Paper has had a pretty rough time of it recently, with big printing company closures, publishers haemorrhaging cash and direct mail struggling to get the same amount of attention that other ‘sexier’ channels like online or TV get (despite NZ Post's recent study into its effectiveness). But advances in printing technology mean there are a number of creative possibilities now available, and a few recent Kiwi examples have caught our eye.
Direct and digital agency Twenty recently put together an invitation for an exclusive evening it is hosting for senior clients at the Royal New Zealand ballet's Swan Lake later in August. But rather than flick off an email, it wanted to leave a bit more of an impression with a highly personal and memorable communication.
"The agency's creatives [creative direction was by Kenton Osmond, art direction by Ben Eady and design by Liz Wilson] worked with A+DF Workshop who used laser-cutting technology to produce the intricacy of the finished design," says director Simon Breed. "Each invitation was personalised with the copy etched into the paper before being hand finished."
He says it has had some fantastic feedback on the invite and the craft involved in it. And, in what DM advocates will no doubt see as a ringing endorsement for the medium, there was a 100 percent response, "which was nice considering the audience was mainly CEO and CMO level".
Tuatara brewery has dabbled with paper in the past. Its print ad by Y&R during the RWC offered supporters a makeshift jersey, its packaging and design has featured on the dieline.com and the label for its Double Trouble IIPA came with an extra dimension. And now it's had some fun with the label for its Black Light Stout, which "offers our drinkers a healthy dose of eye-melting goodness".
Black Light stout labels were printed with multi-coloured ultraviolet ink, otherwise known as 'invisible ink'.
"If you've ever been to a neon party you'll know what we're on about. It's super-heroic in a way: under the everyday light of Earth the bottle might seem like any other beer bottle (mind the new scaly finish), but under an ultraviolet black light (UV-A), the bottle shines fiercely into the night!"
Tuatara hands out cardboard 3D glasses with every bottle of Double Trouble, but, sadly, despite some phenomenal growth and a new investor, Tuatara can't financially justify handing out complimentary ultraviolet bulbs. For those who are willing to go the extra mile, it's created an incentive to break out the black light lamp—and the Black Light beer—with a photo competition (enter on its Facebook page).
While those two efforts are fairly elaborate, BNZ kept things simple recently by attaching a 'powerful goal-setting tool' to a piece of DM inside customers' statements recently (NZ Post/Kinetic was the mailhouse). And that powerful goal-setting tool was a blank piece of paper, because "people who write down their goals are 33 percent more likely to achieve them".
And for those of you who are into geometry and detailed printing information, here's some fancy foldwork from the '60 second fold of the week' (told in two minutes, 37 seconds) from the Fold Factory.