Category: Inside Structural Graphics

2018 Trends: Print in a Digital World

Shame on you if you’re still thinking of print as “traditional” marketing!

Beyond the fact that print is not dead, we’re firm believers that paper and ink can be as limitless as your imagination. Nowadays, consumers can access bedtime stories by scanning wallpaper, quit smoking by way of virtual reality and track their heart rate just from touching a magazine ad.

As brands continue to rethink their marketing, it’s important not to count print (or paper) out just yet. For many, it can aid in creating multi-sensory experiences, bringing together craftsmanship, creativity and design in a way that resonates with consumers.

Taking inspiration from the trends mentioned in St. Joseph Communications’ Print in a Digital World 2018 report, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most innovative projects we’ve been a part of to show you just how interesting paper can be.

TREND 1: Art, not ads.

“From smartphones to desktops and tablets to wearables, we cannot escape real-time digital experiences. Real disruption goes beyond swipes and taps. It comes from creating a wider sensory and immersive experience.” – St. Joseph Communications

SONY

Sony chose our Magic Window design for a direct mail campaign. The results? The average time spent with this mailer – 41 minutes. The rate of recall among recipients – 90%. The average time this piece was retained by recipients – 4 months.

VELUX SKYLIGHTS

We worked with full service agency Wray Ward Marketing to promote the commercial use capabilities of their client VELUX Skylights. They wanted to portray that VELUX Skylights was superior to its competition. The design they chose to do this was our table tent video box. The video screen is contained within the box. When you open up the box, the piece stands and locks into place displaying the informational video front and center. The video box also included play/pause and volume controls.

TREND 2: Beyond the page.

“The emergence of new channels and technologies are creating new opportunities for marketers. Virtual reality and augmented reality are bridging the gap between print and digital like never before. Downloadable apps can be easily introduced to campaigns, while more sophisticated brands are integrating these technologies into their own mobile platforms.” – St. Joseph Communications

FOOD LION

Food Lion Grocery Stores used this press kit to deliver information about the new layout and new products offered at its stores. When you open up the press kit, a replica of the new store pops up in the middle of the kit with detailed information on the new layout laid out in the middle. Also upon opening, a sound chip was activated to deliver an auditory announcement of the new stores. Each panel featured colorful imagery and information about the exciting changes of the store, and the right-hand panel also featured additional tabs of information that could be easily pulled out. The locking mechanism on the inside allowed the panels to lock in place making this the perfect comprehensive press kit for Food Lion.

PORSCHE

We designed and produced this custom Virtual Reality Viewer for Porsche. They used it to give consumers an interactive experience with their brand.

 

 

STRYKER DIAGNOSTICS

Stryker Diagnostics, the makers of hip and knee medical devices, chose this V-Pop design as a tradeshow invitation. When you open the invitation, a postcard pops up in the center. The call to action on the postcard was to bring the postcard to the Stryker booth to experience a 3D demonstration of the hip and knee devices. When users held the postcard marker in front of the web cams set up at the Stryker kiosks they were able to view a live 360 degree 3D demonstration of these devices.

TREND 3: Far from traditional.

“Thinking of print as ‘traditional’ is an old way of thinking. Consumers can cook, monitor their own health, and connect physical and digital channels thanks to a printed piece. These are the types of interactions that are meaningful to consumers.” – St. Joseph Communications

TOYOTA

The request was for something that has “never been done before.” With an LCD heart monitor and two completely independent electronic units in one magazine unit, this spectacular for the Toyota Camry certainly meets the criteria.

Incorporating movement, interaction and technology, this first-of-its-kind Camry insert is the latest re-invention of what print can be.

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE

Nationwide Insurance used this pie box mailer to deliver information about CareMatters, its long-term care product, to agents nationwide. The outside of the box pie box featured a partial mylar window that allowed recipients to get a sneak peek inside the box. In this case, a piece of the pie. Inside the box was a double-layered pie made out of paper that delivered different information as you turned the upper layer of the pie. There was also a brochure and a web key inside the box that drove agents to a unique landing page, specific to their agency, where they could learn more about this product. This box was also the winner of a GDUSA American Package Design Award!

