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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. 


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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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 >>

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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 >>

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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 >>

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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 >>

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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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Look Outside Your Own Hula-Hoop

Think outside your own Hula-Hoop; don’t be caught out by your clients knowing more about what is available than you do. We are doing our customers, and our industry, a disservice by claiming something is not available just because we do not offer it.  Read More >>

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Water for People Corporate Identity Piece (Includes Video)

This week spotlights a corporate identity piece created for Water for People that features a pocket folder, letterhead and business card, that creatively highlights the mission of this organization.  Read More >>

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The Stoutnik Beer Label (Includes Video)

This week, features the Stoutnik beer label for Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout. The all-black packaging, frosted matte black bottle and blind-embossed dot pattern make this bottle label stand out!  Read More >>

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No One Cares How Green You Are

Thanks to your efforts—and to those of everyone in the print community who paid that bit extra to go green with you—sustainable has become the new normal, and that is an achievement to be proud of.  Read More >>

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Society for Rational Dress Promotional Piece (Includes Video)

This week calls attention to a promotional piece from Corinne Grassini, a California-born fashion designer and the founder of Society for Rational Dress.  Read More >>

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Napkinisms Magazine - Ideas from Creative Greats (Includes Video)

This week, features Wayward Arts magazine's seventh issue, Napkinisms. The printed, embossed and folded squares pay witty homage to the many romantic overtures, great inventions, clever marketing campaigns, and inspiring doodles birthed on cocktail napkins.  Read More >>

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