What Will You Make Today: Hybrid and Mohawk paper design quarterly

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Paper_Design_Mohawk_Paper_image001Mohawk is at it again. The Cohoes, New York based, fourth generation family-owned paper
manufacturer released their seventh issue of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly this October. Mohawk and Hybrid Design collaborated for the 7th time on the award-winning publication with unique and impressive paper design in mind.

Issue seven focuses on the concept of character and greets readers with words from Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Mohawk’s Chairman and CEO: “Character is about expressing our true selves, doing the things and creating our own stories.” O’Connor was inducted to the Soderstrom Society in September of 2014 after being nominated by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). It only makes sense that with a CEO who’s part of such a prestigious society, the Maker Quarterly would receive recognition. In 2014 the Maker Campaign was honored by AIGA during the annual Justified Design Competition, and in 2015 was given a Pulp and Paper International Award for Bringing Paper to Life: Innovative Printing & Writing Campaign of the Year.”

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Since 2013, Mohawk has been teaming up with San Francisco firm Hybrid Design to create the quarterly publication. According to Hybrid’s website, Mohawk “needed a way to reach out directly to the creative community.” As a result, Maker Quarterly was born, focusing each issue on one of Mohawk’s core values as shared in the company’s manifesto, “A Declaration of Craft.”

Dora Drimalas, principle of Hybrid Design, describes the character concept, saying, “We all have our own character, that special force driving us, guiding everything we do. To listen to it is to gain insight into what makes us unique—and it isn’t always easy.” Drimalas’s words ring true in a feature by the American Craft Council’s Director of Education Perry A. Price, appropriately titled “The Hard Way.”

“Similarly,” Drimalas continues, “a rich experience comes from embracing the unique character of everything around us, the expressions that abandon the path of least resistance and struggle to be just as they are.”

Iconic names Warby Parker, Style du Monde and Thronwillow Press—among others—join together in the pages of issue seven. Crafters and makers from Broken Homme leather goods to illustrator Maija Louekari also grace the colorful Mohawk Loop paper that makes up the pages of this issue.

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Mohawk Loop was chosen to “demonstrate how using responsible paper can add character to printed projects.”

“The issue features a beautiful display of offset printing on colored and fibered papers, including white ink on Mohawk Loop Urban Gray, and a spectacular use of fibered a fibered sheet (Mohawk Loop Smooth, Birch) for added textual interest.”

Paper_Design_Mohawk_Paper_1Vice President of Business Development and Creative Director of Mohawk, Chris Harrold, shares his take on Maker Quarterly’s Character issue as well: “[Issue seven] presents the topic of Character exploring self-expression … Consistent with this ongoing series, this issue is carefully constructed and impeccably printed incorporating a subtle, beautiful use of paper texture, color and weight. The Character issue is a powerful example of paper being used as a deliberate design element which supports the narrative.”

In this writer’s opinion, Harrold, Drimalas and their teams hit the nail on the head with this one. The oversized 9.75˝ × 13.25˝ zine is eye-catching, well designed and feels great in your hands—like holding the blueprints for an elegantly drafted building. Everything from the paper design to the spreads and juxtaposition of short sheets (7.2˝ × 13.25˝) to main pages feels thought out and planned for maximum representation of the vivid features and stories.

With issue seven out of the way, what should we expect next from Mohawk and Hybrid Design? For starters, issue 8 of Maker Quarterly is currently in the works. Hybrid has already redesigned Mohawk’s entire paper swatch collection, and, as creative director and vice president Chris Harrold explains, “[Mohawk is looking] forward to continuing our partnership with [Hybrid] to continue to grow our Maker Campaign.”

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