The decision was made early on that this story would be about the client journey in commissioning an agency, rather than showing off our portfolio. Something to hand out to symbolise proof of our delivery and authenticity. It would be more of a manifesto than a mailer, a leave-behind to capture the essence of how we work with our clients along with an explanation of our methodology.
Adding layers to the story
Once the story and key design elements were in place, we wanted to set off the minimal design with a really rich visual and tactile experience to add another layer of messaging to the story and create a deeper brand experience. How could print be used to its full effect to translate the story into something you see and feel? The personality we wanted to convey was sophisticated simplicity and the possibilities were endless.
Working closely with our printers, we investigated several print specs and finishes. To get a tactile finish, we looked at uncoated stocks in our brand colours, with thermography or a foil emboss to get a raised effect. The challenges we found are that thermography is now mainly done on a small scale, and only possible on one side of the sheet. With foiling, we wanted to avoid the imprint left by the foil. However, our original paper choice was quite thin meaning an imprint couldn't be avoided. Some of the text was also too small to be foiled, and we decided the impact of foiling only part of the text wouldn't be enough.
We then explored the idea of duplexing with Downey. Duplexing would add a sense of permanence and authority to the piece, and we could create a lovely contrast between paper textures and colours to create more of a sensory experience.
However, when duplexing a 6 page folded format, the paper weights have to be perfect - too thin and it causes problems with rippling and bubbles, too thick and it causes issues with folding. Downey ran some tests, creating two different thickness prototypes for us to choose from, to make sure the weights would work.
We also wanted a metallic ink on an uncoated stock to match our brand colour to set off the design. We looked at several brands as metallic ink tends to sink into uncoated stock - which would result in a flat effect, rather than the lustre we were after. We were advised that the way around this would be to use the least porous paper available. Downey recommended Sirio Dark Blue as a good uncoated stock that would show off the metallic ink.
The final product
The final piece combines a deep, refined midnight blue stock with a smooth surface, printed with a rich silver, with a contrasting soft, pale grey with a rougher surface and a blue ink to match the blue paper. Authenticity is conveyed by bringing the words to life through the quality of print. Characteristics that are seen as given - authority, detail, permanence - are all communicated through the tactile qualities. A big thank you to everyone who worked on this with us!