GOOGLE

When you’re the most widely used web-based search engine in the world, how do you communicate with your audience in a way that is equally as big? Google chose this puzzle piece mailer to introduce the features of Google Earth Pro, its 3D interactive globe. The pieces of the puzzle were mailed inside the envelope and recipients were asked to connect it all together. The results? A fully dimensional ball featuring the features and benefits of Google Earth Pro.

Structural Graphics’ Look Back on 2017

As we delve into another year, Structural Graphics looks back at some of the most effective dimensional print projects we worked on in 2017, from SleekPeeks® to disco balls (and even a mini planetarium!).

SleekPeeks®

The introduction of SleekPeeks®, inexpensive virtual reality headsets created by Structural Graphics, made it possible for brands like Porsche and USPS to deliver the ultimate interactive experience to their audience.

Lincoln Video Mailer

At the National Postal Forum in May 2017, our high-end video mailer for The Lincoln Motor Company’s “See it First” campaign was selected as the Grand Champion Award winner of the Irresistible Mail Awards trophy. The Irresistible Mail Awards is a USPS program that highlights mail pieces that increase engagement through innovative design, print or digital technologies. Structural Graphics structurally designed and hand assembled the piece.

Disco Ball Invitation

Featured as the 60-second Super-cool Fold of the Week, our “Simply Cool Swinging Disco Ball Accordion Invitation” was designed and produced for the Regional One Health Foundation. They used this mailer to invite people to their annual ONE Night Fundraiser. The invitation shipped flat, but the paper die-cut spheres on the cover immediately twirl in succession when you open up the mailer to create the illusion of a dimensional disco ball.

Dish Network Pop Up Cube

Used as a unique handout at the CES Show in Las Vegas, this pop up cube was delivered inside a half-sleeve, giving the recipient a sneak peek of what was on the inside. As the cube slides out, it immediately pops into shape delivering information about Dish Network’s award-winning DVR, The Hopper®. Click here to see it in action!

This Book is a Planetarium

In her newest book, “This Book is a Planetarium,” designer, innovator, and author Kelli Anderson takes commonly known mechanisms and replicates them through pop-up paper designs. Kelli came up with the initial engineering in her studio and then reached out to the team at Structural Graphics to make the Planetarium piece in the book production-ready. When you place the flashlight of your smartphone underneath the Planetarium dome, the constellations are displayed as if you were viewing them in the night’s sky.

Audi Pop-Up Brochure

Our Circle Pop-Up Brochure Mailer that we designed for Audi and their printer, Hennegan, was awarded Silver in the “Dimensional Printing” category of the Gold Ink Awards. Presented by Printing Impressions, The Gold Ink Awards is the industry’s most prestigious print competition. It’s open to all creators and producers of printed materials, and encompasses nearly 50 categories within commercial printing, magazines, books, catalogs, digital printing and packaging.

Structural Graphics Awarded 2 Gold Ink Awards

We are proud to announce that Printing Impressions has awarded Structural Graphics not one, but two, 2017 Gold Ink Awards! With submissions in the “Direct Mail” and “Dimensional Printing” categories, Structural Graphics took home “Silver” for each.

Here are the designs that took home the prize:

Our Diagonal Box Mailer that we designed for Porsche, and their agency Cramer Krasselt, was awarded Silver in the “Direct Mail” category of the Gold Ink Awards.

Our Circle Pop-Up Brochure Mailer that we designed for Audi and their printer, Hennegan, also took home Silver, but this time in the “Dimensional Printing” category of the Gold Ink Awards.

We’d like to thank Printing Impressions for both of these honors and recognitions. To learn more about the awards, visit Printing Impression’s website here.

For more dimensional print marketing inspiration, visit us online at StructuralGraphics.com.

