WIGSTON'S MUSINGS

17Sep
September 17 2020
Design Advice 

6 Ways To Tackle A Difficult Design Brief

6 Ways To Tackle A Tricky Design Brief If you work in a creative industry, then you know that troublesome briefs come with the territory.  From the super-complex to the utterly mundane – via the minefield that is ‘designers’ block’ – there are times in even the most successful designer’s life when they struggle to find inspiration and a solution to their clients’ needs. What separates the wheat from the chaff in these instances is the ability to work through the bottleneck, breaking the creative process down into its component parts to better identify where the problem lies, and how to fix it.  We’ve pulled together some key strategies for tacking a tricky brief and what to do when the juices just won’t flow…   Immerse yourself And no, we don’t mean in a hot bath or even a large glass of your favourite tipple, tempting as that can seem when you’re feeling stumped by a difficult brief.  Immerse yourself in your client’s world – their aesthetic, their challenges, their ambitions.  Putting yourself in your client’s shoes can help you achieve a deeper understanding of their needs and is a great way to add new layers of thought-provoking information to a vague or uninspiring brief.   Question everything Nobody wants to be the idiot asking stupid questions in a meeting.  But when it comes to dissecting a design brief, we’ll let you into a secret – there are no stupid questions.  You might know – or think you know – the answer to your questions already.  It might be completely obvious.  But listening carefully to how your client answers even the basic questions can give important clues into what they really want from a design that might not be explicit in the brief.   Think like the end user On a tricky brief, especially if your client has already rejected your initial ideas, it’s easy to become fixated on simply gaining their approval.  But as a designer, your goal isn’t simply to please your client, it’s to help them achieve their objective – customer satisfaction is just a happy by-product of your ability to do this.  In the vast majority of cases, the work you do is not aimed at your client, it’s aimed at their customer, so keeping this person in your mind is one of the best ways to identify the crux of a difficult brief.  Brainstorm on paper if it helps – who is this person, what do they like, what do they need and what’s stopping them from engaging with your client?  Only when you’ve figured all of this out can you do work that will capture that person’s imagination.   Stay visual Design is a visual discipline, but with tight deadlines or tricky briefs, the pressure can cause even the most experienced designer to retreat too much into their own head.  If you work in design, there’s a good chance you are a visual thinker, so staring at a blank screen all day won’t do anything for your process.  Try mapping out the problem in a visual format – use a whiteboard, a mood board or even a blank wall dotted with sticky notes and magazine clippings.  There’s a reason detectives use this method to map out a case – bringing all the evidence together in a visual way, however insignificant it may seem, is sometimes needed for the puzzle to fall into place.   Develop an acid test How to know if your idea works?  You have to test it – and be honest about the result.  Pitch it to a colleague.  Can you explain it on a short phone call?  Could you sketch it on a Post-It?  Your concept may be perfectly clear in your own mind but if it’s not easy to explain to someone else then there’s a good chance that something will get lost in translation.  If this is the case then you may need to go back to the drawing board using the techniques above to simplify the whole concept.   Know when to unplug As the old saying goes, you can’t flog a dead horse – and the best designers know that while there’s a time to buckle down and apply yourself to the task at hand, there’s also a time to take a break and clear your head.  A brief that seems more tangled than a bowl of spaghetti can look a lot less complicated after a good decompression session – and that can be anything from a screen break or a lunchtime walk in the fresh air, to visiting an art gallery or delving into a favourite pastime for a few hours.  Creativity isn’t a tap, you can’t turn it on and off – sometimes the smartest thing you can do to recharge your creative batteries is to switch off for a while!
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13Mar
March 13 2020
Branding Tips  Design Advice 

How to Critique Design

When giving feedback to your designers, whether they’re print designers or graphic designers, you probably don’t even realize that this feedback can be unhelpful for them. Many designers get frustrated with the feedback they receive on their work, as it’s too vague for them to make any significant alterations. We’ve laid out some tips here for you to give better constructive criticism to your designers for you to work harmoniously and create the best design outcomes possible!   Begin with Respecting Others’ Opinions Remember that design critique should always be objective and not influenced by your own biases. It would be best to respect other’s analyses and keep in mind that a plethora of opinions is necessary for breeding creativity and achieving maximum results. It’s easy to offend a designer if you’re rude to them or denigrate any external critiques of their work.    Offer Helpful Suggestions Offer suggestions that you’re reasonably sure the designer hadn’t previously thought about, rather than pointing out obvious or somewhat irrelevant issues. Part of being a designer is being creative and finding inspiration, so help them with that and provide inspiring suggestions.    Avoid Meaningless Phrases  In the same vein as offering helpful suggestions comes careful language use. If you give the designer feedback such as “jazz it up a little” or “it needs to be cleaner,” you’re fundamentally inviting them to roll their eyes at you. These phrases aren’t helpful as they don’t mean anything. Use language carefully to convey what you mean and want from the design.   Be Specific With careful language, use comes specificity. If you give vague feedback to your designer, chances are not much will change in the design, and then both of you will be unhappy with the final result. Being specific might seem hard at first as it’s natural to want to skirt around being direct to save face, but believe you me, it’s worth it. Both you and the designer will be more precise about what the outcome should look like, and chances are, you’ll reach that outcome much quicker if you’re direct with it.    Ask Why  You might dislike something in a design, but instead of critiquing it heavily, enquire why they made that choice. For all you know, there might be a great reason behind it that you hadn’t previously thought of, which could change your mind about the critique behind it. It’s essential to listen to the rationale behind the designer’s decision before critiquing it, as it provides a new perspective for the both of you and prevents offending any personal values that were involved in the designer’s choice.    Feedback Almost reiterating a previous point, but feedback should only be based on the goal and audience of the design. Your tastes and views should not be involved in the feedback process; it should be entirely driven by whether the design is optimized for the given audience. If you can’t put yourself in the shoes of the designated audience, ask for external critiques! It’s always good to have a chorus of opinion on the matter.
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02Feb
February 2 2020
Love Paper  Sustainability 

