What Does Your Brand Feel Like?
This week Neenah Paper visited us to talk about… papers. Before I was handed my first sample book he said one of the most important things I’ve heard in a long time. “Texture matters.”
“If you can get them to touch it, they will buy it.”
Neenah Paper provides paper for the wine labels for 75% of the wineries in the Napa area. He went on to explain in the past few years they have almost all switched to an uncoated stock for their labels. Why? Because they know if they can get a customer to touch it, they will buy it. Isn’t that right? We humans get mesmerized by things that are different.
It made me think of my first experience with paper texture and the difference it can make: Wrapping my school books. Now, stay with me until the end on this one.
Remember the struggles of wrapping your textbooks with the bland school-provided textbook covers?
- Accidentally wrapping it upside down
- Everybody’s looked the same
- Every subject looked the same
- Taking the wrong book to class because you confused it with its twin
- Picking up somebody else’s book because it looked just like yours
- Decorating your book
- Realizing decorating your book could solve most of your other textbook problems (except for #1)
- Turning the school’s book cover inside-out so your design won’t be constrained by the logo anymore
I don’t remember how it was first suggested. Maybe I forgot to bring home the right amount of book covers or something. But, as I was on one of those early-evening textbook wrapping binges (you know what I’m talking about), my mom suggested wrapping it with an inside-out paper grocery sack. She said it like it was the oldest trick in the book. I had never considered wrapping it with anything other than what you were “supposed” to wrap books with. My mind was BLOWN! (don’t make fun of me, I went to a small school.) I had already developed an affinity for the way gifts wrapped in Sunday Comics looked compared to regular wrapping paper. This textbook covered in a paper sack was right up my alley.
After a few days using it, I loved it even more. First of all – No amount of doodling on a basic book cover could compare to my custom book covers. They were more durable than basic covers, felt cool, and most importantly – they basically said “My name is Meredith and this is my Social Studies book….” *mic drop* I even liked the way my markers soaked into the paper to create deep, rich versions of the color they were supposed to be. My textbooks made a statement.
So, why did I tell you this story?
Because, it really isn’t far from what we see here around the shop everyday in regards to paper stock choices. Using basic paper stock is fine, pieces can still be designed to stand out from others and serve their purpose well. But, then somebody’s mom walks in and says “print it on an inside out bag!!!” and everything changes. You know what I mean?
Imagine a stack of brochures, all from different business in the same industry, all designed well, all of equal quality. Except one, this one was printed on thick, uncoated, paper stock. I bet you pick that one up for sure, and I’m even more positive that you spend a little more time holding it than the others. In fact, if you needed to clean up your brochure stack to get a little more organized…. you’re going to keep the one that feels cool. You just are.
Paper and texture can speak just as much, or more, for a designed piece as the graphics do. You can see it, and touch it with your hands which creates an experience. Those that consider their paper stock choices as an important part of their design process end up really wow-ing us.
What does your brand feel like?