#TBT: Deliver Magazine

A few weeks ago, one of our staff members was combing through the archives, and came upon this wonderful article from the August 2010 issue of Deliver Magazine. How fortunate of a find, seeing as we recently celebrated our 40th year as a company. We love being able to go back, remember our roots and relive some of our favorite projects over again.

Won’t you join us?

Deliver Magazine (Vol 6, Issue 4, August 2010)

 

Structural Graphics President Ethan Goller Elected 2nd Assistant Chief of Fire Department

We are proud to congratulate Ethan Goller, President of Structural Graphics, who was recently elected as the new 2nd Assistant Chief of the Essex Fire Department!

Having joined the all-volunteer fire and rescue company in 1999, Ethan has moved up the ranks from firefighter, to line officer and now serves as an Assistant Chief.  He is also a Connecticut State certified EMT since 2003.

When asked what he found most rewarding of being a firefighter, Ethan responded “there is little as rewarding than to be able to come to the aid of someone who is often desperately in need of help.  When people call 911, they’re saying ‘I’m in a situation that I can’t handle’, and being able to help when help’s most needed gives me great satisfaction and pride”. He also feels fortunate that his position at Structural Graphics affords him the ability to respond during the day, as only a few Essex firefighters work in town.

Ethan invites you to Like EFD’s Facebook page.

SG Paper Engineer Displays Work at Art Exhibition


How much thought have you given to paper?

It’s a fragile medium, yet it can also be considered durable and strong. We learn to use it as children – for paper mache, posters and essays – but it continues to teach us lessons throughout life.

Here at Structural Graphics, it’s no surprise that we give A LOT of thought to paper: how it works, what it is and what it can be. And paper engineer, Isabel Uria, is certainly a testament to that.

Isabel’s work is currently on display at the Drezner Gallery in Avon, CT until Sat., June 24.

“Being creative is inside all of us,” Isabel said. “Creativity is looking at a world of possibilities and acknowledging all the ways a problem can be brought to light and all the ways it could be solved. Creativity opens your mind. It is a path to visualize the past, the present and the future. Creativity is the opposite of war. It is the future. Evolution has happened because human beings have been curious to know and understand how things work and take that understanding to CREATE new developments and innovative things that serve our needs and help us. Creativity makes the world go around!”

Paper Possibilities is a celebration of our understanding of paper as an expressive material. The artists in this exhibit come from a diverse set of backgrounds. Some are paper engineers, some work with cut paper, some are origami artists, and some find their expressions in the creation of the paper itself.

This is the first exhibition of the Paper Artist Gathering, a group based at the Hartford makerspace, MakeHartford. They have been working together and sharing techniques since November of 2015, and are ready to put forth their creations. Their goal is to demonstrate that despite its reputation as a common material, the potential for expressions in paper is not yet fully explored.


Structural Graphics Video Mail Piece Grand Champion of 2017 US Postal Service Irresistible Mail Award

Some mail pieces are effective, some are engaging, some are beautiful. But very few can be called Irresistible Mail™” – the US Postal Service.

At the National Postal Forum in Baltimore, MD on May 23, 2017, The Lincoln Motor Company’s high-end video mailer, “See it First,” was selected as the Grand Champion Award winner of the “Irresistible Mail” trophy.  The Irresistible Mail Award is a USPS program that highlights mail pieces that increase engagement through innovative design, print or digital technologies.

Sharing creative credits on the winning mailer are Structural Graphics who printed and hand-assembled the piece, Lincoln Motor Company, Ford’s ad agency GTB (formerly Team Detroit), Hudson Rouge.

Used to give customers a sneak peek before the vehicle hit showrooms, this mailer presents a video screen embedded on the inside of a display folder.  Activating upon opening, the video delivers a story about Continental’s heritage and features, along with a tri-fold brochure describing the ownership experience, all delivered in a custom box. This piece was one of four finalists recognized at this year’s Forum, having been the winner of the 2nd quarter Irresistible Mail Award.

