes sense—and thus provides a good user experience—or not. A good user experience takes work. Lots of work. It has to be planned and executed well.  Read More >>

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This Art Brochure Takes a Fresh Approach (Includes Video)

This week, takes a look at brochures designed by Rigsby Hull for international art consultant Weingarten Art Group in Houston. Filled with light and air, the unconventional approach gives the brochure and newsletter a timeless appeal.  Read More >>

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No Color Profile? Run for the Hills!

Whether it's uncoated, coated, gloss or matte, every sheet reacts differently on-press. That’s the reason why our industry has developed sets of guidelines and recommendations to help print buyers, designers, and specifiers work more effectively with their print suppliers.  Read More >>

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A Gift Wrap That's Also an Infographic and Poster (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to Stoller's Holiday Gift Wrap. No, it was never intended to be a poster. But we do suspect however that many recipients turned this 34x22 sheet of wrapping paper into a poster. What is also clever about this piece is that it is an infographic!  Read More >>

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The Alecom Corporate Brochure (Includes Video)

This week, presents the Alecom Corporate Brochure. To convey the "Let Us Lighten the Load." marketing message, Cacao Design in Milan, Italy, created a truly unique corporate brochure that literally floats inside its white presentation box.  Read More >>

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The 2014 Year Planner (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to a 2014 Year Planner designed by Glasgow, Scotland-based designer Kerr Vernon of KVGD. The year planner/wall calendar/poster features old handset type, letterpress printing combined with offset, and eminently touchable stock.  Read More >>

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An Invitation That Feels Like a Tire (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to the Harlie Invitation. Think Marilyn Monroe sitting atop a Harley-Davidson. This vision and vivid story conveyed here in this invitation is beautifully enhanced with a mix of substrates. The outer envelope feels like a tire but with a sophisticated dot pattern, which is replicated in the rose-petal-like RSVP envelope.  Read More >>

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An 'Eye Catching' Direct Mail Piece (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to an "Eye Catching" self-promotional piece created by printing firm Vision Graphics of Loveland, CO, that features a spot clear foil printed in register over a piercing blue eye on the front cover.  Read More >>

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Three Steps to Your Smell of Success

Getting scent onto paper can be as easy as adding a fifth color to the print job. Or you can embed the scent directly into your ink, apply a scented varnish, scented coatings, scratch and sniff, Rub'nSmell, Lift'nsmell...The options are plentiful and the uses range from scented direct mail pieces to catalogs to labels.  Read More >>

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Wine Auction Invitation With a Mountain of Inspiration (Includes Video)

This week, features a wine auction invitation that was produced for an annual fundraising event to benefit the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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Museum Gala Invite With Fold-Out Surprise (Includes Video)

This week, features the MCA Luminocity Gala 2013 invitation that was produced for the annual fundraising event held by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.  Read More >>

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