So what made this quarter's PaperSpecs Gallery Take Note Award winner a standout? The fleece fabric embedded into the front cover of the Nike Sportswear Fleece Brand AW77 book. This authentic element along with superb printing and design turned highly effective marketing collateral into an artful keepsake.
"I was amazed with the overall quality exhibited by all 10 finalists," said Tim Larsen, president of Larsen (Minneapolis, MN and Menlo Park, CA) and judge for the Quarter Four competition. "But the Nike piece stood out to me because of that fabric in the front cover. Combined with the use of uncoated paper and the honest photos and illustrations, and you've got an engaging piece of communication that captures our attention and holds out interest."
The design team at Opolis Design Inc. (Portland, OR) that helped Nike launch its fleecewear line knew the marketing materials had to reflect the pride and excitement this sportswear giant was feeling about the product.
"Nike Sportswear was reengineering vintage styles in a really high-quality way," explains Dan Richards, principal at Opolis Design. "The fleece (made with a special method using old Japanese loopwheeler machines), the raw book board on the cover, and the uncoated stock on the text pages evoked just the right vibe - a handcrafted vintage feel."
Once the concept was approved, it became the responsibility of MET Fine Printers (Vancouver, BC) to pull off the magic of getting the fleece embedded into a diecut window on the front cover while retaining a smooth look on the inside.
In addition, there are 52 text pages of text that had to measure up to the creativity and uniqueness of the cover.
"The way the photography was treated really captured me. These were some of the sexiest-looking zippers, for instance, that I've ever seen. There's one spread with a close-up of polished metal pull that just looks so crisp and beautiful. When we saw the photography, we really wanted to pay homage to it and make sure that we did a really good reproduction job," says Scott Gray of MET Fine Printers.
Using UV inks and coatings, 10-micron stochastic screening, and Mohawk Options Text and Cover stock, the details of the rich photography sat cleanly and vibrantly on every page.
"All parties involved with this PaperSpecs Gallery Take Note Award winner certainly deserve our admiration for what they were able to achieve. Designers pushing the client to explore outside their comfort zones and printers eager to take the journey with them is the kind of talent and inspiration this award is meant to recognize," sums up Sabine Lenz, founder of PaperSpecs.com.
Production Notes for Nike Sportswear Fleece Brand Book
Design: Opolis Design
Art Direction: Dan Richards and Michael Verdine, Opolis Design
Creative Direction: Jennifer Lorentzen, Opolis Design
Print and Finishing: MET Fine Printers, Scott Gray
Colors: UV Inks in CMYK, Match Orange, Overall Satin Varnish
Specs: 52 Text Pages, Covers pasted into Case-bound cover with pieces of Nike Fleece encapsulated on Outside Front Cover, Quarter Tape Binding, CD Pocket on Inside Back Cover
Stock: 80 lb. Mohawk Options Cover and 80 lb. Mohawk Options Text
Sustainable Elements: Paper and Board contained 100 percent PCW (postconsumer waste) fiber and printing done using zero-VOC emitting UV Inks.