Responses by Pum Lefebure, chief creative officer, Design Army
Background: From the colorfully multidimensional cover to the oversized coffee table layout, Neenah Paper’s new editorial promotion Rethink Everything is designed to highlight and celebrate people who work with paper as a key material. We are now living in digital-first world, but there’s always a place for paper. All the artists featured in the promo are using paper as the material of choice to express their point of views. We want people to touch it, flip through it over and over again, learn from these inspiring stories, and, as a result, experiment with new ideas. This piece is meant to reignite the creative flame within.
Challenges: “Rethinking” itself is a challenging task. We asked ourselves, “How do we make Neenah Classic Paper new again?” We want to change the way designers feel about paper. Paper is not antiquated. With new ideas, paper can reinvent, and paper can be your secret weapon for business success. This humble material has the power to make a difference. We forced ourselves to push further than the usual paper product demonstration, discovering more meaning, more ideas and more perspective in looking at design and the business of creativity. Our goal is to celebrate the creative community; therefore, we had to remind ourselves to go beyond our traditional way of thinking about paper. We saw paper as sculptural, like one of the artists Zero Waste Daniel, and a foundation for building a business.
Favorite details: The process of crafting the message, the design and bringing the idea to life. From not knowing what this piece was going to look like until seeing the result to working virtually and meeting deadlines. Another important aspect was collaborating with inventive and disruptive artists. Discovering their ultimate creative souls and being able to present their unique perspectives though the Rethink Everything promo, both physically and digitally. We are telling the stories of these artists though our Instagram @neenahpaper for the next six weeks. We understand that print doesn’t have to stop at printed pieces and wanted to highlight an omnichannel approach when designing with print. We believe that print campaigns should have legs.
Specific demands: What made it harder than usual was the delay in shipping when we sent our paper to the artists. From Wisconsin to New York, Portland, Washington DC, Minnesota and Ukraine, it was a lot of heavy lifting. During COVID, everything is delayed, but we were able to meet the deadlines we had in place.
Anything new: The team is closer than ever. We met with our design team on Zoom and WebEx every week for six months. We were able to share intimate details of design and ideas while social distancing. It’s amazing what we accomplished and connected the artists from all over the globe.