4 Myths About Paper

Mangfall River - Gmund Am Tegernsee There are tonnes of myths about paper floating about, it can be hard which one to believe or not. From being told only recycled paper should be used to forests are rapidly shrinking - what should we listen to, and what should we ignore? Let’s do some debunking.  
  1. Paper production consumes an excessive amount of water 
Sure, paper production is dependent on water. However, in relative terms, very little is actually consumed. Remember, the intake of water is not equal to the consumption. Most of the water used by trees and paper will be returned to the environment. In fact, 93% of the water used is returned to the planet.  
  1. Paper is bad for the environment 
Now, let’s look at the myth that paper is also bad for the environment. In fact, paper is one of the very few totally sustainable products in the world. You just have to make sure that the paper you choose has come from a sustainable forest source. Don’t worry, between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area of Switzerland.  
  1. Only recycled paper should be used
So, what about using recycled paper? While this is a good choice, it isn’t the be all end all. In order to maintain the paper cycle, virgin fibres from sustainably managed forests are necessary. Without the new fibres, from new trees, the paper cycle cannot be maintained. Make no mistake, though, both virgin fibre and recycled fibre are fundamental. It’s all about keeping a happy balance.  
  1. European forests are shrinking 
It’s a worrying thought for us all - are our forests really shrinking. Well, European forests have been growing by over 1,500 football pitches every single day. That’s our sustainability efforts in action. When paper is grown and harvested in a controlled and sustainable way, it makes very little (if any) difference to our forests.   We hope this cleared up some of the biggest paper myths. The facts that you see here have been provided by Two Sides. Two Sides is a communications supply chain, dedicated to promoting the sustainability of the graphic communications supply chain.  More myths are debunked on their website: https://www.twosides.info/myths-and-facts
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13Jan
January 13 2020
Collaborations 

The 2020 Letterpress Calendar

The 2020 Letterpress Calender - Mr Cup Studio / Wigston Paper / Foilco Although calendars are informative and integral to planning, they don’t usually win an art contest. Calendars are conventionally simple, plain, practical pieces of paper with only one purpose, to tell the date. Or are they?  Behold the new look 2020 Letterpress calendar designed to fascinate and captivate you 365 days of the year. The Mr. Cup creative manifesto letterpress calendar is the creative brainchild of Fabien Barral, aka Mr. Cup, meant to take drabness from your calendar. A gifted French designer in his own right, Mr. Cup enlisted the creativity of 11 typographic designers to create masterpieces for each month. Cody Petts, Scotty Russell, and Nikki Mihalik are just a few among the designers conscripted to make this year’s edition of the letterpress calendar an unforgettable experience. 2020 Letterpress Calendar - January The letterpress calendar comes in standard and deluxe editions that are sure to blow you away and keep you coming back to your calendar. The deluxe version is completely hot foiled on dark papers, while the standard version comes with the front cover hot foiled. Each month has a unique piece of art that is beautiful, as it is uniquely different from the previous piece of art. The bold typography on each piece of art is sure to catch the attention of those who pay you a visit from afar. 2020 Letterpress Calender - In Production The exceptionally eye-catching pieces of art are complemented by this year’s paper choice – Senses Paper.  Fabien used Senses Cream Taffeta, Driftwood Grey, Syrah Crimson, Dreadnought Silver, Hampton Pewter, Havana Cinnamon, and Sable Black to produce this world-class masterpiece.  The renowned foil supplier, Foilco supplied the foils for this project which have been used to great effect in previous collaborations with Senses Paper too. In purchasing the 2020 letterpress calendar, not only will you enjoy the superior craftsmanship of Studio Pression, but the words of wisdom printed for every month are sure to inspire you and help you chart the path of excellence in all your endeavors, all year round. To order your 2020 letterpress calendar, go to Mr. Cup’s online shop: https://mrcup-shop.com/. To find out about Senses Paper, visit www.sensepaper.com. Life is too short to allow the daily grind of making ends meet prevent you from enjoying the world around you. Enjoy a little of the beauty of art every day with the 2020 letterpress calendar.
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03Dec
December 3 2019
Collaborations 

Honouring the Fallen with Senses

Charter Building Poppy Installation - Wigston Paper No symbol is more poignant than the poppy; a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many in order that others might live in freedom.  Wigston was honoured to be involved in the recent creation of a very special London installation revealed on November 11 in tribute to the fallen – with paper taking centre stage. The project came about as the result of an innovative collaboration between Landid, owners of the Charter Building in Uxbridge; paper artist and designer Samantha Quinn of S Quinn & Co; Siren Design; and print company TOD London, with Wigston supplying paper from our Senses range in Capiscum Red and Sable Black. Central to the project was a workshop led by Samantha Quinn and attended by employees of tenants within the Charter Building. Participants created beautiful paper poppies by hand using paper laser cut by TOD, and these were then painstakingly wall mounted in the building’s atrium to create a beautiful, three-dimensional display.  The installation was officially unveiled on Remembrance Day to an audience of social media fans and influencers, and coincided with the release of a video showing the making of the poppies and culminating in a call to action urging donations to the Poppy Appeal. https://player.vimeo.com/video/376818104 We were truly honoured to take part in this collaboration and very proud of the end result achieved as a fitting tribute to all those who have given their lives in conflict.  Thanks go to all the other organisations who made it possible, and to Sammie for her boundless dedication and creativity!
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25Nov
November 25 2019
Collaborations  Events 

Wigston & Gmund Bio Cycle On The Road

VIP guests had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the latest innovation in specialist eco-friendly paper at a series of launch events hosted by Wigston and German manufacturer Gmund, held in Newcastle, Manchester and London on November 19-21. Wigston is very proud to be the sole UK distributor for Gmund’s new Bio Cycle paper.  Made with up to 50% wood pulp alternatives including grass, hemp, straw and recycled cotton, Bio Cycle combines quality, style and sustainability in a way that, we believe, will transform the specialist paper market. During each of the three showcase events, Gmund's Christophe Balaresque provided the context for the development of Bio Cycle range, including insights on how the world is changing and how paper is being used to share messages in a more thoughtful way. The Gmund Bio Cycle and Gmund Colors ranges were then presented by Wigston's Jane Guildford and Francesca Clark. Attendees had an opportunity to see some amazing, award winning projects demonstrating how Gmund Bio Cycle can be used to incredible effect by companies wishing to express their green philosophy without compromising on aesthetic.  They also received an exclusive Wigston portfolio which contained a beautiful Gmund Bio Cycle and Gmund Colors Swatch. The evenings were filled with lots of networking, whilst enjoying canapes and champagne with likeminded print, design and marketing professionals!

