One of our favorite paper promotions in recent history has got to be "LIVE on Cougar" created by Squires & Company for Domtar's Cougar. It utilizes exotic foils, folds, and double hits of vivid, fluorescent inks. You just can't miss it. We cornered Brittany Pickle, designer extraordinaire at Squires & Company to answer some of our burning questions about this promotion, the third promotion in a four-part series on Cougar papers.
Allow us to introduce you to Brittany. She is full of moxie and equipped with a sharp set of design skills. She brings a unique perspective and quality of ideas to the team at Squires & Company. She works with a wide range of exciting clients including Domtar, Range Resources, House of Shine and Methodist Hospital. Brittany is an active member of DSVC and AIGA. She received her BFA in graphic design, Suma Cum Laude from Texas Christian University and has been at Squires for two years. Brittany screen prints in her free time.
O-K: This new paper promotion "LIVE on Cougar" is incredible on all fronts - concept, content, design, and paper engineering. Were the creative meetings fun or intimidating?
Brittany: First of all thank you for the kind words and second, really fun! Honestly there was a lot of collaboration between us and the lovely folks at Domtar which made it exciting rather than intimidating. I will say from my perspective, wanting to create a paper promo that is the most amazing is a tall order. However, it was worth any struggles up front to get the final solutions. A lot of hard work went into this piece from everyone involved but I would definitely say it was worth it.
O-K: Let's get right into it. Who dreamed up the "oh so clever" valley folds on the french folded pages?
Brittany: This is a good one, I can't take full credit for the valley folds, that idea came up in an initial brainstorm when we were pitching ideas internally. It was something that another designer and I landed on, and it made the most sense to be implemented into the concept that eventually became the LIVE brochure we know today.
O-K: What kind of reaction did you get from the printer when you supplied them with the paper dummy for this piece?
Brittany: Graphic Visual Solutions had a go-getter attitude for sure. They were actually really excited by all the challenges we proposed in this piece and they pulled them off beautifully.
O-K: The foil stamping combinations are gorgeous. How much testing was done to achieve the right ink to foil combinations?
Brittany: We were lucky to do a good amount of pre-press testing, which was really cool to be able to experiment with the foils. The holographic magenta foil was tested to make sure it would react properly on top of the flood of fluorescent ink since this is such a rare combination, and it looked fantastic from the get-go. The original idea was to have a clear foil for the "secrets to live" on the cover, so we tested a few options and GVS showed us the "Pillars of Light" foil which has the iridescent streaks in it. I personally had never seen this before and everyone really fell in love with it. I think if I had any advice it would be to definitely consider what is underneath the foil, and think about how that could potentially react with the foil itself. Overall, our experience went really well.
O-K: How were the "secrets of life" collected and chosen for this piece?
Brittany: We wrote out a lot of options for different "secrets" and really tried to cull it down to a well rounded selection of some of the most important keys to living a full life. There was a lot of consideration on how these words would tie in with the messaging of living on Cougar paper, as well as what quotes best exemplified the word it is connected to. The research for quotes from famous people with all different backgrounds was really interesting and inspiring. A major focus was to make the quotes connect the reader in a really motivating way.
O-K: Did anything surprise you once you got on press?
Brittany: Most of our surprises were worked out in pre-press testing, but during that time I was surprised at the tri-tones black and white images which included two shades of black and silver. They were originally coming out very posterized looking and lacking dimension. It took some adjusting on our end and experimentation on press to really get the images to show the range of depth we were hoping for. Once again, GVS really came through on this.
O-K: This is the third in a four-part series on Domtar Cougar papers. So far, which is your favorite: Dream, Journey or LIVE and why?
Brittany: That's so tough! All the books are really beautiful and have their own personality which I think is really cool. I may be a little biased, but I really love the LIVE book. I think it fully embraces the idea of living a joyful life and imparts a message of enjoying the life you've worked for. It is an extremely colorful book and I don't see many people pick it up without smiling, which to me is a huge success.
O-K: You're a silkscreening enthusiast on your off time. Were you involved in the split fountain, silkscreened poster for this year's HOW Conference of Maya Angelou's quote?
Brittany: I have experimented with this technique in my free time but I was not apart of the production of the poster for the HOW Conference. However, knowing how tricky this technique can be, I'm really impressed with the level of execution of it.
O-K: Which "secret of life" quote do you most identify with?
Brittany: I personally identify with the "Boldly" the most. This Jack London quote has been a favorite of mine for years and to be able to put it in this piece was really special to me. I find the quote extremely motivating to live in a vibrant manner and to take chances to follow your dreams because this is the one life you get.
O-K: Any spoilers or hints you can share on the final fourth Cougar piece?
Brittany: I can tell you the last book in the series will be focused on the idea of "Share". I can also tell you that Squires will have the great opportunity to partner with the team at Domtar to work on it, which we are really excited about. For the rest, you guys will just have to wait and see.
O-K: Thanks, Brittany!
To get your copy of "LIVE on Cougar", get in touch with your Olmsted-Kirk paper representative or our sample room. They are going quickly for good reason.