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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. 


Paper Trail Wine Label (Includes Video)

Every three years, Clampitt Paper sponsors a special competition for designers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. shows the winning Paper Trail Wine Label.  Read More >>

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The Secret Power of Razzleberry

A colored sheet makes a marvelous base for a number of outstanding marketing pieces—and I am not talking fluorescent, eye-catching fliers that announce your next garage sale.  Read More >>

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Celebrating Advertising Exec Leo Burnett (Includes Video)

This week, pays homage to Leo Burnett with this invitation. Design firm Leo Burnett Chicago under Global Creative Director Mark Tutssel, took their lead for the agencies 77th anniversary from this magic number and created—77+.  Read More >>

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When Technology Kills Your Marketing Efforts

If you had a chance to read my last QR code rant, brace yourself—QR codes are not the culprit here. On further investigation, the problem turns out to be us (or our clients). An experience at a new Indian restaurant caused me to scan the QR code on their cups, which only led to their Website. BORING.  Read More >>

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A Self-Promotion Mailer with All the Bells and Whistles (Includes Video)

This self-promotional piece from GLS Cos. in Brooklyn Park, MN, contains all the bells and whistles, literally, to create a memorable and engaging experience.  Read More >>

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Quit with the QR Craziness Already

When was the last time you scanned a QR code? Now be honest. If it was less than three weeks ago, are you hooked now? Not to worry, I do not really expect you to answer. But ask your friends. Do they know what to do with these things? Do they have the software? Do they know what this funny square thing is even called?  Read More >>

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Herringbone Grand Opening Invite (Video)

This week, features a very elegant invitation that was designed for the grand opening of Herringbone, the happening eatery of former Top Chefs Baumgarten and Malarkey in La Jolla, CA.  Read More >>

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Easing Your Etailer Client into Direct Mail

To capture an audience, there is no better vehicle than a high-quality, visually alluring catalog. Of course you and I have always known about the distinct advantage catalogs have thanks to their photography, paper and print quality. And of course their attention-grabbing size.  Read More >>

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The Paperkut Business Card (Includes Video)

This week, features the Paperkut Business Card, a fun, interactive and three-dimensional, business card from designer Tommy Perez. The business card takes a "business in the front, party in the back" approach—using duplex laminated stock, with white in front and a variety of color in the back.  Read More >>

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Add Mind Reading to Your Skill Set

“I need a reliable source for raised-print business cards.” Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But wait...“The raised print is a design and not lettering.” Now we are narrowing it down.  Read More >>

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Auction Napa Valley Invitation (Includes Video)

This week, questions why you can't have a little fun while doing some good in the world? Designers Michael Osborne and Alice Koswara of MODSF took their lead from this attitude and created an elegant invitation with a modern twist for the Auction Napa Valley event.  Read More >>

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Paper Mills and the Swatchbook Tease

I am realistic enough to know that no paper mill can visit every designer in the nation. Perfectly reasonable, but at least give them a chance to see what you have on offer without asking them to jump through numerous hoops and wait, and wait.  Read More >>

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An Unconventional Undergarment Catalog (Includes Video)

This week, features the catalog for the yet to be launched NOE undergarments. The lines inspiration, a unique combination of the hard lines of cityscapes and feminine fluidity, calls for an unconventional marketing approach.  Read More >>

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4 Ways to Take Your Cards to the Colored Edge

Gilded edges have been a staple of wedding invitations for years. More recently, I’ve noticed the occasional business card with color on the edge. But now...the trend is unmistakable.  Read More >>

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Entice Clients with Interactive Business Cards (Includes Video)

This week's piece, by designer Claudia Neri of Teikna Design, is a clever interactive business card that shows off some of the projects that the firm has produced. Now, what a wonderful way to entice clients and entertain them!  Read More >>

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Avoiding the Price/Quality/Service Trap

Quality and customer service—and price for that matter—are all intertwined. You can have the best quality procedures to run your projects efficiently, but if your customer service team falls short of expectation, you lose.  Read More >>

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2013 Typography Calendar (Video)

This 2013 Typography calendar, from Studio Hinrichs, features some very unique type faces, that are sure to please the typography lover in us all.  Read More >>

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Warning: Do Not Print on Colored Stock

Encourage your client to be bold, to embrace and enhance the design with his/her paper choice. Just off the top of my head I can think of ample ways to do so.  Read More >>

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A Card That Screams Presence (Video)

This week, features a perfect match of tagline and corporate Identity. "Make Your Presence Known" is the mantra of At Media, a boutique branding agency in Philadelphia. And with this fun, colorful and inventive business card, they've done just that.  Read More >>

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The Trouble with Pantone Books

A new Pantone book is not only there in case your issue has faded or to update you on the new colors Pantone has added...Pantone reserves the right to adjust some of your tried-and-true colors from year to year. I learned this the hard way on a press check a few years ago when my printer’s PMS 362 did not match mine.  Read More >>

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