Additionally, you can find Structural Graphics on the 2017 USPS Irresistible site. Several of our pieces, created in partnership with MRM/ McCann and Sandy Alexander, are featured, including SleekPeeks VR Viewers, and OE, a slider design our paper engineers developed that features Near Field Communication and a “Twister” exploding page.

Be sure to check out Structural Graphics VPA Gallery.

What it Means to Say I’m A Creative: Isabel Uria

This is the second installment in our “What it Means to Say I’m a Creative” series, meant to focus on the inspiration and drive behind each one of our paper engineers. To read Part 1 of the series, click here.

  1. How did you know you wanted to create (in a professional sense)?
    I think at an unconscious level I always knew I was going to work in the arts. I played piano for five years, and was involved in the school choir, theater, musicals and extracurricular art classes since middle school. Back then, I loved colors and painting, primarily.However, my journey with paper probably goes back to when I was 6 or 7 years old. My older brother had been given origami books for Christmas. I saw how he would make all these little creatures out of paper and neatly display them on his shelf. As any little sister, I idolized my brother. I wanted to be just like him! But he wouldn’t lend me his origami books!So one day, when he wasn’t looking or wasn’t around, I snuck into his room, took the books and started to try to follow the instructions on how to make all these little creatures through increasingly difficult pleats and folds. I succeeded on the beginner’s book but I failed miserably on all the more advanced ones. It took a while before I would understand and successfully accomplish complex paper folding like that. But if I have to look back at where I began with paper, I think that might have been my first experience with this amazing material.
  2. What advice would you give to others who want to work in a creative industry/ position? 
    Work Hard. Work smart. Be true to your passions.

    Be consistent.

    Be persistent (without being stubborn).

    Be confident, but not cocky.

    Dream big, but also keep your feet grounded in reality (or at least keep a toe or two on the ground).

    Stay confident, even when you think you’re wavering at every turn. (We often think we’re not doing well enough, but sometimes that’s a good thing; it keeps us humble.)

    Go forth doing your thing (whatever that may be) with constancy and fortitude!

    I guess much of this “advice” can really apply to any profession. At the end of the day, whatever you do, practice your craft passionately. Wouldn’t that make for a happier you?

  3. What does creativity mean to you?
    Being creative is inside all of us. Creativity is looking at a world of possibilities and acknowledging all the ways a problem can be brought to light and all the ways it could be solved. Creativity opens your mind. It is a path to visualize the past, the present and the future. Creativity is the opposite of war. It is the future. Evolution has happened because human beings have been curious to know and understand how things work and take that understanding to CREATE new developments and innovative things that serve our needs and help us. Creativity makes the world go around!
  4. How do you feel when you tell others you’re a paper engineer?
    It’s always fun to explain what I do. Unless you’re “in” the industry or closely linked to it, people don’t automatically know what a “paper engineer” is.First of all, we have not necessarily studied engineering in school, yet we work with paper as our material of choice in the same way an engineer does. We use the material —cut, fold, and paste it—to create an entirely new construct. The thing about paper engineers is that we can toggle that blurry line between being an artist and being a designer. We can be both! And sometimes, some of us are.Personally, I feel that’s awesome! I also feel very fortunate to be one of the people who makes a living in this profession. There are only so many people that do, and I think we all know each other! Or at least we know of each other.
  5. What does it mean to say that you’re a “creative”?
    There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being a designer because you’re the one that has to visualize the results, and make sure it works for the purpose that it is needed. As a creative I have to come up with a compelling, grand, aesthetically pleasing solution to the problem at hand. I have to design an eloquent way to express a message in 3D paper shapes and forms. I have to make things unique and innovative. Sometimes that comes easy, but sometimes it doesn’t. And criticism will always be there. Those are the struggles you deal with on a regular basis as a designer, as an artist and as a creative.

To learn more about Isabel, please click here.

Innovation At Work

Paper currency. Chocolate chip cookies. The Smartphone.

