Print has many unique characteristics; the tactile element is certainly one of them. Unlike digital media, printed works can convey content through touch, also known as haptic communication. When people interact physically with printed pages, attributes like luxurious, delicate or innovative are easily transmitted. The Swiss folder manufacturer and paper converter KMC has worked with a number of magazines to create unique covers that not only feature high-quality looks but also communicate through touch.
When the Swiss business magazine Bilanz, which has more than 100,000 readers, prepared their annual ‘Who is who’ issue featuring the 300 most affluent people in Switzerland, the magazine looked for a special design. With the automotive brand BMW as a presenting partner, Bilanz aimed for a look and feel conveying innovation, high quality, and luxury. They asked KMC for a title page that would communicate the characteristics of a celebrity lifestyle combined with classy car culture.
KMC presented different sample covers with wood, carbon and leather finishing. The Bilanz team decided they liked leather best. KMC used their branded scratchproof silk-matte PLUS laminating foil and applied UV-relief varnish to create the look and tactile effects of luxurious leather. The cover attracted a lot of attention and demonstrated how a creative finishing can increase the value of print products.
A few months earlier, KMC helped create another striking magazine cover. The graphic design magazine Novum is known for its ingenuity when it comes to communicating through their use of fonts, paper and other design elements. For their 10.15 issue titled ‘Sensitive Subjects’, they approached KMC for ideas. KMC embraced the challenge: As a paper converter and finisher, this was another opportunity to showcase what they could do to enhance the value of print and to translate the attributes of sensitivity into print.
KMC used their branded softtouch laminating foil and a soft, thick varnish in an unusual yet effective technique. The application of the varnish required great care to ensure that the effect is perceptible but not too strong so that it corresponds to the magazine’s title ‘Sensitive Subjects’. The cover was printed with an offset printer and after all the technical challenges were mastered, Novum praised the work of the printer and designers, writing: “The topics range from AIDS, cannabis, furs and refugees to epilepsy and suicide. But don’t worry, even if the subjects are no laughing matter, the designs will raise your spirits.”