DISCOVER GMUND BIO CYCLE

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25Sep
September 25 2019
Collaborations  Events 

Parisian Chic Meets London Cool For Breakfast

They say it’s the most important meal of the day – so what better time of day to fuel up on inspiration than over a delicious breakfast? Of course, the French do ‘le petit dejeuner’ better than anyone else and so Wigston was delighted to host a very refined creative breakfast event alongside luxury Parisian printer, Imprimerie du Marais, in London recently. Held at their stylish offices in West Smithfield, there were pastries and fresh coffee galore as an enthusiastic group of London-based creatives came together to discover more of Wigston and Imprimerie's offering.  In such a fabulous setting, it was impossible not to be inspired by the endless possibilities paper and print can bring to any creative project. We shared samples of our flagship paper ranges (including Senses Paper and Gmund Colors), a host of print finishing techniques and an exclusive view of a new range we're soon going to be officially launching in the UK. A special handout was also created especially for this chic event, featuring a stunning monochrome image printed by Imprimerie du Marais on Senses Paper 1mm using their silver foil technique.  C’est magnifique!    
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19Sep
September 19 2019
Design Advice 

5 of the best mock-up generators

When it comes to digital design, ironically it’s important to show a client how the finished design will look ‘in real life’.  Layouts on screens simply don’t speak to us the way that photographs of the finished article do and it’s therefore not surprising that nearly all designer rely heavily on CGI-based mock-up creators to showcase their work.   From showing how a site will look on a laptop or mobile, to helping clients to visualise their signage or artwork in situ, mock-ups are an invaluable tool for pitch documents, offering an ‘end result’ visual at an early stage in the creative process. So if you’re looking for big impact with less hassle, look no further - we’ve compiled a list of the five best mock-up sites on the web for your convenience!  
  1. Mock-Up World (mockupworld.co)
Mockupworld.co Mock-Up World is one of the few completely free mock-up websites that delivers credible results in a 100% royalty-free format.  The site offers a large array of mock-ups for all applications, from the full gamut of Apple devices through to books, posters, billboards and more.  There’s also a mock-up generating tool for users who don’t have Photoshop, making this an ideal choice for in-house marketers. Each photorealistic item is featured together with a preview image or gallery, a detailed description and a link that leads right to the download page. Visitors can use the directory to quickly navigate to the desired category of motive.  The mock-ups appear in the form of layered PSD files equipped with smart objects that allow users to quickly drag and drop their own content elements into the image: perfect for showcasing apps, websites, presentations, posters and billboards.  
  1. Smart Mockups (smartmockups.com)
Smart Mockups is an online mock-up generator that doesn’t require Photoshop or even any design knowledge to create compelling, professional-looking mock-ups.  There’s a tiered subscription plan that starts from free, which gives you access to a library of 200 free mock-up templates and some basic features, right through to the premium package which is suitable for marketing teams and creative agencies, and includes a library of over 2000 mock-ups, including custom, video and branding templates plus unlimited exports.  Smart Mockups is ideal for those with little or no professional design expertise who are looking to create impactful mock-ups quickly or on the go – perfect for small brands to create effective marketing campaigns on a budget or for independent creatives looking for effective ways to stand out from the crowd.  There’s also a free one-month trial when you sign up for the first time.  
  1. Anthony Boyd Mock-ups (anthonyboyd.graphics)
Anthony Boyd is an independent mock-up creator who offers a number of free mock-up resources (for personal use) on his website in addition to a third-party hosted online store with yet more high quality mock-ups for sale.  Boyd’s screen-based mock-ups for smartphone, tablet and laptop are particularly good quality and very contemporary in style; he also plays around with vintage tech in some of his mock-ups which is an interesting proposition and sure to create a talking point around the boardroom table!  Boyd’s site also has a number of premium textures available to download, and his rendering talent is showcased via a link to his YouTube channel where aspiring CGI artists can get an insight into his work.  Donations towards free resources are accepted via PayPal.  
  1. PlaceIt (placeit.net)
If you need a comprehensive library of premium quality mock-ups, all in one place, then PlaceIt is where you need to be!  Owned by digital assets giant Envato Market, PlaceIt requires a monthly subscription but for your money you’ll get access to the largest library of mock-up templates on the internet while a user-friendly interface makes it easy to create amazing visual assets regardless of your technical and creative prowess.  From social media adverts to business cards, from apparel to apps – PlaceIt has it all, and the library is expanding all the time, driven by a commitment to the latest tech and the most creative team.  The platform is fully web-based so it’s accessible no matter where you are, and super fast to use.  
  1. Free Design Resources (freedesignresources.net)
As the name suggests, Free Design Resources is a free library of mock-up designs – not designed by the team behind the site, but rather curated from designers all over the world who are willing to offer their work for free, personal use in exchange for credits or backlinks to gain exposure.  The site has a comprehensive mock-up library, including everything from outdoor signage to apps to apparel, and also offers a range of custom fonts and templates for social media sites.  Each individual download has its own license, and terms and conditions may vary from source to source, so be sure to check before you use.
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08Aug
August 8 2019
Photography Tricks 

