PaperSpecs Presents: Whimsical Foiled Pencil Boxes
With constant deadlines, troubleshooting and budget concerns, it’s easy for many of us to forget why we got into print and packaging in the first place: the pure joy of bringing something beautiful (and practical) into the world.
And it is joy that practically shines out from this pencil box, in part because of all the lovely foil used to bring it to life.
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This piece, in one of four different colors used, is the latest collaboration between our good friends at Studio Sutherl& and Boss Print and was designed to demonstrate just how much print can still resonate with people even today. And boy does it.
Because we are dealing with true perfectionists here – my kind of people – the tone is already set with the corrugated shipping box that features debossed illustrations that we will meet again throughout the project.
The box houses one of 4 different colored pencil boxes; illustrations of 4 different characters grace each of the box’s 4 sides, and are simply bubbling with personality.
Rendered in a different colored foil on each side, they were created by illustrator Rebecca Sutherland, wife of Studio Sutherl&’s founder, Jim, and might look a little familiar. That’s because the character designs incorporate aspects of pencil usage, from pencil shavings to miniature pencils. A quick glance at the top of each lid reveals the foiled words “Pencil Box,” which are also rendered in the same stylized patterns/typography that make up the character illustrations.
Picking up the box adds a delightfully tactile element to this experience thanks to the use of different colored 125 gsm (80 lb.) Fedrigoni’s Imitlin Tela embossed papers, which feel like a fine book cloth and contrast beautifully with the smooth, haptic experience provided by the foil.
But wait ... what’s that rattling around inside?
Sliding the lid off the telescoping neck of the pencil box, you upend it and out come...you guessed it: pencils! These are accompanied by long, narrow strips of paper that look like bookmarks, but are in fact intended to be used as postcards. These are made from 300 gsm Fedrigoni Tintoretto Gesso and feature messages printed in Gray ink. These invite you to sketch, scribble or take notes – all rendered in that fun pencil-box typography.
Also inside, a snazzy guide to the characters depicted on the box itself printed with Gold ink on Black 110 gsm (70 lb.) Fedrigoni Sirio Color Nero paper. (Fun fact: It turns out that the owl is actually Bubo, Perseus’ mechanical helper from the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans – who knew?!) On the back is some interesting information about the pencil-themed type used in the project. And the way this piece is folded to fit inside the box not only holds the pencils in place during shipping, but it also makes it the perfect desktop storage rack for said writing instruments.
To cap it off (pardon the pun), you can place the lid back on the box any way you like, meaning you can give the bodies on the sides a different head each time. Just be warned, you might find yourself spending quite a bit of time doing this throughout the day.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, 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.