Category Archives: Environmental Responsibility

Printing in China is cheaper, but is it worth it?

Brighton Collectibles, a high-end accessories manufacturer and retailer with over 140 U.S. locations, has been a long-time customer. Their primary order was foil stamped and embossed notecards (with plain envelopes), which they used to thank customers for their purchases. Brighton recently came to us and told us they were going to try to decrease their costs – by printing in China. We were sad to see them leave, but with the continuing economic difficulties, we understood.

It wasn’t long before they came back to us, though.

Brighton contacted us shortly after they received their product from China, with the request for a rush on their usual order – and they sent us some of the product they received. We were struck by how different it was in color from Brighton’s typical 80# Finch Fine Ultra Smooth Cover in Soft White. The paper above is more similar to smooth, heavy copy paper, and is just as bright. The second thing we noticed was the quality of the foil and the emboss. Not only was it out of register on the hearts, leaving a white rim on the curved tops, but the texture of the hearts was slightly raised and just flat. The foil itself wasn’t bright, but that could have been due to it’s finish, which was very rough. We understand why Brighton was so shocked to receive this after purchasing with us for so many years, but we aren’t.

We can understand the need to decrease costs, but like Brighton discovered, you can’t cut on craftsmanship. In an increasingly digital world, printed marketing still effectively engages customers – to long as there is something to engage with. An incredibly effective method is touch, which can be achieved with quality paper, textured surfaces, or raised images. Quality printing and finishing makes an impression – and sub-par printing, at best, makes none. It is now more important than ever to make a good impression on potential customers, and make existing ones feel valued. Giving them an aesthetically pleasing design, on beautiful paper, in well crafted printing and finishing techniques, can do just that.

Paperless Post Adds Tangible to Virtual

Image Courtesy of JP Stevens engraved social stationery.

It seems Ironic, but even Paperless Post  has introduced a creative new line of printed invitations and stationery, recognizing the impact of printed invitations far outweighs ephemeral e-cards.  Their customers can now choose to send e-vites, p-vites or a combination of both. We applaud PP’s creative response to helping others communicate more effectively.

Despite years of “anti-print, anti-paper” e-rhetoric, the “virtual behemoths” have actively used print to ensure their marketing messages reach intended targets. As others moves into the book sales competition with Amazon, perhaps the hyperbole will finally subside, giving way to the obvious: print is persistent, more persuasive and adds value.

“The Cloud” Darkens

A recent NY Times investigation done with help of McKinsey & Co. revealed data centers supporting “the cloud” were consuming over 2% of the nation’s energy in 2010. One finding, these data centers “used the equivalent output of 30 nuclear power plants,” detracts attention from the reality: much of the energy they consume is coming from carbon-based power plants.

According to the investigation, one data center alone can consume as much power as mid-sized city. What’s equally troubling, most data centers are incredibly inefficient, running at utlilization rates of 7-12% and consuming exponentially more power than required to meet their operating capacity out of fear of “down time.”  The back-up power systems preferred by many, diesel generators, are adding to the problem and generating a growing number of environmental fines.

Granted “Big Data” is a relatively immature industry, but one wonders how much longer the exaggerated claims of “online being greener” will continue. As the old saying goes: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but….”

BurdgeCooper Featured on “The Beauty of Engraving” site

Neenah Paper’s new site: The Beauty of Engraving, debuting August 2012, already features two examples of our work.  A heartfelt “Thank You” to Neenah for creating this site to enable others to see why successful firms choose engraving to create truly remarkable, memorable and environmentally responsible identities.

Our first featured pieces are for The Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf-Astoria property, and the Galaxy Casino & Resort in Macau.  Look for future contributions to thebeautyofengraving.com as we continue sharing examples of engraving on Neenah papers.

 

Toshiba’s PR Fiasco

Toshiba’s recent PR gimmick, a “National No Print Day,” is a textbook example of how e-com and energy related companies strive to misdirect environmental concerns by setting up bogeymen to deflect scrutiny from their impact.

Although producing well regarded products and services, Toshiba’s recent PR campaign profoundly misfired by piggybacking on the “green-washing” cycle instigated back in the “dot.com” era.

In truth, paper is a renewable resource. 2/3rd of its contents come from recycled materials, whether it be post-consumer waste or wood chips and castoffs from other industries. Of the 1/3rd portion of paper that is made from virgin trees, 90% of that comes from responsibly managed Tree Farms. If the demand for paper were to disappear, so would these farms, and the land they’re on would likely be repurposed – potentially for livestock, or a less environmentally-friendly crop. ( Source ) Continue reading

AIGA – Atlanta May 17th

Thanks to the popularity of our “Making Impressions” event in Las Vegas, we’ll be co-operating with AIGA Atlanta to offer another day of celebrating, learning, and creating tactile printing with BurdgeCooper and Neenah Paper. We hope you can make it!

Register Now

A TACTILE PRINTING FÊTE

make an impression in a sea of ink

BurdgeCooper & Neenah Paper invite you to a summer soiree exploring the tactile processes of traditional printing

ENJOY AMUSE-BOUCHE, CHAMPAGNE & GIVEAWAYS

 

TAKE YOUR TURN AT THE LETTERPRESS

& navigate BurdgeCooper’s eight printing processes paired with premium, eco-friendly Neenah Paper options. BurdgeCooper, the world’s largest engraving company, has been making an impression since 1874. With classical presses over 100 years old, these techniques literally stand out.

guests are encouraged to wear white

Members $15 | Non-Members $20

LOCATION:
Trees Atlanta
225 Chester Avenue
Atlanta, GA

QUESTIONS?
Write the event manager, Philip Berwick at philip@aiga-atl.org

Location: Trees Atlanta
Date: Thu, May 17
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Members: $15 / Student Members: $15
Non-Members: $20 / Student Non-Members: $20

Register Now


The End of Business Cards? Hardly.

Today’s LA Times front page had an article (featuring an online entrepreneur :>) who definitely sees no use for business cards, no future and predicts “they’re over.”  Buried in the article were points which clearly refute the title of article, but no matter.

What turned out to be really interesting after reading this “echo from the Rot Com era” was: although I’m a loyal p-newspaper subscriber because I support their investigative journalism, I later visited the LA Times site to see reader responses (LAT generously provides a Comments section for each article).

Oops, all but one response derided the article and the idea that business cards are “over.”  Despite the “e-PR spin” –  the future is all about ‘bumping’ mobile devices, ‘snapping’ codes and such…to instantly download contact data – the article curiously failed to address the exploding problem of mobile device hacking, which is doubling every few months…the reason savvy folks resist dumping unverified data into their contact lists.

What was truly interesting among the comments, several clearly called out the “e-com is greener” myth…and backed their arguments with facts. Just as I was smiling and navigating elsewhere, I bumped into another “e-PR” article built upon the premise “Things change, the ‘New Normal’ is here to stay.”  Where I’d been smiling before, I laughed out loud at this one.  No, sorry Gen Y, “today’s New Normal” will also change.

That’s the problem with “spin,” once folks start, they can’t seem to stop, but no matter.

I needed a good laugh to end the week. And the biggest one of all came right after…when I read that neutrino communication can eventually replace the internet. The recently completed research and successful tests are no laughing matter, but the thought of all that e-PR facing finally facing its comeuppance, that’s sublime.