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PocketPal Previous Editions

While researching we went back to the first pocket pal to truly understand the essence of the book.

We found the book was designed as a summary of the more important factors and terms entering into the production of modern printing. Focused on “Maximum utility” accompanied by supportive illustrations and visuals.

Focus Group Findings

We created a focused group to discuss our initial findings on some of the components of the book while reviewing what we liked and what were some of the difficulties we faced while analyzing the book.

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​The positives points of the book that we loved and wanted to carry forward in the 22nd edition of pocket pal.

  • As pocket pal has been a loyal resource for people in the print production industry over years, we acknowledge how credible and reliable it is.

  • We love how it is a part of the design community and passed on to all the entrants in the industry.

  • We appreciated the compact size and convenience to have it handy.

  • While looking into price points we found that it was the most affordable option among competitors.

Pain Points

The pain points that we wanted to work on eliminating in the new edition.

  • The layout and format make the book difficult to use.

  • The text inside the latest edition feels very dense.

  • We also found difficulty in navigating smoothly through the book.

  • We loved the inclusion of the graphics and illustrations in the book for reference but noticed some inconsistency amongst them.

  • We also found some repetitive explanations of terminology throughout the book.

Competitive Analysis

We completed a competitive analysis of the Pocket Pal competitors to better understand the print production book market. We compared the kind of knowledge they showcase in their content with that in the Pocket Pal. We found similar content across the books although none contained all of the information that the Pocket Pal did. We also noticed that the Pocket Pal was a good deal heavier in the History content than the other books. Some of these recent books seemed more relevant to today's print production technology than the Pocket Pal. Finally, we noted the organization and visual presentation of information that the other books had.

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Visual Learners Data

We conducted research into the importance of infographics as a way to convey information. According to the Social Science Research Network 65% of humans are in some way visual learners. Also in our research, we found a study published in the Korean Journal of Medical Education, that said that the percentage of visual learners is nearly 80% among college students.

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Field Trip

During the project we went on a field trip to ABC imaging, a print shop, to better understand the printing process, machinery and see the professionals live in action.
We saw a live demonstration of laser cutting, package material printing and also discussed some of our ideas with the printers to get their insights.

Content Edit Focus Group

For an in depth content analysis our content team summarized the book and we individually voted on keeping, eliminating or moving content from the book. We did this for all the chapters of the book. Here is the example of our findings on the Prepress chapter  which is the most content heavy chapter. As you can see in the graph most of the content inside the book we found to be relevant, but we also found certain topics were outdated like telecommunications, the introduction of Internet connections and our favorite outdated example, the ‘floppy disk’ that could easily be eliminated and some reworked.

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Popular Book Sizes

We found the top 4 popular book sizes in the US according to Indesign Skills, a community of print experts.

Keeping in mind the current size and the need to add some breathing space we slightly increased the width of the book but kept it within the pocketbook and digest size range. We wanted to keep it handy, appealing and cost-effective.


Binding Options

As we were aiming for a better user experience, we explored various binding techniques, debated the pros and cons of each and came up with these options:

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Colour Forecast

While researching the color trends we looked into WGSN: Worth Global Style Network, the world's leading consumer trend forecaster. We found the new Key Colors for A/W 24/25, as we wanted the colors to be forward looking and then on trend until the 23rd edition of the Pocket Pal would be released.  Together, these five hues define the mood of the season, and will have a broad impact across multiple industries:

Intense Rust: stability

Midnight Plum: space exploration and the metaverse

Sustained Grey: importance of neutrals

Apricot Crush: nourish the body and mind

Cool Matcha: soothing and calming

Print Trends

For the design trends, we looked to Envato, which is a world-leading online community for creatives.


We found the predicted print trends were dominated by bright colors, playful shapes, and novel print finishes in in an attempt to boost optimism after an uncertain period of pandemic.


From these we selected the trends we thought best aligned with the Sylvamo, Accent and Pocket Pal brands.


Gradients becoming ever more subtle and whispery
Colorful minimalism aesthetic becoming ultra-desirable


Layered type to create dimension
Line art for designs to feel more tranquil

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