Tactile Papers

We often trade stories about successful and not-so-successful marketing strategies. Elena with Pink Jacket Creative told me a story about an ad she designed that was to become an insert in a magazine. She was able to convince her client to use a high-end paper that was fabulous. It was so lovely that the stores were amazed at how many customers tore the insert out of the magazine and brought it to the store. They didn’t need to, the offer didn’t require it, but the tactile draw of the insert was too amazing for many to ignore.

Our sense of touch must be starving for some sensory stimuli and maybe that’s why tactile papers are making a come-back in 2011. At our weekly sales meeting this morning, Randy Manring from Neenah Paper was our guest speaker, along with Nancy Black of OK Paper. The Neenah Paper line of Classic Papers is well-known for quality, style and abundant tactile finishes. From Classic finishes such as Linen and Laid to the specialty textures of Columns and Esse, Neenah Classic Brand Papers “stand out in a vanilla market.” (I took this right off their newly designed book titled, The Power of Paper.)

Lovely paper gets noticed…add great design, interesting inks, a printer who knows how to print on uncoated papers and you’ll see (or feel) how print continues to impress.

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Nothing Breaks Even ~

When we were young kids, every Saturday night we were given one soda to divvy up between the three of us. To be fair, since our older brother Tim had the steadiest hand, he poured the soda into three small glasses. From there, Shelia and I got to choose first. There were no arguments, just focus. After that we added ice…since you couldn’t trust the ice to be even either and there was too much to lose. That precious soda wouldn’t come around again till next week. We didn’t feel bad about this process, this was just how life was, and I think we grew up really appreciating that Saturday night soda and the effort we took to get equal amounts.

The adages “in all fairness” or “all things being equal” are used everyday to convince us that life is fair. BIG news flash, life is not always fair, even or equal…there’s no way that it can be. Nothing breaks even, not cookies or brownies, client accounts or concert seats, not hearts or even wishbones. What keeps me balanced is realizing that some days I’m going to fall on the favorable end of the break and it feels good, really good. Then, sometimes when I get the small portion of the cookie and it doesn’t feel so good, that’s when I remind myself that ~ nothing breaks even.

Misunderstandings…

I’m certainly not the only one who misunderstands song lyrics. One friend told me that she thought Princes’ song Little Red Corvette was pay the rent Collette. I thought the song I Wanna New Drug by Huey Lewis was I want a new truck. Laugh if you want to, go ahead, but I bet you can tell me a song or two that you’ve misunderstood.

When I first moved to Texas I didn’t quite have my ear tuned to the southern nuance. It’s just a fact that you don’t always understand the same language from different regions of the United States. My first job in Texas was a Sales/Service Coordinator and I answered the telephone for seven sales people. I took messages when they weren’t around and handled questions. One good ole Texas man called in with a really thick drawl. He asked for Phil Friday. “He’s not in, may I take a message?” So far so good, right? Well, he said sure honey and told me his name….I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. Hmmm, pardon? He said his name again. I still had nothing. Thinking it was some complicated southern name, I went to the next step and asked him to spell it. “Sure…B O B”

To the man’s credit he didn’t laugh at me, well, at least not on the telephone. I was mortified and I can’t imagine what he told Phil or his friends. But, in retrospect, if he was friends with Phil, who was an ultimate gentleman, he didn’t make fun of me or throw me under the bus.

Like the mom and dad who are so patiently waiting for their baby to say the words…I love you back to them, let’s be patient in trying to understand each other.

Winter Weather ~

A lot of people wait until the very last moment to get their important job to the printer. So, what happens when a winter storm hits and the city shuts down? Do you have contingencies built into your production schedule for things that go wrong?

What if I can’t get the paper because the major freight companies are running behind or worse yet, not moving freight? What if the press your job is scheduled to run on requires an unplanned maintenance and the service technician can’t, or won’t, drive in ice? What if the foil we ordered from New Jersey couldn’t be shipped out because that part of the country was overwhelmed with snow and is shut down?

Down here in Texas we typically don’t have to think about extended winter weather related issues and closings. But when tragic weather challenges us, our empathy for other parts of the country grows. We realize we’re all pushing schedules and deadlines to the limit and we’re getting to the point where we just can’t make things happen any faster. We’d do ourselves a favor by slowing down a bit…and, the ice reminds us to do just that.