What Would Charles and Ray Do?
When the Minneapolis firm Design Guys was charged with creating and promoting Neenah’s first new paper line in 10 years, they considered many concepts. But the idea of papers inspired and informed by the work of Charles and Ray Eames won out, in large part because of the opportunity to retell their story to a new generation of designers.
The Eames Office opened its archives and the Eames House to Design Guys, where the team found a treasure trove of materials (including paper samples collected by Ray Eames) that influenced not just the paper itself but also all the promotional materials.
While some designers would feel intimidated working in the shadows of such icons, the Design Guys team felt honored. “We all have tremendous respect for the Eameses and their accomplishments, and we took the responsibility of being true to their ideals and design sensibilities very seriously,” says designer Barry Townsend. “We’re certainly not the Eameses, but we often asked ourselves ‘What would Charles and Ray do if they were alive today?’”
Probably something not unlike what the Design Guys team created. The judges were impressed with the scope of the project (everything from swatchbooks and a chip chart to the paper itself), as well as its beautiful execution. And, according to the design team, the paper has been a rousing success, with sales coming in six times above Neenah’s goal.
Get the October 2006 Self-Promotion Design Annual
Title Eames Paper Collection Promo Materials
Design Firm Design Guys, Minneapolis; www.designguys.com
Art Director Steve Sikora
Designers Kelly Munson, Jay Theige, Barry Townsend
Copywriters Jeff Mueller, Steve Sikora
Printers Fey Publishing
Client Neenah Paper