Getting Hands On with Dragons’ Truth

Here’s an interesting project we just ran into. It’s a short video promoting writer Teel McClanahan III’s new novel, Dragons’ Truth, which is now available as an audiobook. Teel wanted to show off that the audio version was “presented in a premium jewelbox” (see: our Standard-sized case), so he clearly took a page from Dawson’s hand modeling debut and put together his own unique moves to make the following:

Thanks to Teel for posting his video and here’s to hoping there’s soon to be a whole series of similar Jewelboxing-centric hand modeling clips coming from Little Rock, London, Alexandria, Chicago, Brooklyn, Evanston, Phoenix, North Bay Billage, Savannah, Shanghai, Long Beach, Portland, Lakewood, Foothill Ranch, Lancaster, Washington, West Henrietta, New York City, and Atlanta

Getting to Know the Real Bryan Bedell

Not to sing our own praises too loudly, but usually around here it’s us talking to Jewelboxing users about their projects or interviewing them for one of our Case Study features, not the other way around. But such was the case with our own Bryan Bedell who was recently interviewed by IT Enquirer about all things Jewelboxing, from what tool designers tend to work with on their projects to printing thousands of cases in bulk. Being as Bryan is our resident Jewelboxing printing expert, and just because he’s a generally pleasant person, it’s an interview well worth your time.

Thanks to IT Enquirer for their interest in what we’re up to and here’s hoping that the tough questions are being asked in Seattle, York, New York, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, Pleasant Grove, Columbia, Sunnyvale, Centreville, Portland, Napa, Boston, Farmington Hills, Palmyra, Liverpool, Palmerton, Herndon, Dallas, London, Detroit and Houston.

Going the Distance

We have a soft spot for people in long distance relationships here at Jewelboxing HQ. In seeing friends who have decided to court from afar and having collectively been in a few ourselves over the years (including one that resulted in an experiment involving ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”), we understand how much effort it takes in making it work. So we were happy to hear that our cases had become part of that effort on behalf of Hamish Macpherson who wrote us about a project he was working on to help keep those fires o’ love burning strong:

“I just finished and sent off my first Jewelboxing project, so I thought I’d share what I came up with. It was a CD for my wonderful girlfriend Talia. Right now we’re in a long distance relationship, so I had the idea of making a CD for her while I’m far away. I remembered seeing Jewelboxing before, but at the time I couldn’t find a legitamte use for it. But not anymore! I ordered a pack of Kings right away and got to work as soon as they arrived (in fact, I had started designing before they came). I was really surprised at just how easy it was to print, punch out, and put together, and I was even happier with the results. Thanks for making this project a success! I look forward to Jewelboxing again in the future.”

Thanks much to Hamish for sharing his story with us and here’s to hoping there’s love in the air (and maybe in the mail, too) in Evanston, San Diego, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Ruston, Los Angeles, West Monroe, Manchester, Bonaire, Carmel, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Jersey City, Berkeley, Conroe, Tulsa, La Crosse, Wickliffe, Brooklyn, and East Patchogue.

Now Available in Belarusian

Every now and again, you get an email that comes completely out of the blue. But when, in this random email, someone asks you, “I would like to translate your homepage into the Belarusian language, which is my mother tongue. Is it ok with you, do you mind?” as Martha Ruszkowski recently did, you of course answer, “Yes, please!” And so Martha, in an effort to practice her translating skills, has done just that, turning the main landing page of this very site into the very attractive, Cyrillic-filed Belarusian. While it’s not likely that any of us here will be able to read the translation, it was a great, unexpected treat. And hey, maybe it’ll mean a big uptick in business from Eastern Europe! Here’s the translated opening paragraph:

“Мы прафесійныя дызайнеры, якія былі незадаволены матэрыялаў для пакавання DVD-дыскаў і нашых кампакт-дыскаў. Мы стварылі Jewelboxing каб дазволіць тварам для атрымання кароткатэрміновай высокага класа пакеты і даць ім волю, каб засяродзіцца на найболей важнай часткай працы, творчы. Мы абралі Super Jewel Box ™ Кароль і Стандартныя выпадкі, створаных дадатковых кампанентаў найвысокай якасці і зрабіў дакладныя шаблоны дызайну для практычна ўсіх асноўных дызайну і праграм публікацыі праграмнага забеспячэння.”

