Love is…Receiving an Attractive Mix Disc

Perhaps the middle of August isn’t the most ideal time to be talking about Valentine’s Day, but let’s not get bogged down by semantics. It’s always a good time to talk about clever ideas and well-thought design, both of which are perfect descriptors for Dan LaMee’s “Red Roses Mix” project. We caught up with Dan after finding photos of the project he’d posted on Flickrand asked if he wouldn’t mind telling us about it. He didn’t mind at all and thus, we have the full report:

“As it was approaching Valentine’s Day five or six years ago, I was unsure of what to do for all my single girl friends. I wanted to do something special, memorable, and more lasting than a cut flower, so after thinking about it for awhile I decided to make a music mix of 12 songs and thus the first “Red Roses Mix” was born. The first discs were “packaged” in simple slim cases with no special artwork, but for the last few years I’ve used Jewelboxing cases to help make the mixes even that much more memorable. For this year’s artwork, I had what I consider a brilliant and funny idea to use some Valentine’s Day print boxers as the main subject. I knew they would generate a laugh and would also fit the theme of the holiday. It took me several iterations to get right, as well as some discussion with a friend, but in the end I think I achieved my goals of a semi-professional looking packaging design using mostly photos I’ve taken! And the finished product, well, it had the effect I wanted it to!”

“I went with Jewelboxing cases after seeing what other people were doing with them on your blog and the examples page. Those examples were the inspiration for me to think that despite having no official “graphic design” training and only a few art classes, I could create interesting and cool cases for people! So I did! In fact, I should probably send a copy of the latest one to the Swap Meat, if it’s swap worthy.”

Here’s to hoping that, after Dan’s lead, there’s lots more love and laughter-inducing material being created in New York, Santa Monica, Tucson, Philadelphia, Bangor, Uniontown, La Palma, Essex, Northampton, Dublin, San Jose, Bradford, Santa Clarita, Falls Village, Bournemouth, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, Alexandria, Brooklyn, Miami, Glendora, Harrisburg, Maple Ridge, Winnipeg, Chicago, Fresno, Allentown and Toronto.

Found Through Photos

We ran into Jewelboxing user Bradley Spitzer completely by accident. We were looking around on Flickr for a long lost photo we were pretty sure was laying around somewhere, tagged for some event we’d all been at. But that’s neither here nor there, because we followed a “Jewelboxing” tag and there was Bradley’s work, in all its well-designed, photographic splendor.We were so impressed by his case, along with his other photography work (check out his “My 50 Favorites”), that we tracked him down and asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing some info about the project. Here’s the scoop:

“The project that you saw on Flickr was an interesting one. I was a volunteer photographer at a indoor, 24 hour music festival at the end of December. During the festival there were a variety of established artists and young ones as well. One of the artists, Alli Rogers, has a local connection (not to me) and is just beginning to take off. After getting back from the festival (and recuperating, ’cause it was incredibly tiring) I noticed on her website that she just had some horrible live photos.”

“So I contacted her management company and asked if they would be interesting in having the photos for any future promotion. They said yes. I knew about Jewelboxing and decided to buy a set of Kings because I wanted them to actually hold onto something physical, professional. Nothing’s come out of it yet, but it was definitely worth the time and energy it took to put it together.”

If you’re anywhere in the Midwest and looking for a photographer, Bradley’s your guy. The man has loads of talent to spare, and we’re thrilled that he used Jewelboxing to highlight his work. We’re also very happy for everyone in Sparks, Venice, Hudson, Santa Monica, Mount Hawthorn, Mukwonago, San Mateo, Praha, Coral Gables, Wood Dale, Burbank, Mankato, Miami, Sydney, East Eallingford, Carlsbad, Saskatoon, Louisville, Washington, Plano, Chicago, Rockford, Manhattan Beach, Oakland, Baltimore, Dallas, El Segundo, Dayton, Cincinnati, Kennesaw, and Culvery City.