How To Photograph Business Cards

Apps such a LinkedIn have changed the way people connect in the business world – but when it comes to face-to-face networking, the business card will always have its place.  Wigston’s paper is used to produce countless business cards every year for companies looking to create the right impression using fine papers and deluxe finishing techniques – and we’ve become quite the experts at photographing them too! Taking great photos of business cards is essential for design agencies wanting to show them off in their portfolio, or for businesses wanting to shout about their smart new look on social. With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you create professional-looking photos that really showcase the design and printing expertise that goes into making a business card outstanding – and the good news is, you don’t need to be a pro photographer to do it!  
  1. Shadows are your friend
Wigston Paper - How to Photograph Business Cards - Dot Studio Create beautifully tactile images that really appeal to the eye by using light and shade to accentuate textures in your business cards, whether it’s the delicate undulations of a textured cardstock or the sharp relief of an embossed design.  You don’t have to be a pro photographer to capture some beautiful texture in your shot but if you’re using some proper kit and you know your way around a camera, you should use a tripod which will eliminate shake, allowing you to use a low ISO for the cleanest possible image.  Aperture and shutter speed may vary depending on the depth of field you want to create.  For creating razor sharp images of the whole product, you want a higher F-stop and fast shutter speed, but if you want to home in on the fine details, you might reduce the depth of field to draw the eye to a beautiful piece of typography etc. To create some shadow, you’ll need to set up your shot with some bright, off camera lighting – a large window is ideal but if you’re not lucky enough to have natural light, you should set up a lamp so it shines at an angle across your business cards, imitating sunlight.  White light is best for accurate colour reproduction, and you should choose a bright bulb – anything too soft will blur the texture you’re trying to pick out.  Last but not least, don’t be afraid to enhance your image in post processing to further sharpen and enhance its tactile appeal!  
  1. Layer up
Wigston Paper - How to Photograph Business Cards Business cards are two-dimensional but that doesn’t mean you should settle for a flat image.  Play with dimension by layering cards up – fan them, stack them, drop them from height to see where they land or as we often do, use small props to create a layered shot with cards overlapping at different heights.  Small boxes, pen tops – basically anything that you can sit a business card on can be used to create fascinating shots that play with focus and shadow for real visual appeal – shoot overhead with a camera or smartphone for instant artistic effects!  
  1. Defy gravity
Wigston Paper - How to Photograph Business Cards - Premier Design Demonstrate the unexpected with product photography that defies gravity. Imagine your business cards poised on one corner, standing up on their edge, or floating in mid-air!  All you need to create these imaginative shots is a bit of creative thinking and some skills in photoshop.  Levitation photography as it’s known can be achieved entirely in post production but you can save yourself a lot of time with the use of some fishing line and a length of wooden dowelling.  Suspend your cards from the dowelling, using a little double sided tape to hold the point in place and prevent rotation if necessary, then set up your tripod and snap away.  If the light catches the fishing line, you can simply remove it in Photoshop afterwards.  
  1. Cool contrast
Wigston Paper - How to Photograph Business Cards - Nifty Minds Make your cards stand out with a high-contrast background – we’ve had great success with black business cards against brightly coloured backgrounds and vice versa.  Be warned though – stay away from patterned or busy backgrounds, as these tend to draw the eye away from the detail in the cards.  If you’ve got a card with a pop of colour in the logo, or even a card with a coloured edge, consider choosing a background to match this shade and make it really zing.  
  1. Focus stacking
Wigston Paper - How to Photograph Business Cards - Tartan Zone Media We all love those soft-focus backgrounds you get with macro photography and they can work beautifully as a foil for the crisp details of a business card – but to create ultimate wow factor, focus stacking might just be your secret weapon.  This post-production technique enables you to retain pin-perfect detail in your foreground subject without losing any sharpness in the background, for ultra-defined images that really draw you in.  Using this technique allows you to play with interesting, textured backgrounds, or simply to photograph business cards at interesting angles without losing any of the detail in the back of the field.  It’s done by taking multiple images of the same setup, all with different focal points, and then blending these images in photoshop or similar to create a single, super-sharp image with incredible depth of field.  There’s quite a bit of editing work involved, but done well, focus stacking yields captivating images to rival even the most high-end ad campaigns.   So there you have it – some of our tricks of the trade for taking excellent pictures of your business cards.
To see more of our photography, follow us (@wigstonpaper) on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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28May
May 28 2019
Collaborations 

On The Spectrum

Student, Shaun Keegan discusses using coloured paper to create learning resources for children with autism While the digital revolution continues unchecked, there are many sectors and situations in which there’s just no substitute for paper resources – and in education, this is particularly important for people with learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorders. The quality, weight and colour of the paper stock used to produce learning resources and visual support systems can be crucial for these individuals, supporting improved absorption and retention of information. One person who knows this better than most is Shaun Keegan, a third year graphic design student at Leeds Beckett University, who also happens to have autism.  Shaun recently embarked on a project to explore the ways in which colour, grammage, typography and overall quality of paper resources could impact on learning, using paper from Wigston to produce a unique, colour coded visual support system designed to help others overcome the issues he faced in his own education.  We asked Shaun to tell us more…

The Problem

“The idea for this project came from my own experiences going through school as an autistic person. Whilst in school I used Visual Support Systems to assist me throughout the day, but there was always an issue with the physical and visual quality of the supports. More often than not they were simply laminated pieces of 90gsm printer paper, with some clip-art style imagery printed on. This meant that which ever support I was using would likely be creased or have air bubbles under the laminate. The lack of consistency in production quality and visual style was always an issue for me and other autistic people at my school.

The Solution

When I was given a brief at university to create my own project, I knew I wanted to create something which could be used to help children who are in the same situation that I was in. This required me to create a system for design first to ensure a visually consistent look. I started by setting some rules for my artwork, set colours of red, green, blue and yellow are easily recognisable and traditionally applied to different emotions. The typography throughout the entire piece is consistent too, the font family doesn't change and the spacing is always consistent. There's a lot of smaller things which you wouldn't see if you looked close but your mind still sees and connects everything together, the radius of curves are the same throughout. Paper choice was a major concern during the planning stage of the project. I knew that high quality and hard-wearing paper was required to create a product which can stand the test of time, and be tactile enough for an autistic child to have fun engaging with. Since I would be debossing onto some card it had to be thick enough to get a deep enough deboss to add to the tactility of the product. To achieve this I chose to use paper from the Senses range.  The 700gsm card stock was perfect not only for the debossing on the emotion cards but also the range of colours available meant that there really wasn't any other option. This stock also proved to be perfect as a backing for the communication key-rings too, thanks to the durability of the card.   Since I was creating something for autistic children colour was a big focus, and the Gmund Volume range of corrugated board was the perfect choice to create the box. The colours within the range along with the stock’s ability to bend without tearing the outer paper really gave the box a clean look whilst being fit for purpose. Overall I think the project was a success, but it wouldn't have been quite as successful without the choice of paper stock.  The vibrancy and quality of the stock really help to elevate the work to another level.” Try our Paper Lookup Tool to find the best coloured paper for your project!
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18Apr
April 18 2019
Love Paper  Luxury Packaging 

