We are 100 years old! Field Paper opened their doors in 1916, the same year that PIggly Wiggly, the first supermarket, opened; the United States was a year away from entering World War; and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. While many things have changed over the years, two things have remained the same for us…our sole focus on paper and our dedication to our customers. We thank you, our loyal customers and friends, for making 100 years possible. In the words of our president, Mike Freeland, “Without our customers, we don’t exist. It’s all thanks to them.”
To celebrate, we launched our 100-year logo and tagline “One Name. One Company. 100 Years”, reflecting our enduring and reliable presence in a business climate rampant with mergers and acquisitions. Our trucks with the new logo are hitting the streets this month.
Be sure to get a copy of our 2016 calendar “Be Who You Are on Paper”. It showcases hand-cut paper images from over 100 papers we carry with each month featuring a relevant paper characteristic or impact that paper can have on your printed material. (There are 100 rings in the cut tree on the cover. Fifty on the front and fifty on the back. Yes, we counted them.)
Printed by Edwards on Mohawk Options Vellum True White 100 cover and Sappi McCoy Matte text. We picked those papers for their ability to reproduce photography beautifully and reliable performance on press. Not one color adjustment was necessary at the press checks. Plus, we love the contrast between the toothy uncoated cover and coated insides.
Designer Austin Van Laar was the “mad genius” behind all the 100 Year creative work and showed his serious design skills when he decided to go old-school and meticulously craft each calendar image out of paper. He also realized the scope of the undertaking and called in his long-time friend and graphic designer, Angela Griner, for help. Armed with over 100 different papers and a box of xacto blades, they created these magnificent little pieces of art. Then they were photographed by Greg Scheidemann of [n]haus foto where he learned how difficult metallic and foil papers are to shoot. For example, the flying fish image above is made from CTI Kromecote Rainbow Foil which looks silver to the naked eye, but every time the flash would reflect off the paper, we would get a different “rainbow” color in the photo. No two shots would come out the same. To overcome this obstacle, Austin and Angela photoshopped four different images together to create the final one. Voila!
You really have to see these images in person to truly appreciate the time and talent behind them. (We hope to have these on display at our Fall Paper Show if we can convince Austin and Angela to lend them to us. They have, understandably, become very attached to them!)
Here’s what Austin and Angela had to say about their creative process:
How did you come up with the idea of actually creating the images from paper? What compelled you to go to the extra mile?
Austin: After Field approached me about illustrating the calendar, I spent a lot of time considering what subject matter and style of illustration would really suit a paper company and its audience. I thought about what you could say about paper and maybe doing type-based images. I thought about illustration styles or printing techniques that could really tell a story about paper. Everything kept revolving around the uniqueness of paper. Finally one day I just stopped and thought, “Field is a paper company. That’s their whole world. What if the paper was the illustration?” I ran the idea by Angela with a “Would it be crazy…” text and she replied with, “Can I help?”
What was the biggest struggle in creating these 3D images?
Austin: For me it was keeping the illustrations interesting and manageable at the same time. Some ideas that came out in our sketches proved to be too difficult to cut out of paper. The visual simplicity of some of the illustrations didn’t necessarily mean they were easy to produce. September is basically just all triangles, but lining them all up when no two pieces actually touch each other proved to be tedious.
Angela: When sketching out the designs, the sky was the limit. But then cutting out those details took time and intense concentration. There was a period of time where Austin and I didn’t talk for over two hours. Getting everything just right proved a lot more difficult than just placing paper on a sheet, everything needed to be tweaked.
You used over 100 papers in these images. Did you rediscover any favorites in the process?
Austin: I’m a sucker for sparkle so my favorites are the metallics. I kind of want to wallpaper an entire room with Curious Metallics Super Gold from Appleton. They were surprisingly easy to work with, too.
Angela: There were papers that a decade back I thought were a little fuddy-duddy, but in examining our concepts I found that parchment could have an updated look with a nod to the past and a columned sheet could be fresh and sleek.
You are a designer who believes paper is a vital element in your print design as well. Why is that?
Austin: I’ve focused on print design for my entire career and a large part of the reason for that is a deep belief that design is more impactful when it engages the senses. Right out of the gate paper has a tactility that you can see, touch and even hear as you handle it. When you design with paper, its sensory library gets baked right into your design. Every experience you create with paper is familiar yet unique. You always feel like you’re creating something that’s truly special.
Angela: With paper you can push a design further. Your design is not only type and image on your screen, it’s one more opportunity to expand your concept. There’s a reason my five year old runs to the mailbox and is so excited when something comes in the mail. He can touch a printed piece, hold it in his hands, and distinguish between what is special and what is, in his words, “junk.” With a captive audience like that, the perfect sheet makes all the difference.
The calendar is printed on Mohawk Options and Sappi McCoy. Any particular reason you chose those sheets?
Austin: That’s easy, we wanted the best of both worlds—uncoated and coated. Since the calendar is all about paper we wanted it to feel extra “papery” when people first laid hands on the cover. Nothing gives you that tactility like an uncoated sheet. We chose Mohawk Options not only because it’s touchy-feely, but also because we knew its Inxwell Process would give us vibrant color and rich detail. The illustrations for the interior are really diverse in terms of texture and color, so we knew a matte coated sheet would make the images look their best across the board. Sappi McCoy is the Cadillac of coated papers…it was an easy choice.
How many x-acto blades were used and paper cuts suffered?
Austin: 150 blades, 0 cuts
Angela: 8 blades, 0 cuts. Someone had a heavy hand, we won’t name names.
We at Field Paper wish you all a happy, healthy and successful New Year and look forward to what the next 100 will bring.