Learning the Ropes, One Case at a Time

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.

  • Simple design can often say a lot more than a huge batch of stuff all crammed together, though it can also have the opposite effect and look like you just didn’t spend much time on your project. Think through the message you’re trying to convey and see what works.
  • People who are first getting used to their design software, be it Photoshop or otherwise, often want to try using every single effect filter. This just announces to the world, faster than anything else, “I just got Photoshop and I don’t know how to use it yet!” Try getting that out of your system. Learn what some of those other buttons, tools and options do, instead of just text and the eraser.
  • If you’ve got a photo you want to use in your project, instead of just plopping it on the template as-is, tinker with it and see what happens. Blow it up, crop a section, run it off the page so just a sliver remains when printed. Maybe you’ll see something that works great.
  • Don’t use black and white. Use some light color anywhere you’d like to use white and some darker color anywhere you’d like to use black. A lot of early designers think black and white will immediately equal “artistic,” but instead wind up with “bland.” Color is what we’re instinctively drawn toward. Use it!
  • Vary your color pallet. Sure, you want your Christmas Memories 2002 DVD to be red and green, but instead of using those exact colors, try the varieties therein, such as tomato red and forest green.
  • Chose your typeface carefully. If you’re hinging everything on some fancy font, then your design probably isn’t going to be all that successful. Simple typefaces, laid out creatively, with some attention put toward details like letter and line spacing, can mean the difference between minimalism and boringism. Not to mention an escape from the gaudiness of a comic sans binge.
  • Maintain a hierarchy in your design. The biggest thing should be the most important, the item that says the most about your project. The next largest thing, slightly less important. The smallest item, the least.
  • Try to work with balance, not equality. If you’re using three photos, use one large and two small. Or use them all the same size, but with something larger to help balance them out. Lots of things the exact same size makes for confusion. Same thing with color: if you have a lot of dark stuff in one area, balance it out with an equal amount of lighter stuff in another.
  • Steal, steal, steal. Every designer gets their ideas from somewhere else. The only trick is that the good designers lift ideas from the less-familiar. Take a look at the world around you, to nature or industrial design, and find something you like. Figure out what makes you like it. The color? The typography? Not only are you going to teach yourself some design ideas, and your abilities to incorporate them, but you’ll be learning what your “style” is too. That’s worth plenty.
  • Copywriting is sometimes overlooked by aspiring designers, but can be essential for a project. Often, it can even help to salvage a bland design as something written that’s clever and well-thought out can help excuse a poor layout, or even lighten the mood by poking fun at it. “I’m No Graphic Designer, But Get a Load of This DVD!”
  • If all else fails, always use the top secret design tools: kittens, rainbows, and unicorns.

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Unabashed Hedonism, Really Cool Design

When poking around on Technorati one day, looking to see if we could find out if someone was talking about using Jewelboxing in some interesting project, we ran across Squad Studios. Although the mention was vague (“We are thrilled to be using new jewel boxes for this project”), based off the work showcased on their site, and a client list with everyone from Madonna to Warner Brothers, we knew whatever it was would be cool.

And right we were. The gang at Squad chatted with us and filled us in that they had been hired to help get the word out about this year’s AKA Rally, a seven day auto rally from Philadelphia to Key West.Featuring over one hundred high performance cars and huge parties at each stop, the AKA is one huge, adrenaline-fueled orgy of fun. The rally has grown significantly over the past few years, thanks to terrific publicity, from coverage in car culture magazines to features by giant mainstream outlets like MTV.

To further heighten the excitement about this year’s AKA, and to help win over new sponsors, Jordan, Andy, Dan, Phil, and the rest of the team at Squad, were given the task to put out a DVD filled with info about the rally, footage from previous years, and contact information. Beautifully designed from inside and out, with repeating logo and city names plastered everywhere in all their two color glory, their finished product is undeniably attractive; a sight to be seen. Packaged using Jewelboxing made it all the sweeter. And apparently, even though they had to assemble hundreds of these cases, they were still thrilled enough to take a batch of photos of the process:


(click for a directory of images)

If we owned flashy cars and were entered in the AKA, you bet we’d want our driving partners to be from Long Beach, Boston, Chicago, St. Clair Shores, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Franklin, Schamburg, Tulsa, Irvine, Mill Valley, Clerkenwell, Columbus, Wenham, and Port Townsend.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Like A Glove

The saga continues on our quest to create a flashy commercial spot for Jewelboxing. A few days back, we put up a draft with some horribly mismatched soundtracks and asked any musically-inclined readers to submit better-fitting, better-sounding music for the spot. Immediately, we got in a batch of fantastic submissions, which ran the gamut from rhythmic ambient tracks to jittery electronic to torch songs. It was amazing to see how the spot would change in tone whenever we dropped in a different style.