Premium Paper: The Marketing Tool With Guaranteed ROI

Once regarded as an aside to the actual contents, these days product packaging is every bit as as important as what’s inside the box. Perhaps even more so. premium packaging and return on investment The rise and rise of social media has seen the word ‘unboxing’ enter our vocabulary. A whole genre of entertainment based on people who film themselves taking products out of their packaging, with particular focus on unusual or luxurious boxes. Of course, this whole culture has emerged because, in an increasingly crowded retail space. Brands need their packaging to bring something extra to the table.  Having the best product isn’t enough to get you picked off the shelf and increasingly, customers are seeking the kind of experience that only luxury packaging can provide. The fact that they want to share these experiences online, often for free, in one of the most powerful marketing formats ever, makes investing in packaging a must for forward-thinking brands. Of course, it’s not only luxury items that benefit.  You may have a very ubiquitous product, but with great packaging you can command a bigger share of the market or even sell your product at a higher value than other, similar items.  We recently heard a very interesting anecdote about one brand that used a box wrapped in luxury paper to transform a nondescript £1 pen into a covetable £15 writing instrument. Proof that when it comes to marketing, visual perception is everything.
the facts
And the research backs this theory up. A recent SmithersPira report found that 32% of consumers said that packaging brand and design is a very important or important part of their purchasing decision, while 58% said they would be put off buying a product in store if the packaging was damaged. Meanwhile, with consumers increasingly focused on sustainability and governments seeking to eliminate plastic, paper and board look set to be the future for product packaging – and the possibilities are endless! Paper’s versatility means even small brands on a tight budget can create something that looks and feels really special as well as ticking the eco-friendly box.  By spending a few pence more, you can achieve a really premium feel, bringing incredible texture and depth while benefiting from a never-ending array of colours to complement your branding. From paper-wrapped folding boxboard to duplexed card hangtags and stunning printed cards, a suite of beautiful, quality paper elements has the potential to elevate any brand to the next level.  Combined with clever design and luxury finishing, paper can be used to create an inspiring experience that captures the imagination and loyalty – not to mention the organic online reach – of your customer. Get in touch with us about your premium paper requirements!
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06Feb
February 6 2019
Wigston News 

Wigston Paper announced as sole UK stockist of the Gmund Colors System

The team at Wigston Paper is excited to launch a new collaboration – having been announced as the sole UK stockist for the Gmund Colors System, produced by German papermakers Gmund Paper. The Gmund Colors System is the first colour system for paper with a ‘Mix & Match’ guarantee: each of the 48 colours has been designed and produced so it can harmoniously combine with any of the other 47 colours, as the paper for every day and every project. Gmund Colors is perfect for companies producing a range of materials who wish to improve their visual communication guided by a colour system, for example when creating corporate materials such as catalogues, annual reports and brochures, product packaging and hang tags, stationery and mailouts. The system includes eight colour ranges, including clear, bright white and natural cream tones; a perfect gradation of grey tones; nude and “non”-tones that can strengthen moods; plenty of blue (because 70% of all companies work with blue in their corporate design); the one perfect red (Gmund Colors No. 92) among the warm shades; the purest yellow and other fruity colours; and a bright mint and a dark olive in the greens. To find out more about the range, visit www.wigstonpaper.com/gmund-colors/ Rob Walker, director at Wigston Paper explained that the company was keen to take on the Gmund Colors System as its proven success in other countries such as Italy showed that it had great potential for the UK market. He said: “As a premium paper system that’s already well known across the world, Gmund Colors is a great choice for design and print companies who want to compete in international markets as it offers both consistency and stand-out quality.” Papers from Gmund Colors are suitable for all common printing techniques, including offset, digital printing, letterpress, silkscreen, blind embossing, hot-foil embossing, paper etching and die cutting. They are available in five different surfaces: matt, felt, metallic and transparent. As each finish has the same colour profile, this offers designers new ways to play with colours and surfaces. To develop this new colour system, the team at Gmund Paper analysed how colours are chosen by designers across a range of industries and worked to create a brand new system that offers a more simplistic and less confusing choice of colours that work together, which makes it easier for designers to use to truly harness the power of colour. The Gmund Paper sales team felt an affinity with Wigston Paper as both companies are oriented towards bringing creative innovation into the markets. They said: “We’re excited to be working together to establish Gmund Colors as an easy to use standard for colour applications. This will enable global companies to use the same colours of paper in any market, as Gmund Colors is already available on all other continents. By promoting Gmund Colors in the UK market, we can help deliver a marketing boost for design-driven global brands.” To find out more about the range, visit www.wigstonpaper.com/gmund-colors/
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28Jan
January 28 2019
Collaborations 

Quality of Senses Paper is ‘spelled out’ in the Paper Artist Collective’s stunning paper art alphabet challenge