Well Taught

Phillip Chee, whose work we’ve featured before on two occasions over the past couple of years, is back at it, impressing us again. Previously, he’d used Jewelboxing to make his own soundtrack album for a film that never saw one released and packaging collections of his photography. Now he’s apparently passing on his well-honed casing skills, as we see in his latest Flickr post of his daughter’s first design, a mix disc of her own, using our King cases. And judging from the song selection, listed on the back cover, it looks as though Phillip is also passing along a great taste in music. Continue reading

Herding the Archives

After four years and more than 200 entries to the Jewelboxing blog, we realized that the archives had grown a bit unruly and it was time to do some organizing. So we went through all of these hundreds of posts and assigned them all to categories, including things like Motion Graphics + Animation, Music projects, Weddings, and Tips we’ve put up over the years to make your whole Jewelboxing experience all the better. You’ll find the whole list of categories over there on the right. We figure this house cleaning will not only help us track things down in the archives, but will also let you more easily browse around and see what people are using Jewelboxing for in the specific areas you’re interested in. Happy reading!

Here’s to hoping we’ll soon be able to categorize all the project being put together in Shanghai, Boston, Charleston, London, Valley Center, Sao Paulo, Lemon Grove, Normal, San Francisco, Chicago, Whitehorse, Northfield, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Clinton Township, McAllen, New York, Ladera Ranch, Tucson, Lone Tree, and Berlin.

Love is…Receiving an Attractive Mix Disc

Perhaps the middle of August isn’t the most ideal time to be talking about Valentine’s Day, but let’s not get bogged down by semantics. It’s always a good time to talk about clever ideas and well-thought design, both of which are perfect descriptors for Dan LaMee’s “Red Roses Mix” project. We caught up with Dan after finding photos of the project he’d posted on Flickrand asked if he wouldn’t mind telling us about it. He didn’t mind at all and thus, we have the full report:

“As it was approaching Valentine’s Day five or six years ago, I was unsure of what to do for all my single girl friends. I wanted to do something special, memorable, and more lasting than a cut flower, so after thinking about it for awhile I decided to make a music mix of 12 songs and thus the first “Red Roses Mix” was born. The first discs were “packaged” in simple slim cases with no special artwork, but for the last few years I’ve used Jewelboxing cases to help make the mixes even that much more memorable. For this year’s artwork, I had what I consider a brilliant and funny idea to use some Valentine’s Day print boxers as the main subject. I knew they would generate a laugh and would also fit the theme of the holiday. It took me several iterations to get right, as well as some discussion with a friend, but in the end I think I achieved my goals of a semi-professional looking packaging design using mostly photos I’ve taken! And the finished product, well, it had the effect I wanted it to!”

“I went with Jewelboxing cases after seeing what other people were doing with them on your blog and the examples page. Those examples were the inspiration for me to think that despite having no official “graphic design” training and only a few art classes, I could create interesting and cool cases for people! So I did! In fact, I should probably send a copy of the latest one to the Swap Meat, if it’s swap worthy.”

Here’s to hoping that, after Dan’s lead, there’s lots more love and laughter-inducing material being created in New York, Santa Monica, Tucson, Philadelphia, Bangor, Uniontown, La Palma, Essex, Northampton, Dublin, San Jose, Bradford, Santa Clarita, Falls Village, Bournemouth, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis, Alexandria, Brooklyn, Miami, Glendora, Harrisburg, Maple Ridge, Winnipeg, Chicago, Fresno, Allentown and Toronto.

Heard from a few Jewelboxing customers

Over the years, we’ve heard from a few Jewelboxing customers who have put out cases to use after joining a mix disc group. It’s a club, of sorts, where once a month a member puts together not only a compelling collection of music they think the others will enjoy, but they also assemble packaging that helps to compliment the disc itself. It’s great hearing from people who are doing this because the whole project, from start to finish, is simply done out of a love of both music and design. And those are exactly the things Alison Garnett brought to the table when she put together her recent mix:

“I took part in my very first music exchange, organized by the artist/designer Lisa Solomon. Looking for an excuse to design a project that involved only myself and an unknowing music exchange partner, as a client, I went with a personal favourite colour combination, as well as a collection of icons that I felt represented both myself and my Canadian home. The jewel boxes were the finishing touch, turning a home made project into a professional looking package design. The title of the CD ‘Run Lala Run’ was both a play on the title of one of the best movie’s to ever come out of Europe, and my nickname ‘Lala’.”

