Stuck on your colour options? Arjowiggins and North have the answer in this craftily designed set of boxes
In each box, expect to find some useful advice on how to pair and compliment the paper company’s Keaykolour and Curious Metallics range.
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- 3 March 2021
- Reading Time
- 4 minute read
You’ve been given a brief and you start to ideate the design and format. Then it’s time to deliberate the colours. But what palettes will you opt for? Will you choose something bright and joyful, or something a bit more bold and informative? And how will this translate on paper, you might ask?
There are many things to consider when choosing the right tones, let alone the paper in which to do so. Arjowiggins, an independent paper manufacturer based in Scotland, has given you a few answers. For one, it has been producing fine and custom-made papers since the 17th century. To say that the company has a vast amount of experience in this field would be an understatement. So when Arjowiggins decided to launch a set of papers with its Keaykolour and Curious Metallics range, now designed into an array of boxes designed by North, of course this was going to open up a wide range of discussion on the topic of colour choices in design.
“Arjowiggins’ core aim was to create a pair of flexible tools for everyday use that would frame Keaykolour and Curious Metallics as two interconnected palettes,” says Jeremy Coysten, partner and creative director at the London-based studio and branding agency North. The project consists of a selection of boxes, each including a colour matching tool, as well as some advice on the two families and examples of how best to pair the colours. Keaykolour houses 48 colours ranging from those that are more stony and subtle, to the rich and blooming. Meanwhile, Curious Metallics houses 30 colours from deep blacks to pastels. There’s scope to create a variety of compilations with the cards as a guide, ranging from complementary pairings to harsh opposites.
Continuing to discuss the brief, Jeremy tells It’s Nice That how the team had to start by considering what form was best suited to the role of the tools. “A loose set of cards allows designers to pick and editor their own palettes easily,” he says. “It also encourages cards from the two sets to be used together.” From this, the studio decided on size and observed how too big of a scale would mean that the boxes would end up living on a shelf, most likely collecting dust and rarely used as a palette determiner. Too small, on the other hand, and it wouldn’t communicate the message accurately, nor would it add to the physical qualities of the paper.
Then there’s the contents within the box itself: “The information on each card is visually consistent with the Paper book, the primary Arjowiggins tool,” Jeremy points out. “Patterns were added to emphasise the colours which are shared in both Keaykolour and Curious Metallics, and to indicate the potential for printing on the papers.” These details have been designed with simplicity in mind, comprising shapes in tonal colours so that they will avoid distracting the viewer from the visual impact of the paper.
The final consideration and thus the last element to be designed was the box. “The flexibility of the palette was reinforced by adding a window and producing each box in multiple colours,” says Jeremy, stating how there’s hundreds of different combinations available for both the sets. “We’re very fortunate to have such a long-standing relationship with Arjowiggins. The trust that has built up between us over the years allows for a healthy, vital dialogue during the design process. These tools are needed to be flexible, capable of communicating multiple messages and adapting to different markets. A good dialogue is the best way of ensuring that we tick all these boxes.”
Understandably, the main focus point of the project is to bring attention to the colour palettes available through Arjowiggins. Secondary, though, is the quality paper feel that comes with – that feeling of picking up a well-designed piece of printed matter and touching its smooth paper stock. “The most effective way of helping people to understand the quality of a piece of paper is by encouraging them to hold it,” adds Jeremy. “It comes back to the form: it’s very simple, but a loose set of cards requires more handling than a bound book.” An additional feature is the cut-out window, which serves as a viewing portal into the box’s contents. “The window on the front of each box extends around the edge to show the side view of the stacked cards. Those slithers of colour communicate the whole palette in an instant.”
So if you’re in need of a creative boost, or you find yourself seeking some advice on colours – and more specifically paper – then Arjowiggins and its work with North is here to give some helpful guidance. This tool is also available through Arjowiggins’ network of merchants and via Antalis in the UK. Its selection of versatile papers and colour options means you can quite literally apply its products to any design. “We wouldn’t want to restrict anyone’s thinking by implying that one application is more appropriate than another,” says Jeremy on a final note. “Quite the opposite really. We’d encourage designers to use it where they would least expect it.”