A big thanks to Martha for sharing it with us and here’s to hoping the cases themselves are being used for interesting projects, in any language, in Raleigh, New Windsor, Los Angeles, Venice, San Diego, Erdenheim, Wakarusa, Woodbury, Fort Wayne, Louisville, Salt Lake City, Blaine, Mankato, St. Louis, Chesterfield, Scappoose, Seattle, Toluca Lake, Eden Prairie, Rogersville, Everett, Brownstown, and Culver City.

Pressed Promotion

We have put a lot of effort into trying to make the Jewelboxing system a breeze to use, from our design templates to the pre-perforated paper., but we have to say that we love it when users go off on their own directions and make things more complicated. Such is the case with designer James Mabery, who, while creating his portfolio using our King cases, very well could have just laid out his logo in Illustrator or Photoshop and quickly sent it on its way through his printer — instead, he decided to hand print each case with a carved block. To that we say bravo. Here’s from James:

“I’m currently a student at Savannah College of Art and Design double majoring in Motion Graphics and Animation. At SCAD, I’m a sophomore and interning as a motion designer at Blue Sky Agency in downtown Atlanta, working on a vast assortment of great projects.”

“The work I have in my promotional package is a wide range including print, motion, and web design, and a lot of it is experimental or conceptual, which allowed me to flow freely and somewhat reckless.”

“The disc packaging that I designed and spent many hours on was assembled with the easy-to-use templates provided by Jewelboxing. The look of the overall design was hand-rendered type formed into an organic mass of lines and textures. I hand carved a block of my ‘Everyday’ identifier that was printed on the DVD case’s paper inserts. It was my first time to ever try the printed and carved technique, but it really worked with the overall style in the end. To help get my work seen, the Jewelboxing was a perfect fit for my budget. The quality of the case compliments my work and greatly enhances the image of myself as a professional designer at the same time.”

Thanks to James for sharing his great work with us, and here’s to hoping that the ink is landing in all the right spots in Sydney, Helensburgh, Ann Arbor, Ellenton, Celbridge, Manchester, Amsterdam, Tralee, Glasgow, Rozelle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Hollywood, Clinton, Mexico City, San Francisco, Bedford, Boca Raton, New York, Culver City, Santa Monica, London, and Greenville.

Return of the Red Rose

Back in 2007, we highlighted Dan LaMee’s “Red Roses Mix” project, a mix disc he put together using Jewelboxing Kings to give all his single girl friends “something special, more memorable, and more lasting than a cut flower.” It was a terrific Valentine’s Day gift and on taking a look at Dan’s Flickr page again recently, we discovered that he was back at it with his Red Roses Mix 2009. The new edition looks even better, but this time, according to the description, this case was made for Dan’s girlfriend. So did one of his previous mixes turn a friend into something more? We don’t know, but we’re going to blindly chalk this one up to Jewelboxing-fueled love anyway, just because we’d really like to believe it.

Thanks again to Dan for sharing with us back in 2007 and for posting his most recent work on Flickr for all the world to see. And here’s to hoping love was packaged just as nicely for those in Los Angeles, Venice, Toronto, New York, Crows Nest, Burlington, Vilnius, Baton Rouge, Ladue, Richmond, Dublin, Singapore, Brooklyn, Joondalup, Santa Monica, Foothill Ranch, Boston, Manchester, Vestal, Esher, Kuala Lumpur, and Nashville.

Individual Paper Packs Now Listed for Purchase

From time to time we’ll get calls or e-mails from people who are looking to purchase additional paper packs for their Jewelboxing kits. Maybe they used up all their original paper on a project from last year and didn’t wind up sending out all of their cases, which they now want to reuse with an updated design. Or they’re interested in creating their own larger, multi-page cover booklet. Whatever the reason, we decided to make the process much easier for anyone in need of extras, so we’ve just added a Jewelboxing Paper section on our ordering page. From there, you’ll be able to quickly choose what sort of paper pack you need, from a complete re-do of the whole set that came in your original Jewelboxing order to individual booklets, trayliners and disc labels for both our King and Standard cases. And if you order before 2:00pm (Central), we’ll have your paper shipped off to you that same day, allowing you to get back to printing right away.

