One of the things I enjoy most about orbiting the design world around the holidays is that I get a lot of e-mails featuring some of my favorite designer’s personal yuletide greetings. And coming across Happy Wrap wrapping paper by Madeleine Eiche of Seattle-based studio Turnstyle made me, well, happy. Each of the eight sheets are 2 feet by 3 feet, and they’re folded down to 1-foot squares and tucked into a convenient folder. Turnstyle created Happy Wrap as a holiday promotion for Hemlock Printers of Vancouver, BC.
Turnstyle included their own holiday greeting: “This retrorganic holiday wrap is a nouveau-traditional twist on woodsy cabins, 5-point deer, yule logs, flannel pajamas, nature hikes, and long winters’ naps. Except that Ben shaved his beard and so the nature hikes are a little less beardsy. Regardless, Turnstyle wants to cozy up and spread the love this holiday season.”
I asked Turnstyle principal and creative director, Ben Graham (sans beard), to tell me more about the design of Happy Wrap.
What is your relationship with Hemlock?
“Hemlock’s annual holiday gift for the past seven years has been a set of gift wrap, each set designed by a different firm. The design work was done in trade – we received a sizable quantity of the promos—customized with our own greeting and branding—in exchange for the design work and the relative creative freedom afforded.”
Where did the idea for the project come from?
“We’ve been referring to the design theme for the papers as “Lumberjack Chic.” We wanted to create something that was clearly winter themed, but put a playful twist on traditional holiday themes. The wide-ranging aesthetic of the system includes line drawings of birds, reindeer, pine sprigs and mistletoe, two different plaids, and graphic elements like stripes and color floods. The whole set is tied together by an aged newsprint texture and a vivid color palette, featuring red, teal, peach, fluorescent chartreuse, fluorescent pink, metallic gold and black.”
Any design details worth noting?
“Each of the four sheets is double-sided, allowing for 8 unique designs. In the past, Hemlock has only printed one side of the papers, but we wanted to give people lots of options, so we proposed printing on both sides. There’s a great contrast effect when you open a gift that’s wrapped in red plaid, and then find that the inside of the wrap is flooded in fluorescent chartreuse—it’s like a little gift unto itself. Hemlock has a 10-color perfector (offset press) which they used to print 5 spot colors on each side in a single press run. In addition to the gift wrap, we designed the package itself, which includes integrated, tear-off gift tags.
The gift wrap is printed on uncoated paper (Quinalt Opaque). The package is printed on coated paper (McCoy Silk), flooded with soft touch aqueous (which gives it its luscious feel), with a blind-embossed reindeer whose nose is diecut to reveal the red wrapping paper inside—a subtle nod to Rudolph.”