In the end, we chose the entry by Chaz Windus at Blazing Lazer. Not only did the track fit incredibly well, it was exactly in the direction we were looking to go in. Something fun, upbeat, approachable, and with a wide variety of sounds. So impressed were we, we went back and altered the spot around to work with the frenzied track all the more. Take a look here.

Sound design is being worked on currently, and we’re still fixing little things here and there whenever we get a free second, so everything’s pressing on. Shortly, we’ll be announcing another contest in search of a voice-over artist, so drink some tea, quit smoking, and polish up those pipes — you’ll need ’em.

We’re working on a acapella cover of “Lovin’ You” for those in Hollywood, Chicago, Tacoma, Manhattan, Silver Spring, Brookline, Encino, Hurleyville, Arcadia, Arlington, Lemoore, Albuquerque, Nederland, Eastlake, Pelham, Pasadena, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn.

Of note: The special offer we made in the CP/Jewelboxing Infrequent Mailing last week expires on Friday, so hurry it up already! If you don’t know what we’re talking about, sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the JB Home Page.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Score Big, Score :30

Unless you’re involved in production or the music industry, it’s often very easy to let the importance of a good piece of accompanying music slip by. For composers everywhere, the humble truth of the matter is that this blending in means your work has been successful. It’s when a track doesn’t work when the audience starts to really take notice.

We bring this music talk up for a reason. See, for the past couple of months, whenever we’d have a second or two, we’ve been working on this simple animated commercial for Jewelboxing to be used in the product samples we send out, for web promotion, and whatever else we see fit. Now that we’re nearing the end of the visual process, we’re at the point when we’re starting to think about scoring and sound effects. We like that part, but there’s a lot of room for error, such as with these:

Those bits of audio-visual travesty behind us, we thought it might be fun to open up the whole audio end to the outside world, to see if anyone with some terrific musical ability might be willing to compose something for us, for this little Jewelboxing spot. We’d exchange music for product, of course, but also keep in mind that the samples we send out go to some of the best and biggest ad firms, directors, production groups, record labels, etc. That’s some nice exposure.

If you think you’re up to the task, download this Quicktime draft of the animation and see what you can do with it. When you’re finished up, send along an mp3 of your work to steve at jewelboxing dot com. We’ll give you until May 15th. Oh and by the way, unless you’re Thom Yorke, there’s really no reason to send us a note about how cool it would be for us to use a Radiohead song in the mix.

Next week: Voiceovers.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Powerpointing

To state the obvious: presentation is an essential part making a convincing statement. But take this little imaginary situation to heart and think how often it happens: You’ve got the expensive suit on, you’ve practiced a pitch, and you’ve either spent a lot of time in front of Powerpoint making your own presentation (complete with sound effects!) or you’ve outsourced it to a presentation pro. You’re about as ready as you possibly could be to have the client eating out of your hand.

So you go to load up your presentation and what do you have the disc packaged in? An ugly little paper sleeve, or one of those impossibly bland hard cases. Sure, it isn’t everything, but suppose you gave that disc to the group you’re presenting to. People aren’t going to pick it up later and say, “Hey, this looks cool. What is this?” They do that with Jewelboxing. We know — people tell us.

On the other side, suppose you’re a Powerpoint designer, sending these kinds of presentations off to people in similar situations. You’re presenting the presentation business — that’s doubling the pressure to look good! Either way, just seems like a gimmie to us. Do the whole presentation right, from start to finish, with every detail perfected, and your pitch couldn’t be more solid. But, of course, we’re a little biased (we use Jewelboxing in all our pitches).

Right this minute, we’re working on a presentation entitled, “We Really Like the People in Valencia, San Diego, Cranford, Athens, Austin, Hillsborough, Tervuren, Bridgeview, Buffalo, Conifer, Tempe, St. Albans, Oxford, Valparaiso, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and New York.”

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Greetings from Earth. We Have Jewelboxing.

