Help Your Clients Cheat…and be Rewarded

More than 174 retail locations. Recurrent winner of “Most Popular Store” in New York City´s Zagat Shopping Guides. Anthropologie is doing something right.

Describing this retailer as simply “a brand that sells women’s clothing and…” would be correct, but a huge understatement. The Anthropologie brand exudes a sense of romance, craftsmanship, bohemian style and creativity. It’s also known to have some of the most creative and elaborate decor showcased in their windows and showrooms.

In short, they embrace their niche and do everything possible to stand apart from the rest of the retail crowd…including cheating.

Grabbing the market’s attention

And as we all know in marketing, we have mere seconds to grab the buyer’s attention and interest. Rising to the top of the pile of glossy magazine-style catalogs that 99 percent of retailers send, the Anthropologie catalog always catches my immediate attention.

Yes, it’s gorgeously designed (This month’s theme was Portugal.). But more importantly, it’s printed on uncoated paper…well, the cover is. And this is what I mean by cheating.

On the inside, Anthropologie opts for a coated publishing stock—much cheaper considering the quantity printed. The look and feel throughout the piece is perfect—absolutely inline with the branding of their stores. But they stop me in my tracks every time with the tactile quality of that cover printed on uncoated stock.

And you don’t have to print hundreds of thousands of catalogs to benefit from this lovely bait-and-switch tactic.

Gather around a tight budget
Gather Journal, an independently published magazine about the love of food, cooking and gathering with friends, is produced on a very tight budget. They too show us how it pays to cheat.

“The biggest thing that I learned with this project was the combination of an inexpensive grade inside (when I say inexpensive, it’s not the cheapest paper you can buy, but it’s an opaque offset) with a beautiful, beautiful cover by Mohawk, “ says Frits Kouwenhoven of Hemlock Printers and the printer of Gather Journal. “To put those two together, I don’t know, as a printer day in and day out, it would never really have come to me.”

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. 

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  • Frits Kouwenhoven

    Congrtulations to Gather Magazine….if you have not all ready go and purchase a copy of this Yummie collector style magazine. Gather around and enjoy it.