We are so fortunate at Embody 3D to get our hands on a great range of design titles, but if you are like me sometimes those logo, letterhead and brochure books can be a little draining. As I say sometimes: seen one, seen em all. That’s why I was delighted when Design/Paper: A Seductive Collection of Alluring Paper Designs by Public School and published by Rockport crossed my desk. Paper is one of the most important decisions you can make in any print project and it is by far the most overlooked which is a shame as there are so many diverse and exciting options available for designers. Design Paper might help you rediscover your designs or provide you with the winning edge to really woo your clients.
Cody Haltom from Public School admits in his introduction that the digital age is among us and is increasingly stealing the importance away from print media. But Cody eludes to there being something special about physical media…being able to touch it with your own hands and to be able to take it with you and easily pass it onto someone else. There’s just something more emotional about print, and this is the notion carried on throughout the title.
From my experience having some nice paper can even make fonts like papyrus seem decent, even in a non-Egyptian context. When Design Paper talks about paper it is not merely talking about the colour, texture and gauge of paper, but also how one can manipulate the medium to create something unique. This is what Design Paper is about; it is a portfolio book of creative thinkers exploiting a medium to its full potential, a medium that has existed for around 2200 years.
The title is split up into the follow chapters:
Identity – granted this chapter is a bit open as it is anything that is associated with individual or business identity. This includes works like coasters, business cards and menus. One of my favorite designs (and maybe it’s because I am a drummer) is this crazy yellow business card with a drum skin that you can hit with a real drum stick, this is a snippet of some of the innovative work in this chapter.
Print – this chapter contains works like annual reports, magazines and brochures. It’s fascinating watching over the years the dull corporate annual report being transformed into a real design platform. So it should as well, as you want to present an inspiring round up of your financial position, and a funky design almost suggests your company is going well enough to spend money on an annual report in the first place!
Packaging – packaging covers a variety of packaging designs including shopping bags, product packaging from colouring books to chocolate and confectionary and beverages.
Cards and Invitations – this chapter is a real gem especially if you do a lot of wedding or birthday card invitiations or any event for that matter. You will pick up many funky ideas including an invitation that looks like a record label and this beautiful print on thin ply wood.
Papercraft – the paper craft is certainly the most interesting part of the title and takes these 2 dimensional designs to the 3rd dimension. It includes little pop-out figurines, puzzles and even paper planes.
Each chapter has a witty introduction from a designer and these introductions are the only reading you will be doing in this book. The author suggests that these introductions are essays, but they are nothing of the sort, they are rather Twitter posts on steroids because of their colloquial nature.
As you can tell by these chapters Design Paper has a great mix of works, it’s all under one roof, but all the designs brilliantly present paper in all its glory. For those paper fanatics out there like me you will really appreciate this book, and for designers, you have my personal guarantee that you will leave inspired and with a conscious and thoughtful attitude on your next paper making decision. It’s fairly difficult to fault this book, but if I could pick anything it would be that it is missing information on the paper itself. It would be awesome if they detailed who actually printed the work, what stock of paper it was printed on, and what other considerations were made. It is a little bit too similar to other portfolio books in this regard. Despite this I am going to give Design Paper a well deserved 4 stars.