Earlier this week, we received a terrific letter from Steve Wood, a very talented filmmaker and motion graphics designer, who had this to say:

“I’ve been using Jewelboxing to send my short film ‘Echo’ out to festivals. It has been in the East Lansing Film Fest, The London SCI FI Film Fest, and others soon. I love the cases and I’m looking forward to trying out the new paper. Here’s a little info on the film:

The most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Arecibo, Puerto Rico on November 16, 1974. It included representations of the fundamental chemicals of life, the formula for DNA, a crude diagram of our solar system, and simple pictures of a human being and the Arecibo telescope.

‘Echo’ was created with stock footage elements from public domain resources such as NASA and The Atomic Energy Commission, combined with original animations created in Illustrator and After Effects. Many of the images in the film were culled from the internet, then modified and animated. Other audio and graphic elements were taken from the 1977 ‘Golden Record,’ a metal LP containing sounds, images, and greetings from Earth, sent into space with the Voyager Spacecraft.”

“Echo” is currently available on iFilm, here. Definitely need to check it out.

We’re making our own ‘Golden Record’ right now, but it contains only gushing praise about the people in Los Angeles, San Rafael, Redondo Beach, Woodstock, Milpitas, Sonoma, Venice, Canmore, Sparta, Manchester, and New York.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

The Winter of Our Complete Content

Every so often, we get in a great letter singing the praises of our Jewelboxing system. Usually the letters come from users who have been thrilled with the outcome of their projects, or how great they look and the reaction they’ve received. Rare is it when we get a letter like this one from Christian Hery with the Parks and Protected Areas division of the Alberta Community Development Center. Christian was so happy with the project, including the use our cases, he decided to walk us through the whole process, from rough start to glorious finish:

“When our Environmental Education Coordinator came to me with her new program, I was not so enthusiastic about it. It was designed as a draft in Pagemaker, and wasn’t so “cutting-edge.” Plus, it needed to be printed on paper, or, alternately, maybe also as a downloadable PDF. So after a few days trying to get excited about it, thinking of other solutions, I turned around and made my proposition. ‘Let’s make it multimedia, burnt on a CD, completely paperless!’ I thought. ‘Who said government agencies have to make things boring?’

My goal was to turn a dull project into something more exciting. So I re-designed the whole thing, adding some pizzazz here and there, and made a customized Flash interface. But what about the package? Should it be one of these boring jewel cases? No! But what else could I use? Well, as I am also a busy freelance designer, I remembered a while back having seen these cute jewelboxes from your company.

Now it was just a matter of persuading my hierarchy to get the budget, which can be tough. But I had on my side the fact that this Winter Ecology Program is supposed to be the template for the other forty or so environmental education programs we’ve got. Well, I must’ve been persuasive enough because we eventually ordered something like a thousand of them. My argument was that we’d be getting the most of the WOW factor from beginning to end with the project, and for a lot less money (no printing cost, and therefore environment-friendly as well!).

Now that people have seen the final product, I can tell you I am getting a lot of emails, not only from teachers (asking when the series will be completed the same way), but also from other government agencies! It’s all turned out great!”

We’re constantly being affected by the wow factor by those in Kyoto, South Haven, Vancouver, Southbury, Phoenix, Beaverton, Orlando, Jarvisburg, Swarthmore, Chicago, Savannah, and Fort Lauderdale.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Impressive Design, Oppressive Regimes

A little while ago, Jacob Patton, Director of Outreach and Technology for the Free the Slaves organization, stopped by the studio to say hello and to drop off a copy of his group’s new project, “The Freedom Relay,” beautifully designed and packaged using Jewelboxing. We were so impressed by both the design and the goals of the foundation, we thought we’d highlight both the case and give some information about the project:

“Groups of friends all over the country watch ‘The Freedom Relay,’ a documentary about slavery still being practiced throughout the world. After the video has finished, they call in to talk with FTS’ employees who are doing current research or working with our partners at the grassroots. That way, individuals interested in learning more about this issue are able to connect centrally to learn more. We do this on the last Friday of each month: video + conference call. That’s what we are about! Promoting education, dialogue … a movement to end slavery.”

