We thought it might be useful to document the process of starting an online business from scratch.
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From time to time, we get a call or an email from a Jewelboxing user asking how to make an image line up across the cover, the tray and spine, and the discs, making it look like there's one solid image across all the case's parts. It's a cool look and one that's been popular since we launched the system. But if you're just a casual user of design software, it can be a little trickier to pull off than it would be for a seasoned pro. Fortunately, if you're interested in trying it out, Bryan has put together the following video tutorial to guide your way through the process:
(if you're having trouble seeing sections of the video, we recommend clicking on the "Full Screen" icon -- that should help)
As always, if you have any other questions about this or anything else, or happen to get stuck somewhere along the way, feel free to drop us a line.
A big thanks to Bryan for all his how-to expertise and here's to hoping that images are going uninterrupted in Conroe, Cape Town, Liverpool, Seattle, Austin, Belfast, Heverlee, San Francisco, Toongabbie, Atlanta, Strum, Telford, Edina, Wyong, El Vendrell, Suwanee, London, Berlin, Bushey, and Pittsburgh.
Every once in a while, we get a call from someone interested in picking up a Jewelboxing system, but they're tell us that they aren't designers, they just have a one-off project they're working on, or they just want to give it a try. And because of this, more often than not, they also mention to us that they don't have any piece of high-end, image editing software. We've even gotten the question, "Can I use your templates in Word?" a few times. So while our templates are available in a variety of different formats and, even then, pretty adaptable to anything you want to try opening them, it's pretty tough to be visually creative in a word processor and even harder to get things to print accurately. But we didn't want to leave those users who don't have a need for expensive design software behind, so we've done some digging and found these possible alternatives.
If you're a Mac user, we've been big fans around the office of Pixelmator. It's a powerful, inexpensive image editor that opens our Jewelboxing templates exactly as they should. And coming in at $59, it's an absolute steal (sometimes it even appears at MacHeist, included with a bunch of other programs for just $49). If you're running a Mac or PC, for just a little more money, you can always go straight to the leader of image editing, Adobe, for their Photoshop Elements software. It's a stripped down version of their powerful Photoshop program, but if you're not needing all of the features and capabilities of the original, Elements will open Jewelboxing templates and let you manipulate them just fine. And lastly, another program we've heard some good things about is Serif's PhotoPlus X2, only available for PCs. It's another more simplified image-editor with the ability to open several of the file formats our templates are available in.
There are likely dozens more available out there, with the internet creating something of a shareware boom. But whatever program you choose to work in, it's important to know going in that anything you wind up using will take a little getting used to. Our templates are easy to understand and fairly simple to get right into, but they're certainly of better quality than any of those "easy disc creator" programs available for a dollar at your local office supply store. So give yourself a little time to experiment, test out the waters with these programs by downloading a demo first if it's available, and feel free to drop us a line any time you need a hand.
No matter the platform, here's to hoping things are going well in Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Venice, Brooklyn, Austin, Marietta, Lincolnton, Dallas, Aventura, Jersey City, Long Island City, Minneapolis, Covina, Washington DC, Rochester, Chicago, Beaverton, Santa Rosa, Florence, New York, Vancouver, Glendale and Oakton.
Here's a little trick of the trade Dawson came up with a while back that we thought might be useful to have at your disposal, should the need every arrive.
As the story goes, we were putting together the DVD copies of our first ever short film, Copy Goes Here, and, of course, we were using Jewelboxing. The trick is, we only wanted to use the front and back of the cover booklet, with nothing printed inside because we had it all pretty well taken care of using the front and back. However, we wanted to avoid people wondering if there was something inside the booklet and taking it out to look, only to find it empty. So Dawson suggested that we just swap the images, the one for the outside cover and the one for the inside facing the disc. That way, you'd still print the front section of the booklet out like normal and when you fold it, now you've got the crease facing the outside edge and what's usually the opening of the booklet now facing the spine of the case. Make sense? Visuals always seem to help, so here's a photo:
Here's hoping there were a lot of holiday wishes delivered, printed backwards or otherwise, by way of a shiny new Jewelboxing case in Moscow, Muskegon, Austin, Tampa, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Lewisville, Manti, Madison, West Des Moines, El Cerrito, Ames, Marion, San Diego, Ottawa, Brussels, Southport, London, Woodstock, Columbus, Tumwater, and Playa del Ray.