Here’s to hoping the music exchanges are coming along as beautifully in Houston, Vallejo, Atlantic Beach, Plano, Sicklerville, Edmond, Grove City, Valencia, Saint Peter, Providence, Chilmark, Santa Barbara, Paderborn, Southfield, Duarte, Lansdowne, Toronto, Red Bank, Helsinki, Sao Paulo, Vancouver, Nashville, Decatur, Vestal, and Salt Lake City.

A Caped and Hooded Henley

We couldn’t really explain The Getty Address to you, even if we sat down and thought about it long and hard for hours on end. So, instead of a synopsis, we’ll just use a one word description: beautiful. The music is captivating, jumping from bombastic orchestral pieces complete with haunting choral arrangements to quiet stretches with barely more than Dave Longstreth’s falsetto. And with the film (which was created to follow along with the album in full), well, where to begin? It, too, jumps from place to place, moving from gorgeous bits of motion graphics into straight video, but so seamlessly that we genuinely had this thought, early on in the film, some five to ten seconds after such a transition: “Oh, wait, that’s video now. Crazy. How did they just do that?” But other than that, we’re at a loss to describe this remarkable piece of work. We feel really fortunate that James Sumner, who crafted all the film portion, dropped us a line about his using Jewelboxing to package the project, and all the more after he’d sent us a copy and we’d gotten to watch The Getty Address on the big screen. Here’s the rundown of the whole thing from James’ site:

“In 2003 Dave Longstreth, leader of critically acclaimed indie-orchestra Dirty Projectors, beganwork on The Getty Address, an ambitious glitch-opera about, Don Henley, leader of the soft-rock group, The Eagles.The album was released in Spring 2005 on the Western Vinyl label to critical success. Inspired by the terrifying scope of the record, self-taught filmmaker, James Sumner, began animating the story in its entirety under the name Vs. Anna Films. With a unique mix of hand-drawn, computer, and cut-out techniques, Sumner has both broadened and deepened the Henley Mythos. Green screen shoots transport Longstreth, as Don Henley, in a hallucinatory digital world. Kung-fu cranes, Neolithic kangaroos, and ancient Aztec gods guide Henley in his epic quest for Love.”

Here’s hoping that people are having equal success with love in the hallucinatory digital worlds of Baltimore, Seattle, Burbank, Pasadena, Orangevale, Boston, Chicago, Oklahoma City, New York, Cincinnati, Hillsboro, Tulsa, Naperville, Los Angeles, Savannah, Hickory, Rock Tavern, Nashville, North Richland Hills, Lilburn, Venice, Sinjhuang City, and London.

A Family Affair (with robots)

Ronn Kilby, who last year used Jewelboxing for his wedding not once, but twice, in first sending out a video invitation and then a mix disc as a thank you gift to all his guests, has once again returned to us, but this time in the form of a short film. It’s called You-Matic/C-47, and as far as we can tell from the trailers and his excellent cover, it’s got something to do with troublesome robots. Here’s the whole scoop from Ronn:

I make my living writing, producing, shooting, scoring and editing local commercials, corporate videos, and documentaries, plus a day here and there shooting or editing for the network news magazine shows. But man does not live by money-making project alone. Once in a while you have to use your skills and hardware for something completely expressive and fun. When I literally dreamed 75% of a sci-fi script, I got up and wrote it down. Later I fleshed it out so it made sense. Thus came You-Matic/C-47.

But writing the screenplay was not enough. A week later I put out a casting call. Another week and it was cast. A few rehearsals and we were good to go. I figured out what requisite gear I did not have in house, and called all my buds who have even more stuff that I do. They all said, “you got whatever you need, my friend, gratis” so I didn’t have to rent a thing. My son happens to be a great sound man (after 2 years on the road for “Cold Case Files”) so I enlisted him for sound and camera asst. My son-in-law and his brother gripped. My wife catered and handled continuity. My daughter took care of stills, practical effects and makeup. I wrote the music.

