Experimenting with paper and unique ink combinations has been one of our passions here at Paragon for quite some time and we have had the idea to create custom products based on this skill set for almost as long. I personally have an unhealthy obsession with classic stationery etiquette and the subtlety of correspondence design. In our digital world, wrapping paper is one of the few remaining ways that we send each other a personal, tactile presentation. Most people don’t write letters anymore, but we do give gifts to those we love.
Paragon Papers is a way for us to contribute to that experience in a positive way. Wrapping paper should say more about the gift giver than some thoughtless paper from the nearest global retail store. Our three beta papers are each different approaches to the same challenge – raising the bar with beautiful patterns, brilliant inks and high quality paper.
Gatsby is hopefully the first of many art deco explorations. We love the style of the gilded era, with complex yet strikingly simple patterns that transport you to a time when gifts were chosen by hand, wrapped and delivered with flair and panache. To get started with this design, we looked through books of classic patterns and decided to create something that fit with the holiday season as well.
Using only 2 PMS colors, we began with a deep blue backdrop to ensure our metallic gold would really pop, then added more depth and complexity using a clear UV gloss to create the lattice work and reinforce the metallic gold. During the production process the PMS inks had to printed first, before a second dry pass could be done to apply the UV gloss lattice. The completed finishes make the paper both interesting to see and touch. The perfect paper for fedoras, typewriters and green lights.
Indigo Hyde is a paper that allowed us to explore texture as well as the visual of supple leather. We wanted to really create a realistic texture, so we pulled in high res artwork and stitched together a seamless pattern.
In production this was 2-step process. Step one was a full-color press run, and step two was dry pass in which a soft touch film was laminated over the entire sheet to create a buttery-soft feel. The soft-touch film was chosen because of a custom velvety finish that reinforces the blue leather concept. While the effect of the lamination is quite subtle and is not visibly noticeable, when compared to other papers it is surprisingly different and feels luxurious. Our goal is to explore even more papers that bring a tactile experience as well as beautiful designs.
Galileo is another beautiful combination of design, high quality printing and unique custom inks. When starting the design, we pulled in antique star charts and really tried to create an authentic representation of the night sky.
This was done with 1 PMS color for the night blue background. The stars were printed using a glow-in-the dark ink which was applied as a dry pass (separate from the print run) and done on a silk screen unit. A separate plate was necessary for the dry pass, so when setting up the file, we had to isolate the individual stars as a separate spot color. The glow-in-the-dark overlay makes this paper more than just an afterthought, it is an interactive experience. What better way to show off the illuminating qualities of this design than with our own glowing night sky.
After all these designs were ready to print, we decided on the most important part – the paper itself. We ended up choosing Endurance Satin 80# text for all three because of its opacity and strength. The thickness of the paper was just enough to make it wrinkle-free, but stopped shy of being so thick that wrapping a gift would be difficult. Each finished sheet is 18 3/4″ x 27″.
The final papers in action
We have so many ideas when it comes to bespoke and luxurious papers, and we can’t wait to get them in the hands of like minded individuals.