Favor the Moments

A while back, we ran across this post over at the popular Weddingbee site, where blogger Miss Pomegranate (each of their writers take on secret identities) talked briefly about her plans to use Jewelboxing as the favors for her upcoming wedding. As we went back and read her previous posts, each about various preparations, we knew that whatever she came up with would be terrific, given her eye for design and a knack for the do-it-yourself. And correct we were, as she’s just followed up by posting her finished CDs, beautifully packaged in our Standard cases. What’s more, like with all of her posts, she went above and beyond by writing out all the details of creating all 150 favors, from start to finish. If you’re at all curious about the process of putting together a 100+ Jewelboxing project with just yourself or with you and another person, we highly recommend starting with her write-up. Also, make sure to check out how she connected these favors to the designs for all of her other wedding accouterments

Thanks to Miss Pomegranate (or “Kate”) for sharing her Jewelboxing experience, and we wish her all the best when the big day rolls around in just a few short weeks. And here’s to hoping there are big days of all kinds on their way to Alexandria, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Vernon Hills, Arlington, Fleetwood, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Hatboro, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Simi Valley, Toronto, Vancouver, Longmont, Gainesville, and Burnaby.

Shoot, Mix, Repeat

It makes it easy to get up in the morning and come in to Jewelboxing HQ thanks to people like Sara Flemming. Not only does she use our cases a ton, she has a blast doing it, and what more could you ask for in a customer? After running across some of her photos on Flickr, we dropped her a line asking if she wouldn’t mind telling us a little about her work and her experiences using Jewelboxing. Here’s her reply in full:

“For a few years now, I’ve been using the Jewelboxing system for two things: mix CDs (really!) and event photos.

“The Jewelboxing templates let me play designer just a little bit and, with the mix CDs, it’s fun matching the mood of the mix with the sleeve, insert, tray, and disc art. Being able to stack two CDs in the Standard case is a major plus; y’know, sometimes you just have a mix that’s too much for one disc! (:

“With the event photos, the templates give me a chance to showcase some of the photographs, previewing what’s on the disc for the recipient. The paper for all the inserts and even the disc labels take color really well, whether I decide to go with bright blue skies, fresh off the farm peaches, or deeply shadowed black and whites.

“After nearly a dozen projects (mostly event photos), the process of putting a disc together is quite quick: choose the photos, edit the event or mix information, print, punch out, and go! The whole system lets me present my work my own way, with full control from start to finish. I love that.”

Thanks much to Sara and here’s to hoping mixes are being made and events are being photographed in Portland, Somerville, McMinnville, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Palm Springs, Ann Arbor, Spring Hill, Cary, Palo Alto, Carnarvon, Washington DC, Ridgefield, Lincoln, Madison, Richmond, Great Barrington, Corvallis, Pasadena, El Segundo, Glasgow, San Diego, Bethlehem, Denver, Carouge and Zurich.

The Revolution Will Be Available on DVD

It must be the season for interesting, off-the-beaten-path Jewelboxing projects, as it seems like we’ve been receiving word of a lot of unique cases lately. So it is with Dean Cooper, a designer from the UK, about packaging a film he made about he and his friend’s trip to Cuba several years back. While we haven’t seen the film, based on Dean’s work with the case, we’re guessing that it’s more than equal in its skill and attention to detail (as an aside: Dean, can you make a poster out of the cover and tray art, so we can buy it and hang it on our wall?) Here’s a little about his process in putting the project together:

“I bought my Jewelboxing cases over a year ago but have only just got round to using them on a personal project that I’ve only just completed. A film of a trip to Cuba that me and a friend had in 2001 a lot of work went into editing the DVD and the Jewelboxing cases finish the project off beautifully. I found scans of a child’s sticker book produced just after the revolution on Flickr and used these 1960’s graphics as the basis for my design. I found the templates easy to use and the paper good quality.”

Here’s to hoping the revolution is beginning to take root in Des Plains, La Grange, Honolulu, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Fayetteville, Naples, Burlington, White Plains, Denver, Fairfield, San Jose, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Oak Park, Cambridge, Irvine, North Vancouver, Redmond, Clio and Middletown.