We shot on 2 Sony Z1Us in HDV widescreen. Lighting with HMIs and KinoFlo Divas, with a Source Four ellipsoidal for effects. A Hollywood MicroDolly Jib made gliding shots a snap (later pickup shots with an EZFX Jib). Edit was in Avid Xpress Pro-HD. Post effects with Boris Continuum and Particle Illusion. A separate audio recording session was needed for the piano parts, and another for foley.

The film is currently entered in several festivals around the country, but regardless of how it does, it’s already a winner. Because it unexpectedly turned into a family affair and everyone had a ball doing it. Plus the food was great.

We’re already in the process of checking on venues to rent out for the big Jewelboxing party at Cannes to celebrate Ronn’s acceptance, as well as prepping invites for those in Maple Ridge, Amherst, Santa Monica, Huntsville, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Mascoutah, Tucson, Manchester, Pemberton, Highlands Ranch, Bethesda, Troy, Cedar Rapids, Mexico City, Irving, and Gilbert.

The Photoset We’re Proudest Of

This happened to us once before, where we were poking around the internet and wound up on Flickr, doing a search for any “Jewelboxing” tags that might be out there. Last time we found the terrific Iowa-based photographer Bradley Spitzer, who had used our cases to put together a sampling of his fantastic work for musician Alli Rogers. This time around, we were very pleasantly surprised to find a couple of more tags up there (which we’d like to think says something about our little product, because, really how often are people sticking up photos of those bland “regular” cases?).

First we found the wonderfully talented Rachel James who’s been using Jewelboxing to “satisfy [her] need to be creative and to stand out from most photographers in the Netherlands.” She’d posted a couple of photos of one such project she’d put together for a couple named Harry and Ingrid who were married back in May. Assembled using the Photoshop brushes by Jason Gaylor, like her photo work, the case is a thing of absolute beauty.

The second tagged group we found was by another photographer (no surprise there, being as it was Flickr), Dan LaMee. He had this collection of photos of a shared mix disc he’d made entitled “Manhattan Skyline on a Sub-Freezing Day in December,” featuring said skyline and one of those cool Verbatim vinyl-looking discs instead of the printable ones we include in the kits. We did a little more research and tracked down another project Dan had put together last year; another mix, with another vinyl disc, but this time focused squarely on Valentine’s Day.

The running theme for these great happened-upon finds? They look fantastic. And although we’re 99.999% sure the reason they look so fantastic is due to the all of Dan’s and Rachel’s talents, we’d like to use that .001% and say that Jewelboxing helped highlight their skills.

And we’re hoping that .001% is helping everyone out right now in New York, Princeton, Durham, Chicago, Louisville, Newark, Seattle, Phoenix, Washington DC, Miami, Salinas, Salt Lake City, Baton Rouge, Sunnyvale, Sheridan, Calgary, New Albany, Champaign, Timonium, Plano, Atlanta, London, San Francisco, New Haven, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Pasadena, and Oakland.

Official Disc Casing System of the Living Dead

We liked filmmaker Jeremiah Lewis right away after reading this line in his bio: “Roger Corman has classics, why can’t I?” And why not, indeed. All it takes is a script, dedication, some neighbors who don’t mind being doused in red dye and corn syrup, and a camera. Doesn’t hurt if you know what you’re doing too, which, after seeing Lewis’ new film, Red State, it’s certain that he does. Here’s the whole scoop:

Red State began as a goof off project for my annual Memorial Day get-together at my brother’s house in Fort Worth, Texas. Shot over two days with minimal budget and a handful of neighbors playing zombie extras, it took a further five months to edit, create visual effects, and add sound and music. When designing the packaging, I felt Red State deserved something more than the black Wal-Mart DVD case could provide. I had read about Jewelboxing a while ago, and it seemed like a good option to go with.”

