Finding   just got
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Tips for inspiration/How to keep it interesting

When it comes to printing, there’s a great deal of technical information and detail that can be confusing to understand. For this Printing 101 blog series, we’ve partnered with a few local printers to address common questions and concerns that come up during the printing process. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Pay attention & start a collection
    Graphic designers, as well as other creatives, tend to have physical collections of materials they like to reference — this especially comes in handy for print, since you’re literally making something that will take up physical space (not something that exists solely on the internet). So carve out a little room in your filing cabinet or get a binder or even make a literal Pinterest board and fill it with other materials that inspire you.

  2. Get out and look around
    • Head to the library and look for some good book covers or browse the magazine section
    • Go to the store and look at some fun package design in the candy aisle. (I once bought a $10 candy bar and justified it as design research. The packaging was amazing and the candy was delicious!)
    • Head to a coffee shop — check out the artwork or posters on the wall. Starbucks usually has a print piece or two that are pretty well designed — even if it’s just the nutritional information brochure, it’s worth paying some attention.
    • Go visit some other churches and collect samples of the same kinds of things you  use at your church (worship program, event flyer, welcome goodies).
    • Walk around outside. Some fresh air and good scenery can do wonders for your brain.

  3. Free samples!
    You can order paper samples to help you get ideas — this is also a helpful way to understand the different types of paper and materials available. Here are a list of options to check out:
    • Get in touch with your printer and ask them for a set of swatchbooks and any free samples they may have. They are usually happy to provide you with options.
    • You can also contact paper companies/their distributors directly (be sure to ask about cost as there may be a charge for some samples):
      • French Paper Co
      • Mohawk
      • Neenah Paper
      • Sappi
      • Moo (they’re a little more expensive than other online printers but their quality and special printing features are worth it)
      • GotPrint (their samples aren’t super well designed, but you’ll get a good range of paper samples)

List of favorite resources for print inspiration

  1. Web Sources:
    1. Pinterest
    2. Behance
    3. Moo Inspiration

  2. Design Blogs:
    1. For Print Only (FPO)
    2. Creative Bloq
    3. Felt & Wire by Mohawk Papers
  3. Everyday things:  
    1. Magazines! 
    2. Good junk mail. Every once in awhile it happens — for example, Toms (shoes) sends out some great catalogs and ads.

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About the Author

Marie Miley

Problem solver disguised as an artist. Former agency and non-profit ministry designer. Hoosier by marriage, Buckeye since birth. Traveler & adventurer. Surrendered to His plan.

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