Case Studies / Spicers 2012 Calendar

Spicers Paper Australia is committed to providing paper solutions to businesses around the country; engaging in dialogue with designers and printers to form new ideas for the business of printing on paper.

It is no industry secret that print production numbers are down as the global economy takes a dive and digital media continues to rise. It was because of this that Spicers sought to engage the design and print community in a way that had never been done before. Block was commissioned to create a 2012 calendar with a difference, one that would highlight paper’s place in a increasingly digital world. The only requirements were that the calendar was to be printed on Splendorgel and the campaign extend to social media.

When you’re designing anything for designers it’s tempting to create something that looks very pretty and trendy. Instead Block decided to do the complete opposite. To truly create a calendar with a difference, Block wanted to create a conversation about paper; highlighting the strength, durability and flexibility of it as a medium.

Enter the Spicer’s Guild of Xtreme Printing and Finishing: a three-man unit of macho men brought together by Block to give the design industry a very extreme makeover. By enlisting three burly men with a passion for blowing things up, Block was able to create a calendar of extreme proportions.

The Guild were recruited to drive tanks, shoot guns, brandish chainsaws and ignite explosive devices over stacks of paper, pioneering some of the most extreme printing and finishing techniques ever attempted. They were set with the task to devise (under Block’s supervision) extreme ways to print, emboss and die cut paper, which were then used to create 3,000 calendars. Their antics were filmed, with monthly episodes uploaded onto Spicer’s Facebook page to give a glimpse into the Guild’s hilarious attempts.

The campaign poked fun at the prettiness of designers and the prettiness of their designs by giving the industry a satirical makeover. It was design to make the ears bleed. Spoofing reality TV shows such as American Chopper and Monster Garage, the campaign was a tongue-in-cheek critique of an industry that is vulnerable to foppish hairdos, noiseless loafers and manscaping.

The most interesting aspect to this project was the surprising results. In a twist of events that made the three Guild members look somewhat weak, the paper withstood their attempts to destroy it. Paper really is amazing stuff. After being pelted with bullets, blown up with gunpowder and chainsawed with the ‘Widow Maker’ and the ‘Father Taker’, Splendorgel came out the winner each time.

The social media dialogue across Facebook, youtube and Twitter accounts engaged the design and print community successfully, with monthly hits on uploaded videos and commentary from individuals regarding the progress of the campaign.