18 April 2012
Sappi Fine Paper unveils Standard 5 swatch book
TORONTO—Sappi Fine Paper and Ariva played host to an invited audience of printers, designers and publishers in Toronto last Thursday evening during the launch of The Standard 5: Special Effects, a 64-page print masterpiece that shows off several print techniques beyond the four-colour process.

The book, which is being handed out on tour to invited guests only, took about nine months to put together and required the help of several outside suppliers and illustrators to put together.

Sappi's Daniel Dejan shows off Standard 5

A few of the effects in the book include:
  • a lenticular method that creates depth and movement in an image of eyeballs in a jar, that follow the viewer as they walk by (the effect can be achieved through 3D software, in this case using 16 frames of animation interlaced into a single image);
  • scratchboard, a textural quality that simulates the feel of a pirate's earring and gold tooth (the placement of the tooth and earring allowed two foil strips to be applied in one pass);
  • a footprint in sand using debossed sculpted brass die and printed in four-colour with a sandpaper UV coating;
  • and an "invisible man" created by laser-cut dots on a bleed gray page. When folded open against a light background, the face is clearly visible.
Some of the pages show creative ways to design QR codes that allow printed pieces to link to websites via smartphones, in one case putting a skull and crossbones in the middle of the code.

3-D animated lenticular image

Daniel Dejan, print and creative manager for Sappi and award-winning graphic designer, was on hand to provide an overview of the book. Standard 5 designer Kit Hinrichs (Studio Hinrichs) was scheduled to be on stage as well for a conversation, but was not able to attend due to an ailment.

Dejan said "attention span is the number one challenge in marketing" and that using special effects is worth the extra coin because it helps direct mail and magazines stand out from the crowd. He said the vast majority of direct mail pieces (around 75 percent) are discarded simply because they're boring. "Any time you do something more, you show your commitment to the piece."

Print offers an enhanced experience through touch, he said: "Print is in fact sexual."

Laser-cut 'Invisible Man'

He said we're at a "seminal tipping point out of the dot-com recession" and that the new trend is "flight to quality... if you keep racing to zero, what is the impact to the customer?"

There were 75,000 copies of Standard 5 produced, and it was "relatively" expensive to make, said Dejan with a smile. It was printed using a six-unit conventional press, and six- and eight-unit UV presses with anilox coating systems.

Pirate-themed QR code

Printed invitation cards are still tops, he added (Sappi/Ariva sent out invites to the launch on large fold-out cards showing off some effects). While email is one way to reach people, the invites might end up in a junkmail box; in contrast, printed invitations invite people to offer up their email address, he said.

The visual themes for Standard 5 were inspired by retail concepts of 826 National, "a network of nonprofit tutoring, writing and publishing centres for students, ages 6-18, each connected to a wacky street-front store."

The swatch book is completely recyclable, according to Dejan.

Check out videos about the making of Standard 5 here, including how one page utilizes augmented reality.
— Jeff Hayward
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