Photographing a Jewelboxing case isn't the easiest thing to do. You're taking a snapshot of a very shiny, clear surface, but you don't want any of the shine. It's kind of like taking a picture of a mirror, but you don't want any of the reflection. But over time, even though we still haven't found a sure fire method of reaching perfection, we've picked up a few tricks to make it work most of the time. So we were talking around the studio of maybe making a tutorial about this for the blog. But then it dawned on us that we have these terrific cases Susan painstakingly built in Photoshop that allow us to really easily drop in cover images and essentially build a virtual case. It's how we make all the sample case images we use here on the site. So why not just share those? It would give potential customers who haven't used the system yet a chance to try some ideas out and see how their finished product would end up. It would allow for people to put together comps to show to their own clients. And for current Jewelboxing users with something they already have out there in the market, they could use these templates to show how great their product looks. Seems like a win-win for everyone. So without further ado, here they are for your downloading pleasure:
And, of course, here's some tips on how to use them:
* Bring your images into this Photoshop file and place them in the folder labeled "Your Images Go Here." To fit the cover, just go to Edit --> Transform --> Distort. Then just manipulate your design so it fits on top. Same will apply with the sides and edges. Then just turn off the red samples we have in there now, so there's no accidental bleed through on the sides.
* To make that whole process easier, there are three mattes in the folder marked "Mattes." Just turn one of those on and you'll have the surrounding area grayed out.
* The side, gutter, and edge can be a little tricky if you're trying to work in your own images. If you'd like to skip that process, and draw the focus to the cover, just change the Color Overlay on each of the side to whatever you'd like.
* We've locked the folders "Case" and "Shine" because you'll likely never need to touch anything in there. But if you want to change anything to fit your preferences, have at it.
We hope you'll find this as useful as we have, and that it leads to lots of successful pitches, ideas, and sales. We're sure all three are happening, in ultra-rapid-succession in Vancouver, New York, Santa Monica, Franklin, Southfield, Portland, Denver, Culver City, Stavanger, Grundy Center, San Francisco, Pleasant Hill, Somerville, Lakewood, Stamford, Davis, Pennsauken, Worcester, Grand Rapids, Brooklyn, Morristown, Toronto, and Miami Beach.
A lot of Jewelboxing users have design in their blood. These are the kinds of people who, even with both arms tied behind their back, a blindfold firmly in place, and equipped solely with a dull black crayon, could come up with something that’d make you fall over and weep from jealousy. And when they stick their work into one of our cases, it’s like a perfectly fitted glove. Just take a look at everything we’ve highlighted in our Examples + Inspirations page. Now there’s good design.
But what about for the writers out there, or the singers and bands, or that Joe Average who loves great design, but couldn’t draw a stick figure to save their life. We got to thinking about that when we found this posting on the Kermit the Blog about a new father trying to put together a nice looking compilation of moments from his daughter’s birth:
“I go nuts with these little projects and they get away from me like a tornado on a dog leash. Now I’m designing the packaging via Jewelboxing. This kind of thing is always the hardest part for me, as the visual arts kick my ass. I am the graphic world’s bitch. I looked at the examples and inspirations page at Jewelboxing I’m having a hard time even duplicating the designs I’m blatantly ripping off (hey, at least I admit it). I know I can just pop a pretty photo up with some text, but my nature won’t accept such simplicity. So, who wants to point me in the right direction? Know of any “design for the unapologetically untalented” websites I can crib from? I could ask you to advise me on choosing a color palate and such, but I’ll keep it pretty simple: How do I make it not look like ass?”
We feel for the guy, we really do. And we’ve gotten word of these types of frustrations more than once, from people who really want to use the System, but are a little intimidated. So here, for the benefit of those-less-confident, are some quick pointers.
Sure, that’s a lot of information to digest, but hopefully there’s some information there to put you on the right path to brilliant design. The best advice we always give to an aspiring designer to do is just learn limitations. Force yourself to use just one type size, one color, and one image until you’ve found something that works really well. It’s impossible to tell you how to get there, but even with a limited palette like that, you’ll eventually hit upon a moment of “a ha!” when everything clicks. Then you’ll have that concept in mind for future designs and away you go. We’ll be watching our backs.