“Though I don’t have an inkjet printer, I found a colour laser printer that seemed to like all the template paper. Still, the Jewelboxing system gave me the kind of control I have always wanted for designing my movie cases. My next Memorial Day project has already begun pre-production, and though there are a lot of things still yet to be done on it, one thing I don’t have to worry about is what cases I’ll be using for the DVDs.”

We’re reserving the first doses of our anti-zombie stockpile for the fine people of Atlanta, New York, Tarzana, Columbus, Fort Washington, Falls Church, Corona, Waldorf, Victorville, Rutland, Slippery Rock, Chicago, Santa Monica, Wilsonville, Hacienda Heights, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Absecon, Remscheid, Westport, Canyon Country, Portland, Omaha, Piper City, St. Louis, West Lafayette, Watkinsville, Gross Pointe Park, and Mentor.

Between a Little and a Lot

In response to several inquiries we thought we’d better update and repost this entry.

Our systems are great for smallish quantities of disc packages. Your ability to customize makes creating one-offs easy. Even 100 copies is no big deal. We’ve done 175 in an afternoon for one client’s film and 300 for a friend’s music-house reel and we have customers who have done as many as 500 by hand on a consumer-grade printer. We also have customers who have produced thousands of copies. Most of the time they use our super-precise templates to create the file that a print-shop uses to cut dies. It’s a one-time cost of a couple hundred bucks and for a big run it works out great.

Lately though, we’ve had a number of inquiries from people who need to make 600-1000 packages and don’t want to go through the trouble or cost of die-cutting. The best solution in that situation is to buy the cases in bulk and also the tray-liner paper. The tray-liner is a very complicated die-cut with rounded corners and scores for all the spines. And it needs to be perfect. Just run that pre-perfed paper through a sheet-fed printer and then have your replicator screen the art on the discs. The last piece is creating the insert books. It’s a simple job for any print-shop as the die-cut for that is just a folded rectangle. Voila.

Bulk pricing for cases and paper starts at quantities of 600. Write us at the link above for a quote. If you need less than that but more than 200 we’ll make you a deal. In general, we’ll give you a 100pack free for each four you purchase. Just let us know what you need and we’ll try to accomodate.

Thanks to Lubbock, NYC, Montclair, Wexford, Waikato, LA, Charlbury, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Thornhill, San Jose and Chattanooga.

New Bubbles, Better Squeaks

If you follow the happening here or on Fresh Signals on the Coudal site, you’re apt to recognize the name Jason Koxvold. We’ve been longtime favorites of his tremendous film and motion graphics work. And you probably are too. You’ve likely seen his work in television spots, music videos, print ads, film fests, and if you’ve been to Times Square over the past couple of years, you probably noticed his enormous spot for Winterfresh hanging overhead. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Jason and have him has a customer. And, with everything he’s shown us, his new reel is perfecto:

“I love the new stock, it holds the colour and density so nicely. So anyway I’m sending some reels out and figured it might be worth making a good impression.

The Citizens [Jason just finished their latest video, “You Drive”] wanted a couple of DVDs for their new manager as well, so I jewelboxed some up and he totally freaked out.

Anyway watch out, apparently Appearances will be played on The OC on November 3rd.”

We expect that many hit shows about teenagers in love will soon be featuring the wildly attractive people in New York, Santa Monica, Lancaster, Phoenix, Davidson, Midlothian, Glendale, Edgefield, Bellingham, London, Pasadena, Peterborough, Topanga, Wayne, Kennesaw, Medford, Chicago, Philadelphia, Spring Valley, Henderson, Venice, Lincoln, Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Wolverton, and Detroit.

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. Continue reading

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: Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

Music To Our Eyes

We’ve got a bit of a backlog of projects to be added to our Examples + Inspirations section and we’re going to try to get those up this week. Music, film and photography showreels lead the way. Contests continue at the The Big Smoker and at PhotoForums if you’d rather win than buy and finally, we’ve been amazed at the number of people buying the “New Standards” for music demos. If you’re an independent musician, or hang around with one, and you have an idea for a promotion to introduce Jewelboxing to people in that field drop us a line. We’ll try just about anything once.

A tip o’ the collective cap to Villette, Barrie, Woodstock, San Francisco, Arden and Enfield.