If you work with paper in any way, chances are the majority of your design work is conducted on a screen — and the paper itself has become almost an afterthought. Well, thankfully, the latest Mohawk Maker Quarterly is out, and it’s ready to shake up your entire approach.As Chris Harrold, SVP Marketing & Creative at Mohawk put it, “User experience doesn’t just describe how people navigate a website; it’s also how they engage with the real world. Texture, form and color are essential to that experience. So why spend so much time pushing pixels around only to think about materials at the last minute?”

The focus of this issue: Materials. And the vibrant and versatile Keaykolour papers from Arjowiggins Creative Papers play a starring role in this effort to wake us up from our computer-screen driven complacency. This Maker’s entire structure is a deconstruction of the very idea of a publication — it consists of not bound pages, but nine discreet objects in a 9×12″ format.Designed by Hybrid Design of San Francisco, the issue incorporates 16 (!) different Mohawk papers, presented in a bold, colorful container which immediately lets you know that this issue doesn’t just color outside the lines, the entire coloring book has been tossed out the window and completely reinvented in Dada form.A die-cut cover reveals the other eight objects inside, and three versions of the container were designed using three different Keaykolour shades, each paired and printed with bright match color inks.Inside, the remaining eight objects were designed and made from 13 different papers carefully selected from the Mohawk portfolio. Every object is a powerful, stand-alone demonstration of material selection serving design intent. All the content is curated to provide a different perspective on the topic of materials as its form simultaneously testifies to the potential of paper.

As an editor who often stresses over my own editor’s letter, I always pay careful attention to that from another editor, and frankly I haven’t seen one with a better pedestal than this one. The letter itself is inset into a folded sheet of Keaykolour Vellum in Old Rose. Written by Tom O’Connor Jr., it emphasizes the importance of color and material as it relates to brand: “To expand on Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase, the materials amplify the message. The right material can express a brand’s luxury positioning; the wrong one can contradict a company’s environmental claims.”Each of the ensuing objects is full of surprises, veritable spoiler alerts that I don’t want to give away, but suffice to say, they will help you take a fresh approach to whatever it is that you create. Subjects range from Time to Print Design, with one of my favorites being Waste Not, how four companies are using waste as their primary input material. Here’s hoping more hop on that train! The Movement also has an amazing, trading card-inspired presentation.I guess I can’t really close without mentioning that I was thrilled to be able to contribute to the Color Object, the last in the series. My piece, Color Code, concerns a fascinating tome called Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours. Darwin took his copy with him to the Galapagos Islands — and it should sit on every creative’s desk today!You’re just going to have to get a copy for yourself to learn more. Head over here to snag one for yourself and sign up for future mailings.

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