Some of the finest designs we've ever laid our collective eyes on are coming out of Durham, Arlington, Midland, Rockford, Venice, New York, South Sioux City, Cambridge, Spokane, Frankfurt, Alexandria, Eindhoven, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Flagstaff, Salt Lake City, Manitowoc, and St. Morris.
We've received several letters recently about what to do if you want to use the Jewelboxing System, but have a project that requires more than one disc. Would you have to use more than one case? Would you need to switch over and use an unsightly alternative? The answer to both is a resolute no. Both the king and standard-size Jewelboxing cases have actually had the ability to store two discs all along!
Instead of using a separate, swivel tray inside the cases, which we've always found to be a little clumsy and not at all sturdy, we decided to go with our current system wherein two discs can fit snugly, and safely, atop one another. The disc-holding spindle in the center is larger than those within the alternative cases you've probably seen, making two discs sit close together, but far enough apart not to scratch and damage one another. Plus, we think it look a whole heck of a lot better than anything else out there.
Not convinced unless you can see it with your own two eyes? Well, here's a little video we made a while ago showing this whole cool two-disc process.
We'd need at least two discs to hold all the positive things we'd like to write about the people in New York, Santiago, Hollywood, Deerfield Beach, Sausalito, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, San Francisco, Coeur d'Alene, Atlanta, Chesterfield, Lakeland, Saskatoon, Brooklyn, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Broken Arrow, and Venice.
We've recently answered a couple of similar inquiries so we thought it best to take another look at this Frequently Asked Question.
Q. My only problem is, people keep asking me where I got the packaging from. But if I want my reel to stand out I can't have everyone using the same packaging. So I'm confused - can you advise? Can I tell them about you and still maintain my packaging lead, or should I lie and send them to Best Buy?
A.Tell the people whose design talent you fear that you forgot the url. Tell everybody else all about us.
By the way, in NYC, Maple Grove, Hilliard, Santa Monica, Atlanta, Irvine, Vancouver, Goteborg, Redding, Akron, Streamwood, and Fox Point, they know already.
If you're making over 500 packages but not, say 10,000, you might want to consider this method. A lot of our customers have found this the most efficient way to handle a job of that size. Buy the cases in bulk from us and then also buy the blank pre-perforated trayliner sheets in bulk too. The reason is that the trayliner die-cut is very complicated, with rounded corners and exact folds for the spine art. It needs to be just exactly perfect to fit correctly between the case backs and the disc-trays. You could make your own die from our templates but it generally takes a couple times to get it right, and that'll cost you a few hundred dollars.
The pre-perforated trayliners will run through a conventional or digital sheet-fed press just fine. In most cases, any press that passes the sheet straight through without winding it tightly around a roller will perform great.
The insert books are basically folded rectangles and any print-shop can fold and trim those to spec quite easily. At larger quantities, it's most efficient to have your replicator screen the art on the discs, so you probably won't need the labels either. Just write us at the address above and we'll be glad to price out a custom job for you.
Of course the smart people in West Hollywood, Pleasanton, Cincinnati, Arcadia, Fort Worth, Bristol, Edinburgh, Emeryville, Navan, Kapolei, Sonoma and Atlanta already had figured that out.
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Completely Complete Introducing The new Jewelboxing Studio
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Most Popular Entries:
Making JB Comps in P'Shop
How To Ship Finished Cases
Dawson's How To Video
A Paper Revolution
What a Mom Made
One Thing Leads to Another
How To Be a Hero
Bags of Air
Between a Little and a Lot
Sweat Shop Book Club
The Whole Studio
Previous 12 Entries:
Birds of a Feather Design Together
A Long Hike for a Great Cause
'Tis the Season for Seasons Past
"Something of Substance"
It's All the Talk in Delray Beach
A Walk Through Wedding Season
Important News for the Home Brewer and the Thirsty: Our Disc Labels Find a Valuable New Use
Coming Soon: An Exciting New Pack and Ship Experience
Now Available in Belarusian
The Power of a Good Valentine's Mix Disc
The Whole Enchilada:
Thanks For Noticing:
A List Apart
A Penny For
Alert But Not Alarmed
Blog of the Day
Design is Kinky
File Me Away
Grand Text Auto
Green Cine Daily
I Feed You
The Life and Times of Sooz
Living With Music
Loop – Behind the Scenes
Now Hear This!
The Red Ferret Journal
The Sachs Report
This Boy Is Toast
Tick Tock Design
What Do I Know
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