March 6, 2021

Wow! This direct mailer from paper manufacturer Gmund had me at the package. By far, one of the most interesting direct mailer pieces I have seen. Let’s take a closer look.

Format: Gmund really shined here – the package felt like a thick, hardcover book was inside. It was really the paper wrapping, two cardboard sheets and a paper swatch book sandwiched inside. The package was 9.5” x 6.5”.


Design: Super creative! The outside packaging was printed in a lime green color that gradually turned into a red, along with an abstract image of a woman and the words “111 years of colored paper”. Quite an interesting combination. The two inside sheets that bracketed the swatch book were a single background color on one side (one was red, the other was brown) with brown corrugated cardboard on the other side. The brown one said “Now it’s your turn! Use color!” and the Gmund logo. The red one said “111 years of colored paper” and told a little bit about the founder of colored paper.

Gmund Gmund Gmund

In the paper industry, swatch books are used to showcase individual lines of paper. The manufacturer typically includes the weights of the papers, available colors and sheet sizes. This one was no different.

The front of the swatch book had photo of a cotton plant – this swatch book was promoting their line of cotton papers. The eleven sheets tucked inside the diecut folder had a variety of different images on them, ranging from cotton plants to abstract images to text only to geometric letters and shapes.


Printing and Paper: Paper was rightfully the star of the show. Gmund was showcasing the different types of cotton papers it manufactures, from text weight to cover weight. The printing included 4 color process as well as a variety of PMS colors. Each of the individual sheets in the swatch book was on a different paper and each a different color and weight. Each had its production notes printed on the sheet, describing how it was produced.

Presentation: The outer wrapping paper was printed in vibrant colors and was held together by clear tape with white ink that said “USE COLOR!”. As I carefully deconstructed the package, I found the wrapping paper was paper on the outside, which allowed for offset printing, and a thin, reinforced liner on the inside. The two very thick sheets that were on either side of the swatch book were red and brown Gmund cover stock printed with white ink and mounted to a sheet of microflute (like a corrugated cardboard). Overall, the package was 5/8” thick which is more substantial than most direct mail pieces.

Gmund Gmund

Nine of the sheets were promoting a specific cotton paper. Each had four tear off samples at the bottom of each sheet. Perforations were included for easy tear off. The techniques used included offset printing, silkscreen, letterpress, hot foil stamping, embossing and debossing.


One of the remaining sheets described what could be found on the website and the other provided a list of types of printing the cotton line was appropriate for, technical recommendations for offset and digital printing and special advice.

Purpose: Gmund is promoting its line of papers to its prospects and customers which include paper retailers, printers, ad agencies and graphic designers.

Offer and Call to Action: No offer as this was an informational mailing. The call to action was to visit the Gmund website.

Digital Technology Integration: None but none was needed. Paper is tactile so sending actual sheets that the end user could touch and feel trumps digital technology.

Personalization: None but none was needed.

Some interesting observations about this mailer: it was shipped from Germany as a parcel – first class international postage so Gmund invested quite a bit to get this into the hands of their prospects and clients. The thickness and weight of the package plus the fact that it was wrapped like a present all ensured it would get opened. I was not disappointed.