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Folder Focus: MOUNTAIN TOP CONSTRUCTION

High-end construction firm, aiming to better industry perception, goes with Folderprinters to produce their stylish and intricate folder design as part of their image and branding efforts.

BY FOLDERPRINTERS WRITERS

August 02, 2022

Mountain Top Construction's Pocket Folder on Marble Top with Design Plans


“Stylish” is a descriptor not usually bestowed upon the construction industry. In fact, the very opposite of the term is what most might find apt. Yet that is the attribute which came to mind as we were completing a presentation folder for a construction company based in Northern California.

You could be forgiven for dismissing a custom pocket folder as undeserving of such a superlative, but once you see, touch and feel the presentation folders of Mountain Top Construction, you’re likely to be impressed and share our admiration. Especially if you’re a prospective client.

It goes without saying that their folder is excellently designed. The graphic elements are, by themselves, quite simple: logo in two color with white silhouette of rooftops against an overall green background. However, as the industrial designer Charles Eames said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.”, and boy, does this one have details. Featuring not one, but two specialty finishing touches: foil stamping and embossing, whose 3-D visual and tactile appeal dramatically boost its allure. The result is stylish without being over the top or garish.

That a construction company came up with such a folder so impressed us. So we interviewed Mountain Top’s Project Manager, Karla Salgado to learn how this came about.

FOLDERPRINTERS WRITERS: Please describe your company and its services.

KARLA SALGADO: Mountain Top Construction is a full service construction firm and we focus on residential and commercial remodeling, new construction and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). We have been in business for 15 years serving the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices in San Francisco and San Rafael, California.

FPW: Who are your main customers?

KS: Our customers are mainly homeowners — leaning towards the higher end of the market — who want to remodel their homes.

FPW: What purpose do your folders generally serve?

KS: The folders are meant for clients. We use them as a presentation tool in which we neatly package and arrange our proposal material.

FPW: Are these your first professionally printed folders?

KS: Yes. Before ordering from Folderprinters, we had just been using generic blank folders.

FPW: What items do you put inside the pockets?

KS: We put paperwork pertinent to a client’s project inside the folders. This includes scope of work, necessary permits. Even flyers and a portfolio.

FPW: Have the folders proven to be effective? Does it work?

KS: Yes, our clients appreciate all the information about their project tucked and organized in a pleasant looking custom folder. In a world that is fast becoming all digital, they find it to be very professional and comforting to have hard copies of important paperwork. The whole package just gives a more personal feel.

FPW: Who designed your folders?

KS: Our brilliant in-house marketing specialist, Thamara Santos, designed the folders.

FPW: What was your aesthetic philosophy, or what did you want to convey in the design and look of your folders?

KS: This step in coming up with a well designed, professionally printed folder is part of our brand image and messaging. We recognize that the construction industry is generally not seen in the best light, let alone thought of as stylish and elegant. Which is ironic because the goal at the end of a construction project, is to have an aesthetically pleasing structure or sorroundings.

We aim to change and improve that perception — 0f yourselves as a company and of the industry at large. The folders, being one of the first few items we personally present to a client, plays a significant role in that objective. Which is why we included so many design and specialty printing elements in it. We didn’t want it to be just another bland, uninspiring folder.

Close-up Detail of Mountain Top Pocket Folder showing emboss
Close-up shot of Mountain Top Construction's pocket folder showing foil (black text) emboss (text and rooftop images) detail.
At Folderpinters, we count on the expertise of the craftsmen and craftsladies whose hands are those that actually produce the folders, and from whom we, as a team, learn a lot — especially on a project as involved as this one. We spoke with our Director of Production, Joe Anzai, as well as our emboss, and foil stamp technician, Luis Garcia, to find out what it takes to produce a folder like that of Montain Top Construction’s.

JOE ANZAI: The folders of Mountain Top Construction is one of the more interesting jobs we’ve done of late. It certainly isn’t your run-of-the-mill folder project, in that it goes beyond the standard print, cut and assemble process. The client wanted part of their logo-text to appear glossy in a manner that sharply contrasts with the matte paper background. To achieve this required the application of black foil stamp — after the overall initial ink printing. For even more dramatic effect, they asked that the entire logo be embossed, which meant yet another post-press process. It's as if they tried to pack in as many printing techniques as they could.

These two specialty processes — part science; part art — are very exacting and not without their unique challenges.

It is critically important that the embossing die be the exact size of the images. A millimeter too large will result in a raised area larger that of the image. A millimeter too small and the image will appear distorted. It isn’t uncommon for us to redo a die — at no extra cost to the client — in order to get the perfect size.

Equally as critical is the registration or “targeting” of the emboss. This is where the expertise of one of our embossing and foil machine operators, Luis Garcia, comes in. Honed from years of experience, he has to position the elements precisely using these artisanal machines. In a case like this where both foil and embossing is required, it helps to have multiple machines — a lot of printing companies don’t have even one.

While a lot of commercial printers outsource or just shy away from this type of work, we welcome them and are excited to take them on because it allows us to showcase the breadth of our capabilities and expertise. The result, as we can see in this case, is a gem of a creation.



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