Thanks very much to Jacob and Free the Slaves for letting us see their terrific work. We also look forward to seeing exceptional creations from those in Avondale Estates, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arlington, Denver, Alexandria, Signal Mountain, Arlington Heights, Boston, Hanover Park, Houston, Saskatoon, Redwood City, Jacksonville, Bonita Springs, Venice, and Beaverton.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Two Discs, One Case

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Good Decision, Verified

A company can’t continue to grow without change. We made a big one a month ago when we decided to switch the paper stock we use with the Jewelboxing System. Sure, we were happy with what we’d used previously, but there’s always room for improvement. So we tested and tested, and sure enough, we were right; there was a better stock out there for us. Now every Jewelboxing System we send out is packaged with it, and thus far it’s getting great reactions. Take for example this message we just received from Joan McDonald:

“We wanted to tell you how phenomenal we found the new paper stock. We were totally unprepared for the difference it made. I just can’t stress how different the same file came out printed on the new stuff, compared to the previous stock. We were blown away at the depth and vibrancy it delivered. We’ve been looking at copies of the same tray insert printed on both stock types, and still can’t get over the enormous jump in quality from one to the other. It’s hard to believe it’s the same file. So, good going on investing in the milled-to-order template sheets; it was absolutely worth it, as it’s now impossible to justify going with any other jewelboxing option if you care about how your project is going to present.”

“We just wanted to let you know what a wow factor the jewelboxes added, and how we’re itching to come up with other projects just so we can make more Jewelboxing cases. A deeply satisfying process, especially that clicking the pieces together moment when you’re suddenly holding a finished case. Cool stuff.”

We think it’s impossible to justify going with anybody other than our new pals in Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Roselle, San Diego, Stevensville, New York, London, Burbank, Irving, Austin, Flatrock, Miami, Norcross, Tacoma, Columbus, Seattle, Bloomfield, Berkley, Paris, Mississippi State, and Santiago.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Jewelboxing And Weren’t Afraid to Ask

With any product comes questions. We can speculate that when the telephone was invented, people asked questions like, “How do you plug it in?” or, “How do I telephone my friends?” or even, “Is there a tiny little person who sounds just like my cousin living in the receiver?” With Jewelboxing, it’s no different.

Granted, the System is a breeze to use, from the pre-cut, high-quality paper, to the templates you can just drop into your favorite design program and start tinkering away, but we still do get some really pertinent, very valuable questions coming in. We’d compiled these questions into our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page, but since it’s been a little while since its last update, we thought it was about time to include some of the newer questions we’ve gotten, as well as update some of the older ones with the enlightened bits of knowledge we’ve picked up along the way. While we were at it, we also thoroughly updated the Read Me info for those customers who are already using the System. Take a look. Of course we’re always here if you need us, but maybe you’ll see something in there that answers all your questions right away.

Along those lines, if you’re a regular Jewelboxing user and have printer settings that you’ve found work exceptionally well with the System, we’re in the process of compiling a list of printers and their best settings to further help out with the whole process. If you have any tips, please send them our way. We’d really appreciate it.

We’re writing glowing, highly-complimentary FAQs about those in New York, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Katonah, Omaha, Commack, Seattle, Mexico City, Kirkland, Oakland Park, Sandston, Mountain View, Green Bay, and Cincinnati.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Slightly Colder Than Even Chicago

We absolutely love it when we get a letter like this one sent in recently by Sini Salminen, Art Director at Supernova Design & Advertising in Anchorage, Alasksa. Not only is her project, “Asveq – The Walrus Hunt,” interesting and incredibly unique, but she also provided the icing on the cake by packaging it all with Jewelboxing. Sini tells us…

” I just finished my first Jewelbox DVD cover. I made this for a client of mine, Alaska Native Heritage Center. They love it and are telling me that they get great feedback on the cover. Thought I’d let you guys know.

The short documentary presents how traditional Inuit dances are being preserved and created, and is climaxed by a performance of Asveq – The Walrus Hunt, a song and dance written by Stephen Blanchett fusing Inupiaq melody and dancing styles with Yup’ik lyrics.

This film shows the unwillingness of Alaska Native youth to lose their culture, and the ability to continue creating drum dances in the traditional way.”