The stunning colours and versatility of Wigston Paper’s Senses® range have been ‘spelled out’ by artists around the world, in a paper art challenge run by the Paper Artist Collective. The collaboration– sponsored by Wigston Paper – challenged 26 artists from 12 countries to create an alphabet letter using three designated colours from the Senses range of papers. #PACAlphabet was the brainchild of artist Samantha Quinn, a freelance designer who was introduced to the new Senses range through work. She was delighted to agree to a collaboration through the Paper Artist Collective, so that like-minded artists could also have a chance to try out the new paper. Samantha, who joint leads the collective, said: “None of the artists knew what letter or colours they had been allocated until they arrived in the post which made the challenge even more exciting. “Our members love any excuse to try out new materials and have really enjoyed using the paper to craft their letters. Senses create the most beautiful smooth and vibrant papers in a broad range of weights and colours.” Feedback from the artists who took part included:
  • “The paper was beautiful to work with. The smooth surface was great to draw on and then to cut it was clean and strong, even with some finer details and I'm sure it would hold up to even finer work. Some paper can be fibrous and doesn't give a clean edge but the Senses papers definitely cut smoothly without any fluffy bits. The colours are vibrant and I would be very interested to see the rest of the collection in real life based on these three colours alone I will definitely be adding them to my suppliers list.”
  • “The Senses paper was very smooth and a pleasure to cut. I was really impressed with the richness of colour in the papers.”
  • "I enjoyed working with Senses paper very much! Looking forward to using different colours in future projects.”
Rob Walker, director at Wigston, said: “We were delighted to work with the Paper Artist Collective on this project, which really highlights the quality and stunning colours available in the Senses range of 35 contemporary and complementary colours. “It was exciting to see what the artists came up with and the different ways they worked with the colours and weights of paper in their paper art creations. We believe Senses offers unrivalled smoothness for excellent results across the full range, from 90gsm paper to 3mm board – and the standard of the entries reflects that perfectly.” The Alphabet challenge has now been opened out to the fans and followers of the Paper Artists Collective as an Instagram paper art competition. Three lucky winners will win features in both their Instagram stories and feed, and prizes from Wigston Paper. To check out the full project, details of each work and reviews of the paper go to https://www.paperartistcollective.com/pacalphabet. For more information on Senses paper, go to https://www.sensespaper.com/
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08Nov
November 8 2018
Luxury Sectors 

Giving Whisky Icons The Edge With Paper

Whisky has been part of Western society since the 15th century.  First distilled as a medicine, it quickly evolved to become a much more social remedy – a steadier of nerves, a relaxant, a tonic, a celebratory tipple. Today, whisky is enjoyed by people from all walks of life around the world and has inspired an entire culture of appreciation by connoisseurs and collectors.  Famous distilleries are constantly developing their ranges, releasing new vintages, blends, collaborations and limited editions – and for every new whisky launched, new packaging is essential to help it stand out from the crowd. Historically, whisky packaging was all about the bottle, but the modern consumer is increasingly looking for a more layered and luxurious experience, so we’re seeing a constant evolution of presentation packaging, with boxed presentation now seen as standard for luxury aged spirits. Whisky bottles themselves have always leaned towards the conservative; many of the world’s most revered distilleries have hundreds of years of history behind them and in the minds of their loyal customers, the very essence of these brands are tied up in the colour, look and feel of their labels and bottles. More recently, however, new brands have started to pop up – many of them small, independent distilleries targeting a new generation of whisky drinker with avant-garde packaging and products, from clear corn whiskies to contemporary bottle shapes and even unusual coloured glass that’s a far cry from the traditional green. As the market for craft spirits continues to grow, those iconic brands – the Glenfiddichs and Ardbegs of the world – know they need to raise the packaging stakes to draw the customer’s eye while staying true to their position as heritage brands. Boxes offer the ideal solution; providing scope for brands to push the creative boundaries on the outside while remaining true to their iconic image on the inside.  Putting a bottle in a box also adds an extra dimension to the opening experience – ‘the reveal’. Whisky packaging trends 2018 Largely user driven, this is a whole genre of online video content built around the physical experience of opening a product, adding an extra layer to the consumer’s sensory experience of the product (often before they’ve even bought it!) This kind of marketing – voluntary consumer endorsement with potential to go viral – is gold dust to the distiller and well worth the investment in packaging. At Wigston, our range of luxury papers brings all the nuance of colour and tactile appeal designers need to breathe new life into trusted branding, or help new brands to achieve the kind of premium look and feel they need to compete with some of the biggest names in the business. Use them to create labels, wrap boxboard or produce innovative swing tags; apply effects like spot varnish, foil blocking or laser cutting and discover how paper can transform a classic into an icon! To discuss how Wigston Papers could enhance your clients’ brands, get in touch with our team today.
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17Sep
September 17 2018
Wigston News 

The Creation of the Senses® Colour Swatch book – a Very British Invention for a Global Creative Market

   It’s been many years since the design world has seen a new range of creative coloured papers for print and packaging and so when Wigston Papers launched the Senses® range couple of months ago, it caused quite a stir within the creative community. Swatch books are in high demand, with over 1000 already delivered to designers and printers around the UK, within the first few weeks of launch. But how does a company go about designing a swatch book for such a purpose and what design concepts are employed to ensure that the end product not only reflects the beauty of the papers but is also purposeful and pleasurable to work with? Rob Walker, Managing Director at Wigston Paper explains how they came up with the original concept, “Initially we started out with a basic rectangle, soon to realise that the bottom corners hindered a smooth, ‘gliding’ experience between the colours. A curved edge seemed like a logical solution, which also accentuated the smooth curvature of the Senses® logo. Designed to fit neatly in the palm of the hand, the Senses® colour swatch book is in the style of a finger swatch because colours are often selected together, offering the best way of looking at colours side-by-side. Rob continues, “Our own experiments informed us that most people push the paper samples in a swatch to the left, with their thumb, so we aligned the text on each colour swatch to the right - making sure that the permutations are easily visible.” The swatch contains at least one sample of every substance in the range as well as every shade; 67 different sheets comprising 35 colours and up to 12 different grammages from 90gsm up to 3mm thick board. The main design concept conceived for the brand is that there was no need for colour in the logo; the very essence of the range is colour, so the selection of Senses® Lace White for the cover represented the Senses® brand at its best. Encapsulating the beautiful array of trend-driven colours in a clean and fresh design – which is what Senses® is all about. The print company selected to produce the swatch books is Leeds-based Pressision Creative Print and Finishing. Kieran Dallow, Marketing Manager at Wigston explains, “We selected Pressision because of their clear attention to detail and experience in the field of paper swatches.   It’s difficult to really understand the complexities and the art of creating a paper swatch book, until you start production, and we felt Pressision clearly demonstrated their ability to fulfil this project.” The workflow involved in producing the swatches spanned from plan and layout through to print, foil, die-cut and finish. Imposed and set out for manufacture by the production team, the swatches were printed on their HP Indigo 5900, foil blocked on a Heidelberg Cylinder SBB and Die-cut on their Heidelberg Platens. Collation, final build and quality control was done by hand in their presentation department. Kieran Dallow, continues, “There were some creative issues that Pressision had to overcome but their team met the challenge head on and provided creative solutions in order to complete and deliver the project.” James Taylor, Managing Director at Pressision said, “As a printer, I find the Senses® range very interesting. There is a great range of colours and the feel is great. It’s imperative that we have a range of weights. For instance, if we are producing a box, we would want 140gsm for the outer covering, a mid-weight board, like 250gsm, for some of the inner linings and then a heavy weight board, like 500 or 700gsm, for plinths etc. We also require it to be produced on all our processes; HP Indigo, Foil Blocking, Die-cutting etc., and Senses® handled each of these processes beautifully – in fact, all of these are actually shown on the swatch which should really help designers and printers alike when they are choosing the right paper for their project.” For more information on the Senses® range of trend-driven coloured papers and board and to request a swatchbook, visit www.wigstonpaper.com/senses.  
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19Jun
June 19 2018
Wigston News 

