Embossed Cookie Makes a Splash

By Cienna Sorell, writer, PostPress

An enormous, 14-inch Oreo cookie that looks good enough to eat, is held together by a mysterious binding technique. Designed by Nabisco’s in-house team and offset printed CMYK by Sandy Alexander, Inc., the giant Oreo Brand Guidelines Book uniquely holds together the brand’s guidelines.

This extraordinary binder looks and feels like a giant Oreo cookie. “It was truly inspired by the Oreo Cookie,” said Sandy Alexander’s Carole Shelton. The super-thick covers made from Eclipse Black 80 lb. Neenah Royal Sundance Cover and mounted to paperboard contribute to the touch and aura of the realism of the cookie.

The uncoated paper’s surface is blind embossed with the Oreo logo and trademark outer ridges, as well as the dots, dashes, florets and other textures that contribute to the chunky nature of the Oreo wafers. The covers also were diecut in the round Oreo cookie shape, including the edges of the guide, which was a final touch to the realistic look of the cover.

“Beyond the shape and likeness of the cookie, there are a number of production highlights to note,” said Shelton. “For instance, the print quality and embossed cookie design create a very unique brand identity book.”

The white coated pages between the covers – 100 lb. Sappi McCoy Text – add to the realistic quality of the binder. Sitting snug between the cookie’s top and bottom, the thick white pages aid in the illusion of the giant Oreo. Rather than flipping up the front cover, the top of the binder pivots out to reveal the page beneath, and instead of turning the pages, they too pivot out. Information is easy to find thanks to the rounded diecut tabs – printed on 120 lb. Sappi McCoy Cover – that allow for easy access to each section of the brand guideline book.

In order to create this binder in disguise, the folks at Sandy Alexander had to figure out a way to make the binding appear invisible, so they used Chicago screw binding. Chicago screw binding is an extremely versatile binding technique that allows loose documents of practically any shape or size to be securely bound together. The process also makes it easy to expand pages, with a number of screw post extensions readily available. A hole was drilled through one edge of the pages, and then an aluminum post was slipped through the hole, capped off with a slotted cap screw. Thanks to the extra-thick cookie covers, the Chicago screw binding is completely hidden.

Sandy Alexander’s team noted that damaging the embossing when mounting and wrapping was one of the challenges the company faced when creating the cookie. The handling and packaging of each book was of great importance to keep the embossing secure. This piece was a learning opportunity for those involved, with the conclusion that a unique design can elevate a traditional approach to corporate literature.

The finished product is a beloved piece for Nabisco, and the book itself now is a collector’s item.

The Oreo Branding Book is featured on PaperSpecs.com, an innovative online hub for brand owners and graphic designers who actively spec paper and print and refuse to be limited by short print runs or tight budgets.