It’s occurred to us here at Boxcitement that we need to share with you something we’ve known for a long time; paper is ace. It is clearly something that we are all very familiar with in our day-to-day lives, but something whose beauty and tremendous versatility is often overlooked. We’d like to set the record straight and make a case for everyone sharing a bit of love with paper.
Paper has existed for almost 2000 years, and during this time it has undoubtedly established itself as the most effective, versatile and ubiquitous means of communication in the developed world. Even now, when we live in the digital age with a plethora of alternative media to choose from, paper’s unique array of practical and aesthetic qualities simply can’t be matched by using electronic alternatives, so there are no signs of its use declining.
That said environmental concerns have rightly moved up the agenda, and have an increasing influence over the decisions we make every day. A popular misconception is that the paper industry is responsible for mass deforestation and has an adverse impact on the environment. It doesn’t. The paper industry lobby is keen to point to its environmental credentials – sustainability is in the industry’s DNA.
We live in a world where electronic and paper-based communications coexist and are often complementary. Communication strategies must not only be cost effective but also recognise consumer choice. There are many tangible benefits that paper based documentation can bring and its preference as a means of communication by many consumers must be at the forefront of any digital planning.
The power of polymer
If you are lucky enough to have visited Australia, you will have noticed that their paper currency is made of what feels like plastic – it is in fact a polymer, designed to be tear-proof and user-proof, making it virtually indestructible – a rare quality in paper money. It can be washed with no ill effects, and for added security each note has a transparent section with an image water embedded into it. They’re pretty cool and defy many of the pre-conceptions of the fragility and temporary nature of paper.
Feel the difference
There are qualities that some papers possess that demand a physical reaction when you touch and rub them; think of your reaction when someone gives you a nice greetings card or a quality business card – it’s almost impossible not to pass some comment with an accompanying ‘ooh’ or ‘ahh’. Raised type such as that created when using the Letterpress printing method is a particular favourite of ours. We’ve recently been working with British paper manufacturer G.F Smith and have had a lot of ‘ooh. ahh’ moments. If you get the chance (and you will if you order a Boxcitement box!), take a look at and touch their range of papers called Gmund Action (which Printweek.com describe as being “…. the very top of the market – think the high-end of couture, or Savile Row tailoring rather than the high street”), and the extremely tactile Softy – we’re busy coming up with ideas for using this paper in the near future.
Our love affair with paper
We’re not alone in appreciating paper: As you can imagine there are many websites and blogs dedicated to the stuff. There are high fend designers blogging about their love affair with paper such as Pretty Lovely Paper, by Abigail Warner, who has greetings cards in Paperchase and Selfridges in London as well as Royalty on her speed dial. In the US, Oh So Beautiful Paper, a blog by a similarly avid paper addict writes about block printing, foiling and letterpress. There are lots of pictures of ranges of stationery, greetings cards and some tutorials on how to produce some of the amazing creativity on show in your own kitchen.
In conclusion, if you’re involved in using paper in any way (which means everyone!), we’d urge you take advantage of the qualities paper can add to improve your day to day existence. More ohhs and ahhs all round!