Blood, Sweat and Day-Long Renders

Between the lot of us here at Jewelboxing, we’ve worked on our fair share of animated projects, from putting together work for clients to carefully moving characters with our kids, frame by frame, in making yet another stop-motion Lego Star Wars epic. So we’d like to think that we understand animation and how much time, dedication and effort it takes. And because of that, when someone like Tommy Baldwin chooses to package his animation portfolio in Jewelboxing, we feel pretty honored that he’d entrust his years-in-the-making work within our cases. Here’s from Tommy:

“Well the project is a animation reel slash interactive portfolio that I have been working on for almost 2 years. It’s a simple narrative that displays my skills as an artist and an animator. The entire project from character development, to 3D modeling, texturing and animation was all done by me.”

“Originally I was only going to put the film on my site, but when I was finishing up the project a fellow coworker and designer told me about Jewelboxing. After poking around the site for awhile and seeing all the amazing results, I instantly knew that this was another way to show off my film and artwork. The layered design of the case really appealed to my 3D imagination. I loved that there was an empty chamber in the binder. I really thought about what to put in there before settling on a piece of copper with a common design element hammered into it. Another aspect of the case that I loved was all the visual space that I could fill up with my designs.”

“Most of all, in the world of animation, every book is judged by it’s cover, and I think that my cover really shows off what’s inside the case.”

Here’s to hoping everything is behaving as it should between every keyframe in New York, Edmond, Santa Cruz, Universal City, Hartford, Orlando, Roslyn, Tervuren, Alexandria, Troy Grove, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Milltown, Long Beach, O’Fallon, Brooklyn, Richmond, Corte Madera, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Edison.

A Very Tolva Christmas

If you read this blog with unusual devotion, you might recall this quote from 2006 in relation to John Tolva’s annual holiday party: “I’ve got to befriend this guy as soon as possible so I get an invite next year.” Well, we’re proud to announce that we did just that. Not only did we hit up a few neighborhood bars with John throughout 2007, we also went with him to Los Alamos, New Mexico to film a documentary. But, of course, the big moment of pride was when we got a much-coveted invite to his annual party. John has the full report here, if you’d like to read up on what it was like and what it takes to put together one of the best holiday parties around. What’s more, and how this all comes full circle to become relevant, is that John once again gave out holiday mix discs, packaged in Jewelboxing, complete with a mini-pencil in the case’s spine, allowing you to check off if you were naughty, nice or a little of both. And once more, they were a blast to pick up and bring home.

But he didn’t stop there. On his terrific site, Ascent Stage, he offered up a few pointers in making Jewelboxing a little easier to work withwhen you’re printing a bazillion of them and you’ve got to get them out in a hurry. Here’s a couple:

 

  • “It is much easier to label the CD’s once you’ve set them in the case on the spindle. This holds them still while you apply.”
  • “When ripping the perforations on the [Standard tray] sheet it is much easier to rip it latitudinally (the long side) first, then longitudinally.”
  • “Those crazy tiny diagonal perforations near the hinge? Cut them with a small pair of scissors. Much easier than ripping them.”
  • “Once you’ve printed the booklet inserts it is best to put stack them into 10 or 15 or so and weigh them down overnight with something heavy. This flattens them out so they sit in the tray better.”

 

There’s a few more beyond that, but we didn’t want John to get angry at us for swiping all the content off his site. It’s a great batch of info, so we highly encourage you to check it out before your next project.

Thanks again to John for the invitations and the great pointers and to those in Eureka, Brooklyn, Marina Del Ray, Atlanta, Henderson, Leamington Spa, West Covina, Des Moines, Evanston, Louisville, Savannah, San Francisco, Ventura, Crows Nest, Raleigh, St. Paul, New Kensington, Hatton, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Alexandria, New York and Kalispell.

The Pleasure of the Padded Envelope

Is there anything as satisfying than finally shipping off the final version of a project for a client? You’ve worked long, hard hours, you’ve gone back and forth a million times, sometimes muttering the occasional unmentionable under your breath when you don’t necessarily agree with a decision, but that’s all in the past now. Whatever it is: it’s done, you’re happy and so is your client (hopefully it ends this way at least).

