The Maker Movement and The Declaration of Craft

Written by Jill DiNicolantonio

It's no secret we're fans of independent, local businesses, so the idea of an entire movement dedicated to craft is one we can definitely get behind (after all it's part of our heritage - just look at our name). Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you've no doubt heard of the Maker Movement. The movement affords DIYers the opportunity to turn their hobbies into careers.  With small scale manufacturing becoming accessible via new technologies like 3-D printing, and sites like Kickstarter making it easier for wantrepreneurs to get funding - The Makers Movement has taken off.  And I for one could not be happier about it. 

Since 1920, Millcraft has been dedicated to making quality crafted papers and substrates available for all. While our offering has grown to 1000+ papers, we still offer (and stock in our warehouses) the first line available in our portfolio - Strathmore. Today Strathmore is made by our friends at Mohawk, a company inspired by the very ideals of today's Maker Movement: "high-quality materials, time-tested methods, ingenuity and careful execution." To demonstrate their commitment to these ideals, Mohawk has launched a fab new campaign that celebrates craft in a digital world.

The campaign consists of three new publications which "feature the stories of printers, designers, manufacturers, artists, artisans, musicians, and all those who make their living as makers." The Mohawk Declaration of Craft, The Mohawk Craft Cooperative, and The Mohawk Maker Quarterly publications promote and underscore the importance of craftsmanship and collaboration in a digital era. In addition Mohawk's partnering with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as Supporting Sponsor of the 2013 Martha Stewart American Made program and awards ceremony. Not only am I huge fan of Martha's but a few of Millcraft's customers are in the running - now that's kind of cool, or as Martha would say, that's a good thing.

All I can say is W O W. When I got my samples I flipped through each one, feeling that craftsmanship in the sheet and smelling the ink on paper (come on, you know you do the same thing).  Designed by Hybrid Design, The Declaration of Craft is produced on Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite 80# Cover Eggshell. This piece really pushes the boundaries when it comes to printing on fine uncoated papers.  Fans of print will swoon - featuring blind embossing, foil stamping and perfect binding techniques, it begs you to peek inside.
Upon opening the cover, I was blown away by the ink coverage - solids done with two hits of match metallic pewter, duotones with metallic pewter and black. W O W. I love that they used a french fold to help bulk up the piece and inserted half pages in process yellow, match light blue, teal, green, orange, pink and black, a nice way to emphasize the copy without detracting from the beauty of the duotone photography. The piece flows nicely beginning with basic tenets of the modern Maker Movement, then detailing the heritage, beliefs, and innovations of Mohawk since its inception in 1931.

In addition, The Mohawk Maker Quarterly is Mohawk's commitment to sharing "the art of craft" with its community. Printed on Superfine Ultrawhite 80# Text Eggshell, the piece is in tabloid format - again designed by Hybrid Design. The first issue begins with a Letter From the Editor, as well as features on Craft 2.0, The Story of Superfine, Luxe Business Cards, and Massimo Vignelli. I especially enjoyed the spread on "The Movement," profiling twelve "Champions of Craft" and their wares - its so inspiring to see all the different types of innovations the movement is spawning.

The other notable point is throughout the pieces, Mohawk has incorporated the element of augmented reality, inserting the an image that enables the Mohawk Live App (available for iOS and Android) to bring the piece to life - integrating print with digital and transforming a one dimensional image into a multidimensional experience.

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