We’d be more than happy to make an enlightening documentary about our new pals in Burbank, New York, Aurora, Auvernier, Portland, Plano, Toronto, Scotch Plains, Rotherham, Auckland, Pierrefonds, Mountain View, Rockford, Chicago, and Berlin.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

FOJBs (Friends of Jewelboxing)

See that series of links over there to the right? Under the heading “Thanks for Noticing”? If you’ve never clicked around over there, that’s where we put the links to those who have talked up Jewelboxing on their blogs, their business sites, their personal projects; anything we find or are sent that gives the system a thumbs up. We’ve covered some of the comments and projects here on the blog or in Examples + Inspirations, but a lot of the shorter blurbs we’ve seen have just been tucked away over there in that growing list. So, to avoid neglect, we thought we’d pull a batch of the good ones out and show ’em off a bit.

“A CD / DVD presentation system, or the perfect online business plan. I think it’s great.”
– Rebel One

“…they are everything they are reported to be.”
– Superneedle

“Now this is cool as sh*t!”
– Y2KM

“..an imaginative new approach to CD-case design.”
– Now Hear This!

“I always like it when someone gets fed up with what’s currently available and invents a better version of it.”
– VMUNIX Blues

“I plan to send my electronic portfolio with my grad school application out in this. It seems like a fantastic addition to a job application too.”
– Muddled.Org

“Kudos to Coudal. Highly recommended.”
– Ascent Stage

“If you have a project, portfolio, or anything else that needs to look more impressive than a slimline case that you’d throw in your bag, I recommend Jewelboxing cases.”
– Steinruck Design

“With the increase of digital media tools on home computers, there has been a gap to fill the way to package that content in a profesional manner from home. Jewelboxing looks to be a great product to do so.”
– Put Together Quickly

“Finally, something for those of us who care to put a little more love in the package.”
– Josh Rubin’s Cool Hunting

“I, as well as others I know are despertally looking for an excuse to fork over the cash for these.”
– Ordinary Life

We’d be more than happy to lend our finest of blurbs to those in Brooklyn, Southbury, Edmonton, New York, Saint George, Gent, Loganville, Richmond, San Francisco, Toronto, Austin, Missoula, Coral Gables, Alta Loma, Potomac, Madison, Ardmore via Youghal, and Orlando.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Revolution, On Paper

It took us almost six months to get it just exactly right but we’re happy to report that all Jewelboxing orders are now shipping with our new custom-milled and custom-coated paper. It performs incredibly well.Engineered to our specifications, it’s a super-bright, 12mil 80# photo-matte stock that is coated on two sides and is optimized specifically for consumer-grade inkjet printers. Ink-spread is really minimal, allowing much greater detail than our previous paper and the richness of the color reproduction compares favorably with hi-gloss, super-premium photo paper.

It is virtually impossible to have a super glossy paper manufactured that is coated on both sides. More importantly, the photo finish tends to crack when folded. Both our insert-books and tray-liners are scored and need to be folded precisely for a perfectly-fitted final look. Our new paper provides photo quality reproduction while working within the requirements of the Jewelboxing assembly guidelines. Plus, the cases are beautiful and glossy-looking all by themselves.

As for the new paper working with laser-printers, our official policy is that it works best for ink-jet and conventional sheet-fed printing but we’ve tested it on a number of lasers with great results (except that some lasers are picky about how heavy a paper stock they can take). The heat’s not that big a deal but if you were doing hundred and hundreds of prints you might get some dusting from the coating that could concievably muck up the fuser. We haven’t seen that in tests, but we suppose it could happen.

Anyhow, the production of this paper represents a major investment for us and a major improvement for our customers. For the first time, we’ve had to increase the prices of our kits slightly but we promise, you won’t be disappointed with the increase in quality. If you’re a current customer and would like to purchase a PaperPack to try out with the kit you have on hand, write us a note and we’ll send you a link and a ‘friends and family’ discount too.

Things are looking brighter in Mount Laurel, Lindsay, LA, Denton, Mexico City, Monte Estoril, Grand Rapids, San Rafael, Torrance, Boston, Austin, San Francisco, Kettering and Carbondale.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Now in Exciting…Monochrome?

Because we’re in the business, we try to keep tabs on what else is out there in the disc packaging market. One thing we’ve heard a lot about, as you probably have too, is Lightscribe, developed by Hewlitt-Packard. It’s an admitted cool system where you’re able to burn an image straight onto a disc. It’s a method that’s been used by the big disc manufactures for years, but now the price of the technology has come down enough to make it a viable option for consumers.