But even if your work exists entirely in ones and zeros, like with web design, it’s nice to have that “shipping it out” feeling of completion too, for all parties involved. Or so says Debbie Campbell of Red Kite Creative, who was kind enough to send us over some of her work, beautifully packaged in Jewelboxing Standards, and her reason why she sounds out finished websites on disc. Here’s from Debbie:

“I’m a web designer, and when I launch a project I always create a production CD for my client. I like to create a nice-looking package that reiterates both my ‘brand’ and my design skills, so the client is left with a tangible piece of my work to keep (and not just a digital website).”

“Jewelboxing is superior in every way to the regular CD cases I’d been using. I like the heavy weight of the plastic, and I really like the templating system. It’s easy to use and the quality and elegance of the finished product shows off my work nicely.”

Here’s to hoping trips to the post office are in the near future for those in Encinitas, Venice, Chicago, Poughkeepsie, Berkeley, Houston, Santa Monica, San Francisco, New York, Oakland, Decatur, Victoria, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Port Washington, Sydney, Winston-Salem, Tampa, Louisville, Granite City, Copenhagen, Williamsburg and Vancouver.

A Touch Lighter, A Lot Better

We’re nothing if not constant tinkerers around here. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve probably noticed that, twice during the last three years, we’ve announced that we were rolling out new and improved paper stock. Today we’re doing it again.

We’ve listened to our customers’ requests for what they’d like to see improved and also have taken into consideration new printer technology. The old adage goes that you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but if we can get that percentage running at around 99%, we figure we’re doing pretty well.

Here’s the rundown on what’s new and improved:

* Our custom-milled paper is still a bright, solid stock that really holds ink well, as it always has, but we’ve made it a touch lighter (the old paper was 12 mil, while the new batch is 9.5 mil thick). This means it will feed more smoothly and through a wider variety of printers.

* We’ve vastly improved quality control. New dies and tighter tolerances have improved the paper’s performance relative to the software templates, keeping it much more consistent, batch-to-batch. Also, the perforations are stronger and less prone to accidental separation, while remaining just as easy to punch out.

* The coating on the paper has been modified, making it less “dusty.” This is a barely-noticeable change, but it’s healthier for your printer, as less dust means less wear and tear on rollers and print heads.

These changes should be particularly helpful for users of color laser printers and finicky ink-jets. The new paper will feed and print better and minimize harmful dust residue (we still recommend using the manual feed tray — keeping the paper path as simple as possible always helps).

We’re hoping you’ll find this new stock perfect for your next project. All King (DVD-sized) template paper shipped after May 1, 2007 will incorporate these features and our next batch of Standard (CD-sized) template paper will meet these specs, too. And, as always, we’re eager to hear your thoughts about it, so feel free to drop us a line and let us know what you think.

A Quick Offer: if you’d like to give the new paper a try, just order a 20pack of Kings before the end of the day on Friday, May 11th and then drop a note to “papergeek at jewelboxing dot com” saying you did, and we’ll send you a $10 instant rebate. Cha-ching.

The Cutting Edge

It’s always fun to hear from Jeff Rutzky. He’s participated in most of the fun quickie contests we occasionally run over at Coudal, drops us e-mails to let us know when he’s found something cool to check out, and was one of the first people to mail us something for our Swap Meat experiment (check out his amazing Kirigami sculpture of Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall he made from a Masahiro Chatani design). It makes it all the better that the man’s got loads of talent. He’s the author of several books about Origami and has worked in designing publications, products and a whole host of other projects for an impressive roster of clients, including everyone from Playboy to the Weekly World News. This past month, he finally got around to trying Jewelboxing for the first time, and here’s his report about the project he used the cases for:

“Pro bono, I took a great interest in helping Vanessa Gould and Green Fuse Films to create an identity with a clean, modern look and feel. Her film, Exploring Origami uncovers some of the mystery behind why origami is so intriguing to children, as well as being so critical to modern and future science. I’m also trying to encourage the former-Wall Street exec -turned-film-director to be consistent with fonts and screen graphics. I know she has a limited budget, but free After Effects house calls are just an F-train away.”

Here’s to hoping all is being folded just-so and all the cuts are being made with precision in Washington DC, Cambridge, New York, Jackson, Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, Covington, Utica, Torquay, Monrovia, Columbus, Stevenson Ranch, Bedford, Brooklyn, Lafayette, Valley Stream, Burbank, Santa Barbara, Middletown, Houston, Conroe, Newton, and Jersey City.

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. Continue reading