The power of print

Insights, Opinions, Print

We have worked with Terry over a number of years and his experience always provides us with the confidence that the final result will always look fantastic. His knowledge and enthusiasm for print is infectious, so we asked him to write a few words (we had to rein him in somehow!) about the power of print. So over to you Terry.

When our wonderful friends, the incredibly talented K4 Creative, first approached me about writing a short blog on the ‘Power of Print’, my initial reaction was hallelujah!, for once I’m not just writing in industry jargon and print speak! This feeling quickly subsided as I realised I was only allowed around 500 words and when talking about a subject that isn’t just your job, it’s your passion in life, 500 words isn’t very many.

To give the blog focus, I’m going to concentrate on just one recent project that we’ve undertaken alongside K4 Creative: an influencer-led restaurant guide for one of my favourite parts of my beautiful London, Chinatown. A project that needed to be engaging and contemporary and yet felt authentic to the old traditions of Chinese culture.

To understand how and why this document is such a powerful tool in conveying the brand message and values, I really do need to take you right back to the start of the process, the three paper stocks which were selected.

From the outside in, for the 6pp cover with throw-out K4 Creative selected a lightly textured off-white stock with a matt finish which has a luxurious warmth and parchment like quality. This is just the first of the textural elements at play…

"...there’s an emotive aspect to the feel of paper between thumb and finger, a trigger to the imagination."

Secondly a pure white stock was selected; soft to the touch and with superior ‘pop’ on the page to ensure that the amazing photography was shown at its best. So texturally we’ve now gone from an antique, almost watercolour paper feel, to a bold, modern, clean white.

The third and final stock in the texture play, dovetailing in wonderfully with the two contrasts was a trace sheet. Short of binding in rice paper, (which I feel pretty sure my Production Director would hit the roof about), this is about as close as you can get! This trace sheet, with its natural look and feel, is evocative of the food itself; eating out in Chinatown is never just ‘eating’, it’s an experience, rolling dipping, finger-licking experience and this conveys just that.

So, in terms of conveying the brand message, the backbone of the document itself speaks of the past, the future and of course, the experience, now for the ink and the finishes.

In contrast to the textured finish of the cover stock, bold foiling in a gold gave a metallic quality, a nod to the past and the ever present gold in traditional chinese art. This same gold foil carried over to the trace sheets. Utilising a brass die, for ultra-fine lines and detail, these pages were foiled to full coverage with repeat patterns based on traditional chinese design. I passed these during foiling and I don’t mind saying that the result was stunning and certainly had our entire factory talking that day!

Let’s go back to where I started; The Power of Print. Could all of the above be conveyed in such a sensory way in digital? No it couldn’t. The digital world serves its purpose and it is something that both I and the company that I work for embrace, but the ‘Power’ of the printed page is in its lifetime, its longevity. Who among us doesn’t still have that one childhood book that we loved, tucked away somewhere for reminiscence purposes. There’s an emotive aspect to the feel of paper between thumb and finger, a trigger to the imagination. Print has so much in common with cookery and food; the colour, the feel and the smell. After all these years in print (don’t ask, it’ll make me feel old), I still judge a potential purchase however large or small, by the print that surrounds it, be that a brochure, packaging or even just a swing tag.

Terry Shortland Moores division of DG3 Group: Terry.shortland@dg3.com