In looking at all the info we could find on Lightscribe, reading up on how the laser works, at what image resolution it can burn, and other techie interests, we were more than a little disappointed when we saw samples of the discs. Given the limitations of the laser, black, and shades thereof, is the only color available to anyone who uses the system. The sample included in their press kit makes “Vacation in Hawaii” look dated and, frankly, a little dreary. You can imagine that the original picture they used was filled with vibrant blues and greens; the kinds of colors you’d remember from a trip like this. Shouldn’t you have something that immediately catches your eye, something that doesn’t require you to look past the old-timey monochrome?

Now while the Jewelboxing System doesn’t have any flashy, futuristic lasers at its disposal, we think the final output is a hundred times better. You get full color discs and a snazzy case to stick it in too. And the only piece of technology needed? A color printer.

But heck, despite our little concerns about it, we still think this Lightscribe thing is pretty cool. So even if you have one, you’re inevitably going to want to stick it in something nice, aren’t you?

There’s nothing dull and dreary about those in Abbeville, Saint Peter, North Chatham, San Francisco, Galena Park, Nashville, St. Louis, Spruce Pine, Newton, Walnut Creek, Valencia, Springfield, Surrey, New York, Winnipeg, Tucson, Elgin, Atlanta, Mexico City, McLean, Denver, South Windsor, Norwalk, Eden, and Boston.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Un Cas de L’Amour

We were understandably thrilled when we got this letter from Robert Pennino, who put together a Valentine’s gift using the Jewelboxing system. After all, it’s one thing to impress a client — it’s something all together more important when l’amour is involved.

“Thank you for your great product. I just finished this personal project. I created a DVD with all the best pictures of my girlfriend and I since we’ve been together. It’s called ‘Three Years And A Half,’ because, obviously, we have been together for that long. The theme for the packaging was nature and purity. Inside, I added leftover shavings from a pencil that I had sharpened. Anyway, when I surprised her with the DVD, she really loved it. It’s much more interesting than a cheesy ‘I love you’ card.”

Our hearts race and our knees get wobbly when we think of those in Chicago, Greensboro, Salt Lake City, Bozeman, Redding, Grand Ledge, San Antonio, Greenville, Montreal, and San Francisco.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Well Spent Lab Fees

Most of the time, it’s just business as usual at Jewelboxing. We pack up and send out packs, we answer questions, we update this blog. Pretty routine stuff. But when we get a fantastic e-mail like this one from Kate Bingaman, telling us how much she and her students enjoyed the system, it makes everything we do seem so very worthwhile:

“I ordered 25 Jewelboxing cases last semester for my Typography One class at Mississippi State (I am a new Assistant Professor here and wanted to do something fun and different for a project). I had everyone pick a song and then illustrate the lyrics. We then compiled all of the 16 songs onto a mix cd and designed a Jewelboxing case for each of their songs. THEY LOVED IT! Several of them said it was the best project that they had ever done, and that they never felt like their lab fees had been used for anything cool until now. I loved it because they were excited, they learned about working with templates, and because the cds they created were so so funny and unusual. I mean, the tracks ranged from Kenny Chesney to Oukast. It was so random and strange. Kind of like that class.

I also had one student who broke her case and in a state of panic contacted a super kind member of the Jewelboxing crew who OVERNIGHTED her a new free case, saving her butt in the process. So thanks thanks thanks for that as well.”

Here’s a sampling of some of their great work.

We’re giving exceptionally positive semester evaluations to those in Portage, Santa Monica, Canton, San Jose, Jefferson City, Carrollton, Culver City, Strongsville, Middleton, Gaithersburg, Salt Lake City, St. Charles, Brooklyn, Coral Gables, and Lakewood.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Polishing the Jewels

Here’s a quick message letting you know that it would be wise to check in with Jewelboxing later this week. If you thought the system was good before, you’re going to love it all the more now.

We also believe there to be a constant increase in goodness in Reno, East Meadow, Remscheid, Mosman, Ewing, San Rafael, Hillsborough, Newbury Park, Menlo Park, Los Angeles, Cambridge, Bend, New York, Leicester, Glenview, San Diego, and Santa Monica.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

We’re Being Completely Open With You

Outside of the tech world, we’ve been hearing more and more buzz about open source media and technologies. For example, on Monday’s “Morning Edition,” NPR ran this story about the Brazilian government choosing open source, Linux-based machines over those running Microsoft Windows. No doubt you’ve also heard the buzz about the cool open source Firefox browser. And what about Archive.Org, filled to the brim with copyright-free media?

