More Out-of-the-Box Thinking with Print

By | July 16, 2014

I continue to ruminate about a comment made by a designer during an interview several months ago. He talked about a certain promotional piece being particularly effective because the channel itself — print, and the way that particular piece unfolded — actually became part of the message. As each complex fold was lifted, it revealed a new element of the product being marketed and reflected the message regarding the value and continual surprises the product offered.

Now when I see unusual and interesting uses of print, I think back to that interview. I’ve posted a few here, and this morning, I’d like to post another: pop-up paper cups.  This campaign was from Nescafe, but I can think of endless other ways, as well.

cup_125In this application, paper cups (branded or printed with promotional information, of course) can be folded and either glued into (or onto) a promotional piece or publication, handed out, or mailed. When they are opened, they pop up in their full dimensional shape, giving recipients a fun paper cup from which to drink coffee and view the marketing information at the same time.

How else could this be used? I think about the “channel as part of the message” approach.

  • New store openings (particularly those offering coffee, pastries, and full-out breakfast).
  • Bed & breakfasts, hotels, motels
  • Co-branded with multiple local businesses sent to new movers within a specific ZIP Code

The possibilities are endless. With the right workflow, the cups could even be personalized. (Part of a welcome packet for new employees, perhaps?) The point is to think about using print to provide some kind of value beyond just a flat piece of paper trying to sell people stuff — a value that other channels simply cannot provide.



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2 thoughts on “More Out-of-the-Box Thinking with Print

  1. Tom Chubb

    Excellent article. We recently had a Mohawk paper rep out to speak about their new line of dimensional papers for digital printers. This just reinforces the value!

  2. Gina Testa

    Great article – I would love to walk into a meeting with a pop-up paper cup! I not only think it’s a great conversation starter but also a great example of the value of print and why it still works. From a brand perspective, the power of design can only truly be unleashed when it’s an integrated offering, from the craftsmanship displayed on a company’s website down to the feel of the beautifully printed hard copy marketing pieces – and everything in between. I’ve got another idea to add to your list – schools and colleges could use the pop-up cups and make it personalized with their logos and colors. And you’re right, the possibilities are endless. Today, it’s all about relaying content through various channels and creating a niche for your consumers to align with. Print is not dead – its pieces like these that truly make me excited for the future of the industry. – Gina Testa, Xerox US Graphic Communications Operations, @GinaTesta

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