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Explore 2: Limited Budgets, Unlimited Imagination

Written by in Collections, Inspire


Limited Budgets Unleash Unlimited Creativity:
Explore 2 Shows You How

Remember the old adage, charity begins at home? Well for graphic designers, community is home. And they have long supported their local communities—museums, restaurants, community centers, charity organizations, and other small businesses—by providing innovative design solutions. These are usually small projects, with low budgets—if any budget at all.

But limited budgets do not mean limited creativity. In fact, producing a unique, beautiful, and memorable piece begins with paper. See for yourself. Check out Explore 2, the second in the Explore series from Neenah[Read about Explore 1 here.]

Explore 2, designed by Farmhouse Design, is a portfolio of digitally printed samples created around the theme of highlighting one’s city. “Neenah challenged me to demonstrate the power of uncoated papers, papers rich with color and texture, for digital printing. Together, we identified the projects designers want to make, and challenged how someone could bring a whole new dimension to the printed piece with creative combinations,” said Ellie Mckenzie, Farmhouse Design.

Not only does Neenah pack Explore 2 full of inspiration, it also helps make short-run projects easier and more efficient by offering a wide selection of dielines for free download. Across Explore 1 and Explore 2 Neenah now provides imaginative samples and dielines for 25+ projects including variations of folders, brochures, envelopes, hangtags, invitations, coasters, and packaging boxes. [Available for download in PDF or EPS formats here.]

Take a closer look at Explore 2 and be inspired!

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For a long time the ideal papers for digital printing shared two characteristics; they were smooth and they were white. This isn’t the case today. This brochure uses three different papers, all with distinctly different weights, colors, and textures to add layers of tactility and shine to what could otherwise have been an ordinary piece.

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And what if your project needs a bigger wow factor, and perhaps with a sustainable message? Easy. Create a pop-up box for a community garden event and hide a pack of seeds inside (or chocolate, chocolate makes people happy). This pyramid-shaped box is designed to engage the recipient.


Show people how to get around: This map for a city-wide flower show is printed on PAPER TYGER®, a water and tear resistant paper that you can write on.

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Another way to leave a lasting message is to give your audience something they’ll use again and again. A bookmark or a fun-sized notepad make great handouts at club meetings, or town-wide events.


What could you make with this: An invitation, gift card, or music festival pass with complimentary drink ticket attached? The possibilities are endless. This cool promotion for a local city market even uses scratch off ink on the back to reveal a surprise.


Neenah’s CLASSIC® LINEN, RED PEPPER, creates the “stop-and-stare” factor for this direct mail piece. And this is where digital shines for small runs, in the sample shown the insert is a backstage pass, but it can be re-imagined to later house a business card, a season ticket, or a promo card.

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Want to get your hands on these ideas? Explore 2 is valued at $9.99, but it’s available for free through Neenah sales reps.

[Adapted from an article originally published on PaperSpecs.]