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Pentagram's Michael Bierut Designs Personal Best for Mohawk

Friday, October 05, 2007

Press release from the issuing company

October 5, 2007 -- Part of the fun of reading two new books from Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. is getting a glimpse into the minds of people who really care about what they do, whether it's cooking or golf or watching movies or running fashion shows.
When Mohawk enlisted nationally renowned designer Michael Bierut, Pentagram, NY to design promotions for Mohawk Superfine and Mohawk Navajo, his response to the challenge was typical Bierut; provocative and profound. "It's easy to do work for Mohawk because everything looks so great on these papers. Hard, because everything looks great on these papers.  If we can print anything we want, how do we decide what to print?"
With a brain that has been likened to a giant compendium by Pentagram partner Paula Scher, this is just the type of challenge that the intellectually curious Bierut welcomes.  "Obviously, we could take the easy way out and just create, say, a beautiful portfolio of a single photographer's work.  But we wanted to make it harder," he said.
The Pentagram team asked people from jazz musician Wynton Marsalis to author Kurt Andersen to humorist Andy Borowitz to motorcycle guru Willie G. Davidson to pick their favorites or "personal bests" from a wide range of categories.  When the answers came back, said Bierut, "we found ourselves working with subject matter we never would have selected ourselves: pages from rare books from the University of Texas' legendary Ransom Center, vintage grainy black and white photography from smoky jazz clubs, oversaturated comic book illustrations."
The content in both books is rich, informative and often humorous.  Bobby Flay reveals the brand of the 12-inch chef's knife that helps him reach his full potential as one of the top celebrity chefs of American cooking.  Wynton Marsalis explains why "Thelonius Monk Plays Duke Ellington" defines the 21st century and the history of jazz.  Polymath Kurt Anderson chooses George Lois's magazine covers for Esquire in the sixties as classics, pointing to theApril 1968 image of Muhammad Ali photographed by Carl Fischer, which dramatized the boxer's persecution for his personal beliefs.  Fashion insider Fern Mallis from Seventh on Sixth reveals the best lipstick brand -- Mac -- it is colorful and creamy and best of all raises millions of dollars for charities and causes.
But it is not only the selection of "bests" that engage.  The untold story of both books is the lengths that Pentagram went to bring authenticity to the content. For instance, after countless want ads on eBay and craigslist to find the particular issue of Esquire referenced by Anderson (impossible to find as it is a sought after collector's item), Bierut recalled he knew the photographer of that shoot.  After a phone call, Pentagram received a goodie box from Carl Fischer with old contact sheets, original prints, and outtakes from the original shoot.  The fact that Bierut and his team went to such extremes to create their own 'personal best' is what makes these books so valuable.
"These books represent what I consider to be the very best in paper promotions," says Laura Shore, Senior Vice President Communications for Mohawk.  They are true classics; they inform and inspire.  They do not get caught up in the quest for novelty but rather seek to provide relevant content and insight.  These are books that speak not only to the entire design community, but to anyone who is intrigued by the way brilliant minds work."
Mohawk Superfine and Mohawk Navajo Now Made with Windpower
In June 2007 Mohawk announced that all the electricity used to manufacture paper would be offset with renewable windpower, which adds legendary Superfine and Navajo to the company's windpower portfolio.  For more than five decades, Mohawk Superfine has been regarded by many as the finest text and cover paper produced anywhere in the world. Despite the watershed shifts from letterpress to offset to digital printing, Superfine has endured. Navajo, another venerable paper brand, was reinvented in the mid 1990s. A perfect choice for designers who want to transition their clients from coated to uncoated.  Navajo features the patented Inxwell process and is the brightest, smoothest, best--printing uncoated text and cover paper on the market. In addition, Navajo was designed to run cross platform on digital and offset presses and is a great choice for high end digital and variable data projects.
"Both Superfine and Navajo are considered 'best in class' for their performance," said Shore. We're glad to add environmental performance to their impressive range of attributes."
About the books
Personal Best Mohawk Navajo was printed by The Hennegan Company, Florence, Kentucky.  Personal Best Mohawk Superfine was printed by Blanchette Press in Vancouver, BC.  Both books were designed by Pentagram's Michael Bierut and Katie Repine.
Copies of the books are available at www.mohawkpaper.com or call 1 800 the mill.




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