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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. 


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 >>

Industry Centers:

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 >>

Industry Centers:

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 >>

Industry Centers:

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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The Reusable Christmas Card (Includes Video)

This week, presents the Reusable Christmas Card. This unusual greeting is meant to be reused, sent from one recipient to the next, much like those internal office memo envelopes, only much more stylish.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Why Print When It Is Online?

While we all have heard of the legendary Sears catalog of days too far back to remember, most companies have changed their tactics. Less pages, smaller in size, but greater frequency. They know that print still entices people to shop, be it online or over the phone.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Sephora VIB Rouge Press Kit (Includes Video)

How do you get the attention of the nation's top fashion editors—those busy people who are bombarded daily with press kits? You go BIG and you get personal. This week takes a look at the Sephora VIB Rouge Press Kit.  Read More >>

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The Labzeus Portfolio Kit (Includes Video)

This week, shows the Labzeus Portfolio Kit, designed by Brian Neumann, that offers a new and creative way of presenting a portfolio to a potential client or employer.  Read More >>

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QR Codes Are Dead

Within the course of three weeks, I’ve had two experts independently mention that the QR code is on its way out. Granted, that still did not prove its demise. But last week I came across this new study and now have statistical proof that, if not dead, QR codes are definitely SO yesterday.  Read More >>

The 'Invitation Only' Invitation (Includes Video)

This week, highlights an 'Invitation Only' invite for Clampitt Paper. The design team at Matchbox Studio in Dallas, was inspired by Russian nesting dolls, building anticipation as the reader opens each successively smaller layer to discover yet another element.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

Stop Stabbing Creatives in the Paper Back

My dear printer friends, please do not alienate designers by stabbing them in the proverbial paper back. Give our fabulous designs a chance to see the light of day the way they were intended: coated, uncoated or...  Read More >>

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Project Blackbird: Top Secret Branding Package (Includes Video)

This week, calls attention to a "top secret" branding package created by Project Blackbird, a motion graphics and direction company.  Read More >>

Industry Centers:

What Is the Difference Between Whiteness and Brightness?

Confused about Whiteness and Brightness? Brightness is a traditional measure that still appears on most packaging in the United States. The TAPPI standard (GE brightness) measures the ability of a paper to reflect blue light. Whiteness measures paper in the same way the eye sees it.  Read More >>

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Goodwill Annual Report (Includes Video)

This week, presents the Goodwill Annual Report. Printed by Graphic Litho of Lawrence, MA, this larger than poster size annual report shows how to create a narrative experience that rings authentic.  Read More >>

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