Wigston Paper become the global distributor for the Senses® range of trend driven paper and board for the creative and luxury packaging industry.

Leicestershire, UK 14th June 2018. Industry leaders Wigston Paper today announced their  global distributorship of a new range of high-quality contemporary paper and board – Senses®. Senses® is a premium range of 35 modern shades of coloured paper and board designed specifically with creatives and designers in mind. As an alternative high end brand, the Senses® range was developed in partnership with Wigston Paper a family-owned company spanning four generations, established in the UK in 1932. Managing director Rob Walker explains the reasoning behind the Senses® range, “The world of packaging, printing and design is changing rapidly. The growing trend in influencer marketing means that the “opening experience” is being documented digitally, live with vloggers and on social media channels and so great packaging and presentation has never been more important.  We believe that this premium range will fast become a fundamental factor in the creative agency’s design development process as well as offering them a reliable and comprehensive range for their customers that is bang on trend.“ The Senses® range was developed in conjunction with trend reports and in-depth research over twelve months.  The range is 100% trend driven and answers the demands of the creative industry for a new modern and inspirational range of creative paper and board for the 21st Century. New digital print technologies are also enabling printers to produce short run high quality packaging that the market is now demanding and so Senses® is compatible with both digital and analogue technologies. Rob continues, “Swatch books are available and we encourage customers to request a short consultation with our specialists who are happy to come and visit and go through the range on a one to one basis. We are delighted to be the distributor for this new premium range and look forward to seeing some amazing results with Senses®.” For more information on Senses® visit: www.sensespaper.com or www.wigstonpaper.com/senses-coloured-paper/
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29Mar
March 29 2018
Love Paper 

Why We Love Paper – And You Should Too!

In our daily digital life we are bombarded by messages, banners, stories, feeds and our brains are now trained to either click on and view, or scroll up until we find something that piques our interest. Generally during this daily and sometimes hourly ritual, we view videos and images, rarely do we read full articles on our phones. For longer news articles, our brains are programmed to want to read this off a physical paper. The reasons for this are simple – we only skim screens, reading in an “F” configuration, but when we actually read text on paper, we digest the words and gain a deeper understanding as well as being able to remember what’s written for longer. Even editors like to print, read, mark up and then edit on screen. This is because our brains still prefer us to read in the traditional manner, from left to right and top to bottom. It’s in stark contrast to how we read online or on screen reading during which we scroll up and down, left and right, click links and multi-task. There are numerous benefits of physical paper. Reading on paper is a calmer, more focused way of immersing ourselves in the content and our brains prefer it. By focussing on the topic in front of us, we gain a deeper understanding. We are matching our natural preference for a sensory experience. It’s also been shown to be good for our health – in fact, a recent study which appeared in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, found that elderly people who regularly read are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.   Digital Advertising vs Paper We have to ask ourselves then, in this age of banner blindness, how do we as B2B advertisers reach our customer base with messages that will not only be read, but digested and inspire our customers to take action. We must still remember that digital consumption of information is important but as evidence mounts for the benefits of reading on paper, the pressure is also mounting to find a way of using both channels of communication to enhance our business messaging. We can do this by delivering well planned, cohesive and comprehensive campaigns where both mediums are built into the messaging. Whether its banner advertising with moving gifs and links to videos or to download physical white papers or mailing catalogues, in general the industry agrees that multi-channelled marketing with multiple connection points is key to the success of any campaign. Choosing the right paper to evoke feelings that echo the messaging will not only enhance your campaign but will deliver subliminal messaging to the brain that strongly reinforces the message and encourages the reader to take further action. This is all achieved by activating the senses – touch, smell, sight. This isn’t really possible with digital. Digital is a much more remote way of delivering a message and heavily relies on one sense (sight) and some very clever graphics.   Notebooks and journals – bucking the trend According to a recent NPR report, Moleskine notebooks are on an upward trend, with the famous Italian company reporting double digit increases in sales.  They state that in our digital world, analogue methods are valued. Writing something down uses a different part of the brain to typing and we are more selective, giving our brains more time to process information before we put pen to paper. Time and effort has been spent selecting and shaping the information before we have written it and therefore, we value what we write. As a society we also place value on artisan and hand crafted items so we are seeing an upturn in luxury and hand crafted notebooks with modern designs and even bespoke and one-off pieces possible through digital print. Surface pattern printers see the power of digital as a means by which to be able to deliver their designs in a massive range of products including postcards, booklets, and notebooks – making their designs more accessible to the wider public.
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07Mar
March 7 2018
Love Paper  Sustainability 

