PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: The Year of the Goat Barn (Video)
Some people like to “travel the world” by watching crime dramas from overseas (“Wallander,” anybody ... the Swedish one, anyway). We like to sightsee by joyfully experiencing designs from around the world, learning about new cultures as we go ... even when it sometime lands us in the barn out back.
“Keeping with the Chinese tradition of exchanging gifts during gatherings on Chinese New Year, we featured goats as 2015 was the Year of the Goat,” explains Sean Lee at Malaysian creative agency Eminent, about their choice of promotion for Japanese papermaker Takeo. “The goat barn is a familiar scene in Malaysian villages and we went for a nostalgic look and feel.”
That “look and feel” were applied to this sweet packaging that is as highly detailed as it is whimsical. The individual “goaty” Mandarin orange holders are cute, certainly, but what really impresses is just how realistic the barn box looks.
“We decided to go back to basics – everything was hand drawn using mixed media,” says Sean. “We also studied the Malaysian barn carefully, right up to the smallest details, and picked the right elements for our design.”
I spent a good few minutes studying this barn closely, almost waiting for the rustic Malaysian cousins of The Borrowers to poke their tiny heads out through the windows. The individual pieces of wood that make up the structure really look like individual planks with differing hues, grain directions – a few even have knot holes. Trace applications of gold foil are used sparingly here, mostly to add a bit of bling to the festive elements on each side: on the Chinese characters and some dotted “blossom” highlights in the bushes beneath the windows.
The barn was made by using “interlocking fold mechanisms, which could hold eight Mandarin oranges,” Sean explains. “Each one had to be hand-glued, and shredded paper was included at the base to make it realistic.”
And that’s the crazy thing — you almost forget that this is all paper, offset printed CMYK on Eames Painting Vellum 216 gsm Solar White with a soft vellum finish that was then duplex laminated onto fluted cardboard.
So effective is this as a paper promotion, you can easily see this resting on a shelf near your desk, each goat carefully returned to its place in the barn window, long after “The Year of the Goat” is a distant memory.
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.