What do all of these things have in common, you might ask? Well, they all started as an idea that turned into a life-altering innovation.
innovation-team-300px
But, an innovation doesn’t have to be something as complex as creating Samsung’s Galaxy, or coming up with a way to maintain monetary policy; it can be as easy as baking a batch of homemade cookies.

At Structural Graphics we recognize that innovation is a major component to the success of a business, not only to provide our clients with new and creative solutions to their marketing challenges, but to provide solutions to the challenges we face internally in our company as well. Thus, the Structural Graphics “Innovation Team” was born. CEO Michael Maguire selected 10 employees, from all different backgrounds and departments, to form this Team whose sole purpose is to “create anything new that has impact”. For our company, innovation could take place in the form of a product or service, a process, or the way in which we interact with our customers.

The first task for the Innovation Team was to “think outside the box” and come up with an innovative way to re-organize an open space that wasn’t being used. After some brainstorming and collaborating, the Team transformed a dull, closed-off area into a terrific space with lots of natural light and places to display creative work. The “Innovation Space” became an area where employees can hold meetings, collaborate on projects and, most importantly, share projects (personal and professional) with their colleagues. You may not have known it; but we have lots of artists here, painters, poets, musicians and more.

The Innovation Team has some exciting projects they’re working on now. Members have split up into groups to take on projects the Team sees as having the greatest opportunity for innovation in our company right now. Projects include new and exciting updates to our company website, a company-wide recycling project for employees to become more environmentally conscious, and a plan to alleviate bottlenecks in our current internal prepress process workflow.

This is just the beginning. The Innovation Team holds lively and interactive meetings twice a month where all ideas are welcome, and usually a tasty dessert is shared among co-workers. This Team will act to provide Structural Graphics with innovative solutions to our current challenges. Keep a look out for some of our upcoming projects, and remember that innovation can be found anywhere; all you need is a great idea and the ability to “think next” (chocolate chip cookies definitely help too).

Picture: the Innovation Team in our newly redesigned innovation space.
(Front Row) Michael Maguire, Jenna Paternostro, David Komorowski, Karen Signor, Warren Yamakoshi
(Back Row) Darlene Ferris, Jeff Nixon, Joe Migliaccio, Shin Wakabayashi and Edmund Wu

Structural Graphics Celebrates 40 Years of Innovation in the Interactive Print Marketing Industry

sgs-40th-anniversary-party-21

Structural Graphics, the pioneer of the dimensional print marketing industry is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The company introduced the world to dimensional print marketing in 1976 and continues to lead the interactive print marketing industry today.

Over the years, Structural Graphics has created more than 40,000 interactive paper designs for clients in almost every industry and holds many U.S. Patents. For more than four decades, the company has helped some of the world’s most influential brands reach their audiences with high-impact and multisensory marketing campaigns. Brands such as Samsung, Google, Whirlpool, Coca Cola, Lincoln, Land Rover, UPS, American Express, Nationwide, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Leading Hotels of the WorldNabisco, AstraZeneca, The Hartford and Prudential, just to name a few.

As the world changes, Structural Graphics’ capabilities and service offerings have continued to evolve. Building on the company’s success in the insurance sector, The Lift Factor was established to deliver fully integrated marketing solutions utilizing print and digital executions for the nation’s top insurers. The Red Paper Plane division was created to provide a fast turnaround, do-it-yourself platform to buy Structural Graphics’ top selling formats online.

“The vast majority of companies never make it to see their 40th anniversary. The fact that we are celebrating this milestone here at Structural Graphics is a testament to the innovative products and services we offer, and our wonderful clients and suppliers. But most importantly, it’s a reflection of the creative, hardworking and talented employees that have walked through our doors over the past 40 years. Our people are truly our greatest asset,” stated Mike Maguire, CEO.

Structural Graphics markets its products and services nationally and in Canada, with its design and paper engineering, production management, marketing and administrative offices operating from the corporate headquarters in Essex, Connecticut. The company has sales and production operations throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

For more information or to view some of Structural Graphics’ work, please visit www.structuralgraphics.com.