Top 5 Articles on Paper, Recycling and the Environment

Paper and print media takes a lot of flak in the press about sustainability and recyclability. However, with the recent spotlight on plastics and plastic packaging, could paper be the solution after all? With new innovations and invention using paper and paper based products, can we reduce the amount of plastics we use as consumers and will this be the boom we are all looking for in the industry? When it comes to recycling waste within our own print organisations, what are the ways we can improve? Here’s our pick of the best recent articles discussing paper and the environment with the aim of shedding some light on the subject. 1) What Printers Can do to Recycle Waste Printweek’s Rachel England discusses the various ways in which printers can recycle waste including inks and solvents. The UK is the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of printed products, and while there aren’t any statistics to indicate the level of overall material consumption in the industry, it is probably safe to assume that it’s a significant amount. Read more here…   2) Plastic V Paper Packaging The Verdigris project is an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print's positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. This article details why sustainable print is in the hands of publishers and therefore they have a responsibility to print with the environment in mind. Read more here…   3) Protecting Papers’ Reputation A great article by Genevieve Lewis at Print Monthly who runs through the latest report from Two Sides on the impact of the printing industry on trees. Many people believe that the paper industry destroys thousands of trees every year, and that these trees are not replaced. Trees are crucial for the air we breathe, and have inhabited the Earth for millions of years. It is true—large areas of the planet are deforested, and areas the size of multiple football pitches are destroyed. However, what many people do not know is that most of these trees are replanted.   Read more here..   4) Two Sides Anti-Greenwash Success Another great article stemming from the people at Two Sides, detailing their work in holding corporates to account when they make claims that reducing paper usage reduces their carbon footprint. Read more here…   5) Can Paper replace Fantastic Plastic Rachel England discusses the latest news on plastics and paper alternatives and the Smithers Pira report on paper and paper packaging. Thanks to China’s ban on waste imports, Theresa May’s environmental action plan and, perhaps most influential of all, the depiction of humanity’s devastating impact on sea life in BBC series Blue Planet, plastic has regained its position as public enemy number one. Our consumption of the material is prominently unsustainable, and all eyes are on the industry to find a feasible alternative.  Paper coatings could be the answer. Read more here…  
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10Feb
February 10 2018
Wigston News 

Wigston Rebrand

Revitalised Wigston builds on trusted reputation

You may have noticed something a bit different about Wigston recently – and we hope you’ll think our new logo and design offer a stylish, fresh and professional new look. But the changes we’re making aren’t limited to the face we present online, on our packaging, in our brochures and so on. In fact, our recent rebrand has been inspired by changes within the company - our vision for growth, new business strategy and expanded product portfolio. But while we’re looking forward with excitement for the future, we’re not turning our backs on our core values of trust, integrity and commitment to customer service. As a company we’ve seen the paper industry evolve over the years, and we’ve always worked to remain at the cutting edge, predicting and responding to customer needs. In the spring of 2017 we made the decision to reinvigorate our portfolio with the addition of more specialised products, beginning initially with a range of high-spec tinted papers. Now in 2018, we’re developing our range even further and restructuring our business model to ensure that we’re well set for the years to come. Find out more. 

So what does all this mean to our customers?

By mining the rich seam of our heritage, putting our clients first and building on our on our customer care, we hope to offer an even better service with teams that continue to be reliable and willing to go the extra mile, and with products that  impress and add value. Traditional yet innovative; old fashioned yet dynamic. We’ve recently invested in infrastructure, with a large purpose-built facility that enables us to purchase and stock large consignments and to handle customer requirements more efficiently and effectively – helping to build reliability and customer satisfaction into everyone’s business. We’re also responding to some of the big corporate governance issues of today such as sustainability and provenance, by ensuring all our stock is fully Mill Guaranteed for quality and consistency, and by obtaining certification from and sourcing within the FSC® chain of custody, actively extending our recycled paper ranges. As an expert supplier with the simultaneous capacity to innovate and be responsive to the needs of a fast-moving and evolving industry, we believe that Wigston offers a superior choice of partner for the creatives, packaging professionals and printers out there who share our values and ambitions. Explore further. 
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10Jan
January 10 2018
Luxury Packaging 

Top 5 articles on the “unboxing” experience

It’s the buzzword in packaging – the “unboxing” experience. If you don’t know what this means, it’s the feeling you get when you unbox a package and it fills you with delight, or dread, or amazement. With the popularity of video bloggers now testing and trialing products, they now include opening the package as it arrives. Meaning your brand and packaging is on trial from the minute the camera starts rolling. This has many challenges but some brands have built their reputation on their unboxing experiences and this set of our top 5 articles on the unboxing experience aims to show you how.   1) How to create a memorable and shareable unboxing experience for your Brand Everything you needed to know about the “unboxing” experience, using The Trunk Club as a great example of how to do this brilliantly. Inside the trunk, the contents are thoughtfully laid out to create a presentation and experience when opened. To further build a custom branded experience for their customers, all orders include a handwritten card from a personal stylist explaining the selection of products. It truly makes you feel part of something special and exclusive. Read more here…   2) How your packaging improves customer experience This is a great article from branding guru Roger Dooley who discusses how companies ship their products and the outer box experience and says, “In an era where "unboxing" videos can get millions of views, such attention to packaging details isn't obsessive, it's practical.” Read more here…   3) Why Your Product's Packaging Is as Important as the Product Itself Your product's packaging is meant to communicate a purpose: what your brand stands for and what it means for your customer. This article by Joshua Conran sites Tiffany as the perfect example of how iconic packaging can build a brand. Read more here…   4) Ecommerce packaging is an important part of brand identity A good article by our friends at DRUPA on reverse corrugated packaging for ecommerce, ensuring your luxury goods inside maintain brand visibility yet remain secure on the outside, out of the preying eyes of would-be thieves. Read more here…   5) Public prefer environmentally conscious packaging Another good article detailing the recent Smithers PIRA report on luxury packaging. Data from the Smithers Pira report The Future of Global Packaging to 2020 estimates a total world market for all packaging in 2015 worth $839 billion. This will grow steadily at a rate of 3.3% year-on-year through to the end of the decade; with the market will be worth nearly $1 trillion in 2020. Luxury packaging is a lucrative, fast developing segment of this; Smithers Pira values it at $14.8 billion in 2015. Read more here…
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