[Alyson Kuhn] It’s always nice to have a crush. This particular crush is the catalog of winners in Mohawk Show 12. It’s the final piece in the campaign, which began with an invitation to submit to your love affair with paper. It’s a little book with a lot of photos, and a perfect reminder of why we will always love paper and printing and design.
Stanley Hainsworth, founder of the creative agency Tether, chaired the panel of judges for Mohawk Show 12. Tether also designed all the show materials. Prior to founding his own studio, Stanley helped Nike, Starbucks and Lego build their brands by elevating their design. He says, “I love the uncoated paper approach to a catalog—it allows the honesty of the pieces to be shown, instead of trying to put a spin on them. And Mohawk Superfine is so beautiful and so tactile.”
Frits Kouwenhoven of Hemlock Printers has long been the ultimate advocate for stochastic printing. He had this to say about printing the Mohawk Show 12 book: “Using 20 micron stochastic screen on Mohawk Superfine is like watching HD TV.” He also told us, “Using the standard line-screen metric for comparison, 20 micron stochastic is the equivalent of a 380-line screen.”
Stanley Hainsworth graciously submitted to several questions about designing the Mohawk Show 12 catalog.
What were your initial thoughts on how the campaign could reflect Mohawk’s brand graphically and philosophically?
Hainsworth: First of all, I wanted to have some fun with it, so I involved several Tether designers in the studio in generating ideas. One idea came to the fore: how to make Mohawk paper the hero. In the digital world, working with paper is becoming almost a privilege—sometimes even an anomaly. I think that when people get to design for print now, they look for opportunities to show what paper can do—the way you treat it, interact with it and cherish it. In the show, we saw many entries where people were having fun with paper.
Best of Show: The Goat Book, designed by Sasges, Inc., for the love of goats.
What was your starting point?
After we came up with the concept—a love affair with paper—we had a big brainstorming session to see how many [associated] words we could come up with. Then we figured out the best point in the campaign for each, from the call for entries to publicity, congratulating the winners and the catalog.
What about the lettering?
The display typeface came out of the notion of “paper as hero,” of each letter being folded from paper. You have to interact with the paper to actually read it. Initially, we were just going to do the word submit, but then we thought it’d be fun to be able to do other words, so we created a complete alphabet. We could spell whatever we wanted, and we used the letters in an animated way in super-short video banner ads. We named the typeface Submit.
Best of Show: Preview of the David Gibson Poster designed by Piscatello Design Centre for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Visiting Artist Program
I love the “fold-back reveal” previewing the winning projects.
The intent of the catalog was to document each piece, to give as full a sense of it as possible. So Justin Gollmer took a documentary approach to the photography—there are 90 photos in the catalog—while the fold-over effect is about the love of detail, folding over to reveal precious parts of each project.
You included one project critique from each judge, including yourself. I loved reading them. Can you say a bit more about the Finalist piece you chose to critique, the one for the University of Alabama Nursing Clinic?
My main impression from this piece was that, although this was a regional piece for a nursing clinic, there was a level of consideration and attention to detail that you would find for any global branded piece. And the guiding grid allowed the piece to fluctuate as needed within that structure. Overall, it is just a really beautiful piece.
Stanley Hainsworth: “I loved the ‘Not Just Another Nurse’ printed and embossed on the front, and the same statement printed on the inside front cover next to the deboss of the cover statement.” Design firm: Cayenne Creative for UAB Medicine.
In the Finalists section, you needed to showcase two different winners on each spread. Was that challenging?
Each composition was considered to carefully express its own story while at the same time showing off the design and production qualities that helped make it a winner. The pairings of Finalists were made of entries that went well together, but also gave a way to let themselves be celebrated on their own.
Parting shot: The double-score on the front and back covers is a clever feature of layflat perfect binding. The narrow strip of cover between the scores is glued to the front and back pages of the book block; the book block spine floats free from the cover.
The Mohawk Show 12 Catalog will be available for ordering on Monday — we’ll post a link that day to let you know how to get your copy. Until then you can view the complete catalog here. See all of the Mohawk Show 2012 winners at MohawkConnects.com.
Photos: © 2012 StudioAlex