Well, we here at Jewelboxing don’t want to miss the boat on all of this. We don’t have a programming division quite yet, so we can’t offer you a hot new operating system or browser, but media we can do. That said, we’re making the following available as an open source file. Do with it as you see fit. Feel free to pass it around to every single person you know. In fact, we’d encourage it.

Open Source Jewelboxing Media

Our hearts are completely open to those in Edmond, Portland, New York, Mentor, Wien, Minneapolis, Bonita Springs, Los Angeles, Germantown, Arlington, Lake Mary, Omaha, Baldwin Harbor, Yonkers, Arden, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Viva La Jewelboxing!

Have we started a revolution? In reading this recent post on the terrific Zoetrope101, you’d think so. It’s left us very proud that we’re doing our part for the good of design…

“Some time ago we mentioned somewhere – perhaps even this very blog, that we had fallen madly, deeply in love with a CD / DVD presentation system called Jewelboxing, devised by the obviously very bright people at Coudal Partners. We mentioned then that the product really was the only way to go if you are looking for a quality delivery mechanism.

Now we’re saying that you don’t have a choice anymore – if you are a client, if you are a potential client who requires CD /DVD presentation, you have just had the choice of jewel case taken out of your hands.

The reason for this?

I’ve had it with the normal case, it breaks, it scratches, it discharges its contents on the floor without warning and the little spindles break off leaving you with no cover.

I’m over it. It makes us look bad if we have gone to all the trouble to get the content right only to present it in packaging that always makes me think it should be glued to the front of a magazine.

No if’s or but’s, no discussion. If you’re engaging us to do a CD/DVD presentation you are up for Jewelboxing products. Simple – you get them in for us, or we will, but you will be using packaging required by us.

The cost is not high but the first impression is major, and that’s what we’re looking for. You might not care how your product is delivered, but we do.”

They’ve triumphantly hoisted the Jewelboxing flag over Millers Creek, Los Angeles, St. Laurent, Zionsville, Helena, Saint Louis, Durham, San Francisco, Shpherdsville, Kentwood, Valencia, San Antonio, Tempe, Medford, Zeist, and Pearce.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Wedding, Dig?

Peter Fishman and his fiance, Dara Mochson, decided against sending out the typical, frilly white wedding invitations. Instead, they came up with the brilliant idea of sending out an invitation-slash-jazz-compilation-album to all their guests. After picking out a mix of classics, with appearances by everyone from Nina Simone to Stan Getz, they called up their friend, and great designer, Jay Wright, and asked him to put together something that would give the invitation a really appealing, unique look. Modeling it after the famous covers from the Blue Note label, Jay delivered an eye-catching, extremely clever package, made all the more snazzy because it was put together using Jewelboxing cases.

Peter told us, “We are thrilled with the result, and have gotten about a million compliments from our invitees. We couldn’t be happier we used the Jewelboxing products instead of traditional stationary.” Jay wrote in about the construction and design side of things, saying, “Your jewelboxing process was insanely easy – from the templates to the pre-cut paper, we encountered no problems whatsoever. With the design work and final printing/compiling on two sides of the country, I was grateful things went so smoothly.”

We’ve picked out a ring and would gladly propose to those in New York, Taylors, Los Angeles, Jesup, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Harrisburg, Westfield, Sioux Falls, Portsmouth, Claremont, West Linn, Madison, Brookyln, Santa Monica, High Point, Van Nuys, Carrollton, Chicago, Chesterfield, Dublin, Goodlettsville, Fairview, San Diego, Portland, Miami, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Sebring, Alexandria, Deerfield Beach, and Fairfield West.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Uniformly Unique

How often do you get a gift from someone and say, “Hey, I really liked the packaging”? Unless you’re getting pizzas delivered by a company that uses diamond-encrusted boxes, probably not often. That wasn’t the case with Holly Allen who wrote in to tell us about a project she recently put together:

“I used the Jewelboxing system to make about 30 copies of a mix CD for friends this holiday season. The title of the disc is ‘Admit One,’ the theme being ‘Music I Heard Live in 2004.’ I went with ticket/wristband/setlist images to pull it all together. Some time in Photoshop and some time at Kinko’s and a few hours later, I got this. The reaction was uniformly positive, with many people noting the quality of the cases.”

