PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: The Next Journey
I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to a fun, quarantine-free year of travel. Let’s see, there’s The Netherlands in March, France in August, and Switzerland in December. My secret? This clever, multi-dimensional calendar that transforms our love of paper and our COVID-inspired restlessness into one brilliant, hopeful piece of art.
Designed by Hosoyamada Design Office and produced by my good friends at Ichikudo Printing Co. in Japan, “The Next Journey Calendar 2021” addresses our shared hope that we will someday soon be able to freely venture out into the world once more. It is also a master class in marrying a detailed artistic vision with just the right printing and finishing techniques.
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Let’s start with the packaging – a sturdy 330 gm (220 lb.) Iggesund Invercote G paperboard – designed to resemble a suitcase. (Note the enticing way the title wraps around one corner to accentuate the multi-dimensionality of this piece.) What could possibly be inside? Why everything you could need for a fun-filled excursion, of course!
Lifting up the hinged lid reveals a smart-looking passport nestled inside, its eye-catching red cover boasting a Silver illustration of the world, just in case there’s any doubt how big a journey it is we’re about to undertake.
Next we come to the main event: the calendar itself. And it might be one of the most creative ones I’ve seen in quite a while.
That’s because each month is rendered as a separate travel document offset printed CMYK on 240 gm (160 lb.) Invercote G. Some are airplane boarding passes, others cruise tickets, and still others train tickets, yet all have the same look and feel. And all offer extra embellishments such as foil or raised inks.
January, for example, is a boarding pass for a Japan to Finland excursion, complete with flight number, boarding time and seating assignment. The only thing missing, it seems, is any way to use it as an actual calendar.
And that’s when I discover that what I’m holding in my hands can actually be folded out like a pop-up! The moment I do, I not only find the days of the month running along the edges of the piece, but also an entire 3-dimensional winter wonderland scene of a frozen Finnish landscape in different shades of icy blue, a lone reindeer silhouetted in Silver beneath three looming trees. The effect is overwhelming and, if I’m honest in these times of forced confinement, quite moving.
The remaining cards conceal similar 3D surprises, including several beach scenes, breathtaking glimpses of birds in flight, and architectural wonders inspired by each card’s travel destination.
All are brought to life through a combination of excellent illustration, precise die cuts and effective pop-up engineering, all further enhanced by UV screen printing and inline foiling. That anyone could craft something so beautiful and so right for the times ONCE is amazing; that they could do so 12 times is an inspiring achievement.
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.