PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: EBD Music Mix Packaging (Video)
Thinking back on it now, few expressions of friendship or love were ever as truly intimate as someone putting in the hours to create a mixtape just for you. And if they really thought you something special, that included a personalized cover, too.
Recapturing that thrill – with much more sophisticated packaging, I might add – Ellen Bruss Design (EBD) for several years sent their clients a custom music mix around the holidays. (And unlike those mixtapes we shared in our misspent youth, each song in these mixes were legitimately purchased via iTunes for each client.) “Delivering the CD in a custom package,” says Bruss, “made it a truly unique card and gift combination for everyone to enjoy.”
To watch Sabine Lenz discuss EBD Music Mix Packaging click here or on the video below:
While I only recognized a few of the artist names on the 2008 edition, the creative use of foil stamping on the packaging went straight to the top of the charts for me. Inspired by their silver and brown identity colors, this package starts off with uncoated Neenah Classic Crest Canyon Brown 100-lb. Cover and proceeds to create circular patterns that riff nicely off the “08” by alternating clear and silver foil. The subtle deboss effect that’s a by-product of the foil stamping adds an unexpected-yet-effective dose of tactile appeal to the whole endeavor. Particularly fun are the areas in which the two foils overlap.
“The overlap created a third foil color,” Bruss explains, “and the clear foil over the brown paper really stands out. By using this technique, it was impossible to predict the colors that would be created. It was pretty experimental but it ultimately turned out great.”
Mindful of their environmental impact, EBD also incorporated the mailing panel into the back of the card itself, thereby reducing waste by eliminating the need for an envelope. “Almost everything was part of the design so there was not much for recipients to throw out.”
And as with the making of mixtapes back in the day, there are always lessons to be learned (e.g., which DJs had a propensity for talking over the intros). In the case of EBD’s 2008 packaging, says Bruss, “We learned what to expect when overlapping foil colors, specifically clear and silver, and the additional interest it creates in a piece.”
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.