We have always felt uniformly positive about the people in New York, Jonesboro, Rochester, Calgary, Rocky Hill, Shrewsbury, Mill Valley, Bletchingley, Dallas, Tuscaloosa, Bedford, Boston, Plattsville, Chicago, Scotch Plains, Bel Air, and Washington.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Next to Perfection

Last week, Apple released both the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle, amazing little devices that not only have intuitive function, but look great while they’re doing it. These releases reminded us that, more and more, people aren’t just interested in having the latest technology, but they also want to integrate it into their lives. Much like couches and chairs, people don’t want their computers, televisions, and media players to be big ugly boxes. Rather, they want them to blend into their homes, their offices, and their lives, in a harmonious way.

Yet it seems that people are still surrounding the well-crafted design of these flashy devices with clunky, ugly media and accessories. Think of how many standard DVD cases you have laying around your television, or look over at that lame paper disc sleeve next to your beautiful new Mac. Having that ho-hum packaging around your sleek high-tech gadgets throws the whole thing off balance. It’s like buying a brand new Mercedes and putting up fuzzy dice and a “My Other Car is a Llama” bumper sticker. Well, ’round these parts, we think that’s a real pity, and instead, we offer the perfect alternative: Jewelboxing cases look nice next to everything. They compliment good design because they follow good design principles. So why not maintain that balance, and keep those techie aesthetics high?

The sleekest and sexiest of them all reside in Williamsville, Medicine Hat, Markham, Vancouver, New York, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Tuscaloosa, East Dundee, and Urbana.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

In the Mix

Sure, things like file sharing and iPods are hogging the spotlight, but who says the art of the mix tape is dead? Okay, maybe the “tape” part isn’t around so much anymore, but that beloved practice of sitting around with stacks of albums, trying to make the greatest possible compilation, is alive and well. And it’s never been more attractive, thanks to Jewelboxing. Designer Sean Klassenwrote in to tell us how he’s using the cases:

“I recently joined a mix cd club with a bunch of friends. There are twelve of us, so one person creates a new ‘theme-based’ mix cd each month and then mails it to everyone else. It’s a really fun way to find out about new music and to let others know what you’ve been listening to. My month is February and I actually created two mixes. One with the theme of ‘leaving/change’ and the other is a collection of sweet songs from sweet movies. Thanks for the sweet cases and templates!”

We’re currently dubbing “You Light Up My Life” for all those in Belfast, Mexico, Aberdeen, Visalia, Santa Cruz, Milton, New York, Birmingham, Santa Monica, Cleves, Council Bluffs, Delray Beach, Los Angeles, Warren, Minneapolis, Eden, Cliffside Park, Clinton, Portland, Cleveland, Orlando, Washington, Kumla, Olive Hill, Bloomington, Modesto, Stevenage, Puyallup, Brooklyn, and Diemen.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Over There

While the majority of the Jewelboxing packs we’ve sold have gone to buyers in the US and Canada, we’ve certainly gotten a healthy share of orders from outside our North America. A few of these customers abroad, over this past year, have talked with us about the expense of shipping a Jewelboxing kit internationally, wondering if it’s worth it to pay those extra few bucks to get it shipped so very far away. Well, to that we say: of course!

Here’s why:

Cheaper methods can take upwards of eight weeks to deliver and sometimes the stuff doesn’t even arrive at all or arrives all bashed up. We’re using the cheapest way to get product delivered in a reasonable time (usually 4-7 days) and track it on the way. Spend a couple of extra bucks on Jewelboxing and you’ll receive the goods long before you’ve forgotten you ordered them.

And what difference are those extra bucks anyway? With the US Dollar falling further in value nearly every day, for the international customer, Jewelboxing keeps getting more and more affordable. What’s bad for the buck is a big plus for Jewelboxing enthusiast abroad. So order today, foreign friends, and you’ll be saving time, headaches, and you’ll be giving us a few extra dollars — ones we’ll soon need wheelbarrows full of, so long as those geniuses over in Washington keep it up.

Thanks to those who know the value of a few well-spent dollars in Germantown, Mountain View, Aurora, Auckland, Downers Grove, Miami, New York, Gilbert, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Arlington, Astoria, London, Kirkland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, West Jordan, Washington, Kansas City, Mystic, Salem, Belleek, Saddle Brook, Hoffman Estates, Anchorage, Lachine, Mexico City, Toowoomba, Brightin, Lexington, and Seattle.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog