The Sporting Life

People have used Jewelboxing for pitches to major, big league clients, like pro sports teams and multi-million dollar retail sponsors. Or motion graphics firms delivering a final project to be displayed on the gigantic screens in the 50,000 seat stadiums. But while not everything involved with sports has to be so grandiose, it’s still important to always look your best, as we learned in this write-up by a recent first-time Jewelboxing user:

“A soccer mom contracted me to shoot her kid’s all star game. It was a standard two camera set-up — not a lot of flash. I tried to ESPN things up a bit, tossing in a running scoreboard and suchlike. In the end, though, the project still felt light. Sturdy, but light. I needed to knock the first impression out of the park to justify my commission.”

“I purchased some Kings — my first order from you guys — and bought some stock photos. The inner tray and disc just blended so nicely and the whole thing had a really good weight, as opposed to paper sheaths and the usual jewel casing, it felt like it belonged on a shelf for display. I sent them out and my client immediately contacted me for two more sets.”

“*cheesy grin, thumbs up* Thanks, Jewelboxing!”

Let’s hope the grins are as cheesy and the thumbs are as high in Middleboro, Ladera Ranch, Glasgow, Tallahassee, New York, Detroit, Boca Raton, Reutlingen, Portland, Geneve, Grand Rapids, Carolina, Amityville, Nashville, La Mesa, Maple Ridge, Saint-Avold, Lake Oswego, Liverpool, Breckenridge, Elmwood Park, Copenhagen, Anchorage, Spring and Sewanee.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Jewelboxing, Friend to the Small Business

If you go back to the very first post on this blog, you’ll read that one of the primary reasons we started Jewelboxing was because we were a small firm looking for packaging that looked good and was simple enough to use it quickly and easily with outstanding results. So it always makes us happy to hear from someone like Daniel Scrivner, owner of a small firm himself, who’s been using Jewelboxing with, yep, outstanding results. Here’s from Daniel:

“Scrivner Creative is a very small studio (only me and my brother) that specializes in creative solutions for everything from branding to web design, and our specialty: flexible and secure websites and backends. Last year, we started looking around for a cool way to create and package our showreel to get out to potential clients and businesses in our area. We were looking for something that was relatively inexpensive and could be easily updated, as we’re a relatively new business and are changing all the time. So we looked around, and found a ton of options, but most were either too expensive (in the $1,000s) or weren’t going to be easy or cheap to update (i.e. using a professional printer for packaging). But then we finally stumbled upon Jewelboxing, and found exactly what we were looking for.”

we were able to design, print, put together and send out our showreels whenever necessary. It took advantage of the tools we already had in house — like a great color printer. And just worked perfectly for us.”

“For the design of our showreel, we wanted to create something that caught the eye and made the recipient want to check out the entire showreel. Denis Radenkovic of 38onetook care of the eye catching part with his amazing illustration on the front cover. And we handled the more subtle details of text, color and organization.”

Here’s hoping for similar results in firms of all sizes in Adairsville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Andrews, Fairfield, Downey, Milwaukee, Roseville, Aurora, Prospect, St. Louis, Boonville, Ridgewood, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Plantation, New York, Broomfield, Greenville, Cambridge, Chicago, Honolulu, Montreal, West Hollywood, El Monte, Dallas, London, Nottingham, Randallstown, Spokane, and Waukesha.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Flip-Flopping for the Single-Side User

Here’s a little trick of the trade Dawson came up with a while back that we thought might be useful to have at your disposal, should the need every arrive.

As the story goes, we were putting together the DVD copies of our first ever short film, Copy Goes Here, and, of course, we were using Jewelboxing. The trick is, we only wanted to use the front and back of the cover booklet, with nothing printed inside because we had it all pretty well taken care of using the front and back. However, we wanted to avoid people wondering if there was something inside the booklet and taking it out to look, only to find it empty. So Dawson suggested that we just swap the images, the one for the outside cover and the one for the inside facing the disc. That way, you’d still print the front section of the booklet out like normal and when you fold it, now you’ve got the crease facing the outside edge and what’s usually the opening of the booklet now facing the spine of the case. Make sense? Visuals always seem to help, so here’s a photo:

Here’s hoping there were a lot of holiday wishes delivered, printed backwards or otherwise, by way of a shiny new Jewelboxing case in Moscow, Muskegon, Austin, Tampa, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Lewisville, Manti, Madison, West Des Moines, El Cerrito, Ames, Marion, San Diego, Ottawa, Brussels, Southport, London, Woodstock, Columbus, Tumwater, and Playa del Ray.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

‘Tis the Season for Another Great Mix Disc Idea

We had our Coudal Partners/Jewelboxing holiday party last week and while it was a lot of fun, it’s difficult for any party to compete with the one put together by Ascent Stage’s John Tolva. Just reading about the whole thing makes you think, “I’ve got to befriend this guy as soon as possible so I get an invite next year.” There was a photo booth, homemade hard cider, an open DJ table for anyone to try their hands at, and even a multi-room train set. And then he went the extra mile and made us happy by incorporating Jewelboxing into the whole bacchanalia. Like last year, when he used Tic Tacs in the case spines (an idea we borrowed to put to use for our Holidisc packages), he once again made mix discs for every attendee. But this time around, he had a whole new idea:

“This year I searched high and low for glow sticks that were the proper size for the hinge chamber. My idea was to have red and green glowing CDs. Turns out glow sticks are made in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes for everything from costumes to golf balls to fishing lures. This last category — called Lunker Lights — was the perfect size for the chamber. The effect was stunning — though it only lasted for about 8 hours. Rave on!”

Here’s to hoping that the holidays are just as bright for all those in London, Ferguson, Austin, Sydney, Santiago, Frankfurt, Little Elm, Naples, Schamburg, Saint George, Miami, Ventura, Boston, Yonkers, Sarasota, Sherman Oaks, Marcola, Fall River, Brattleboro, Fallbrook, Greenfield, Hollywood, Seattle, Fort Washington, Mount Vernon, Surrey, and Charlotte.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

The Perfect Pick-Me-Up, Now Available on Disc

If you ever find yourself having a rough day, we’ve found the perfect solution: Erin Vey’s photography. Her work is bright, touching, and colorful, even when it’s in black and white. She’s able to beautifully capture those millisecond-long moments that elude the vast majority of us with cameras, and that’s the reason she’s been so successful and in demand. So it stands to reason that, when she decided to start offering her clients DVD slideshows packaged in Jewelboxing Standard cases, that they’d follow artistic suit and be just a joy to look at. And that they are. Here’s from Erin:

“A Seattle native, I work as a natural light, on-location photographer. Most of my clients are babies, children, and families, and when I’m lucky I get to work with my biggest passion — dogs.”

“I recently added the ability to purchase DVD Slideshows & High Resolution Digital Negatives to my pricelist and was looking for a unique way to showcase them. I wasn’t satisfied with the options at my local office store and wanted something with a WOW factor. A friend referred me to your site, I watched the fun video, and was instantly hooked.”

“The Design: After many iterations of design concepts, and my husband saying “just pick one!” I settled on this design. I think it is simple yet whimsical. The content of the client slideshow determines the color of their case based on the general tone of the outfits chosen during the photo session. Clients who purchase the High Resolution Digital Negatives receive detailed information inside their booklet on how to make the most out of their images. What a perfect package!”

Here’s to hoping that people are perking up when they get a look at whatever is being made in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Arlington, Milton, New York, Santa Monica, Brooklyn, Astoria, Orem, New Albany, Lombard, Perth, Hialeah, Saint Paul, Niceville, Toronto, Turlock, East Wallingford, Milwaukee, San Francisco, San Mateo, Winnepeg, Dobbsberry, Morton Grove, Seattle, Columbus, Bakersfield, Boulder, and St. Charles.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Canon-aid

As you may or may not know, in combination with Coudal.com, our studio site, we send out a mailing via email about once a month. There’s always a contest or giveaway and some other foolishness in it. And there’s always an offer on Jewelboxing too.

A little while ago the offer was “buy a 100pack of Kings or a 150pack of Standardsand write us back saying that you saw the offer in the mailing and we’ll give you a $25 instant rebate and throw your name in a hat to win a Canon Pixma Printer free of charge.

Dozens of people took us up on it and Robin Hennig of Tarzana, California was randomly selected to win the printer. Congrats Robin, it’s on the way. Most consumer-grade ink-jets do a fine job with our system but none better than the Canon series. They’re not lightning-fast but the image quality and color fidelity is great and they handle the 12mil paper perfectly.

Make sure you’re on our Infrequent Mailings list simply by giving us your email address at the bottom/right of the JB home page. We won’t ever abuse the privilege.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Nice Conversation With An Angry Bovine

We heard from Jewelboxing user Jay Ferracane this week when he sent us a message saying:

“I ordered some kings from you guys a while back and finally got a chance to use them. I’ve been sharing a lot of recent work with these very memorable pieces. Everyone asked, ‘Did you do all this from scratch?’ to which I replied, ‘Well, with a little help…(insert Jewelboxing plug here).’ Anyway I was able to get a very custom look with off the shelf templates and parts. Thanks!”

Well, we thought that was about as great an e-mail from a user we were ever going to get, so we wrote back to Jay right away and asked if he could send over some info on himself. Here was his response:

“I’m a creative director in Los Altos, California and Angry+Bovine is my portfolio site. Bovine, specializes in helping companies create brands that take complicated ideas and make them tangible, engaging and understood. It’s truly multi-media, as the work is reflective of environment, print, web and brand strategies. The Jewelboxing system allowed me to make a custom high impact piece that I can leave behind with every client. They love the fact that what gets shown in the portfolio is now left with them to troll through at their own speed.”

Here’s to hoping we have more conversations like this one with the people in Warsaw, Olive Branch, Chicago, Edison, Old Lyme, San Diego, Spotslyvania, Denver, Vancouver, New York, Morgan Hill, Burbank, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, Winston-Salem, Toronto, Skokie, Gresham, Elmhurst, Ithaca, and Rockville.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 8: Bigstar

It’s been a little while since our last Case Study feature. In the interim, we’ve had lots of samples come t

 

hrough our doors, and all of them were fantastic and many have been featured here on the site, but we’ve always felt that the Case Studies should be something extra special, getting to know companies or individuals who are using Jewelboxing in direct relation to their business on a regular basis. What’s more, we’d set some really high standards with our previous talks with groups like Impactist, Eyeball NYC, and WOXY. It was when we started talking to Alex Krawitz, an Executive Producer over at Bigstar, the absurdly talented New York-based motion graphics firm, that we knew we had the focus of our next feature. Alex was kind enough to lend us some of his time in between massive projects for major clients, and we were fortunate to get the scoop on the company, their process, and the industry in general:

1. Can you give us the general rundown on Bigstar?

Yeah — we are a small creative motion graphic design and production firm based out of NYC. We specialize in broadcast and commercial work and sometimes do industrial, experience design and music video work.

2. I’m always curious how firms like Bigstar get started. How do you go from day one to now doing promos for HBO and major national spots? Making spec work or shorts for film fests? Did everyone bring their clients over from freelance or other firms? Or did you assemble a team of people and then said to potential clients, “Here we are!”?

Our creative director, Josh Norton, had been a freelance animator and designer in NYC for several years before we started Bigstar. It was one of those things that took form over the past two years in a very gradual way. The company quite literally started out in Josh’s apartment and what we would do is take Josh’s freelance clients and bill them through the Bigstar entity and let all of his clients know that we had started a new company. It wasn’t before long that we grew out of Josh’s apartment and rented a small room at a larger edit facility. Eventually, through word of mouth, client referrals and working our asses off, we were able to establish a small but solid client list. One room at the edit facility turned into two. And in July of ’05, we moved into our new office space that allows us to take on much bigger and more high profile work.

3. Your new ’06 reel features the Daft Punk song “Robot Rock.” How do you wind up picking a music track that you think will work well with the new material you want to show off? Someone hears a song and says, “That’s it! That’s the track to edit a montage to!”? And, along those same lines, is there a go-to person at Bigstar who is the king of putting together the new reel?

That’s kind of a funny question because I think that we had about 14 tracks that we considered “final” for our latest reel before we went with Daft Punk. We would get right up to the point where we would think it was complete and then Josh would want to switch the song again. The latest reel took us a long time to prepare with the music selection, which work to show, packaging etc. I think that you are always your own toughest critic.

4. A lot of your projects have a terrific mix of film, 2D, and 3D in them. What’s your process like, from designing the backgrounds to filming actors to taking everything into the computer and bringing it all together?

In our work you do see a lot of mixing of elements and that has kind of become the bstar calling card. For our most recent project, we had elements coming from many different sources. We were in the studio shooting HD effects and live action. Those were being combined with CG and 2d animation, as well as textural scanning and photography that we took all over the city. All of these elements were then brought in and assembled by all of the animators and editors. The end result is a richer more finished aesthetic that gives the viewer a unique visual experience.

5. Any particular favorites Bigstar has put together? Or any really interesting methods you used to assemble a piece?

I think that our favorites change from day-to-day and project to project. We’re pretty into the “Road to Rucker Park” piece at the moment.

6. To help keep everyone around the studio sane and happy, a lot of firms, including we here at Jewelboxing, get involved in personal projects, making things just for the fun of it. Does that go on at Bigstar? Anything you’d like to share?

Unfortunately it is very hard for us to do work outside of our client jobs as they take almost all of our time. But we do, once in a while, get a chance to work on fun stuff. We have a music video that we will begin working on soon that should be really great.

7. Over the weekend, a friend and I got to talking about how there are these motion graphics staples that people not in the industry have become hyper-familiar with. Like the still photos cut out and made into 3D, which you see in almost every documentary anymore. Or flowers being unmasked, so it looks like they’re growing. Bigstar seems to be able to buck those trends and come up with ideas that are unique and far more organic. How do you manage to keep things fresh, which must be particularly difficult when you’re working with clients who are prone to say things like, “I saw the coolest thing last night — it was this still photo that was also kinda in 3D!”?

The motion design industry grows together. There are shared trends and techniques that create breakthroughs pushing us and every firm to a higher level of expression. However, once an idea or look reaches a saturated level exposure it is our job as a firm to have already seen the “trend” coming, by staying close to the industry and informed beyond the average individual. We are interested in being proactive. We strive to push the tools and talents around us and initiate a pure creative approach to each project using new techniques not reacting to popular trends.

8. Nearly every week at AdAge they’ve got a story about how tv spots are going the way of the Dodo and that the future of advertising is all in mobile content and the internet. Do you follow that thinking at all? Additionally, have you thought about, or been approached for, Bigstar handling such projects, ones that will never appear on anything larger than 320×240?

More and more our clients ask us to prep finals for both on air and web. I would say that that is becoming a pretty regular occurrence.

9. What did you use Jewelboxing for? And why did you decide to use the system?

We chose Jewelboxes for our reel packaging because of its professional quality look and the level of customization that we can achieve. When one of our clients or potential clients receive our reel we want them to feel like they have received something special and unique. We tried other options and Jewelboxing looked the best, by far.

10. What’s next for Bigstar? Any projects you can talk about?

We are just wrapping up our first channel launch package and were recently awarded a PSA for the Partnership for a Drug Free America that is going to be great. Stay tuned…

‘Jewelboxing Project Name’ Goes Here

Now that school’s back in session, it’s the season of sending out portfolios and reels for those coveted Fall internships. And we’re sure some of those packages arriving on desks across the country include a Jewelboxing case. But even if you did land the best gig in town and are now getting coffee for some of the most important people in the business, or completely forgot the whole thing and now have a knee-deep stack of cases you aren’t sure what to do with, there’s no such thing as too much promotion (or any if you’re of that later group), so if you’ve used Jewelboxing recently for any project you’ve put together, we’d love to see it. Drop us a line at crew at jewelboxing dot com. If your work is top notch and you convince us you’re really a student, we may just send you a batch more cases, on the house.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Intensely Painful, Heartbreaking, and Filled With Wonder

  • We’ve determined that Fall must be the season of the filmmaker. We’ve recently heard from a number of people using Jewelboxing to package their films, from the short, tiny budgeted two minutes pieces to the ones with craft service tables to rival some of the best restaurants in town. One filmmaker we heard from was the talented David Frank Gomes, about his very moving film, Awake. Here’s the story:Almost 10 years ago, my producing partner and accidentally stumbled across a suicide victim. We called the coroner to find out about him and we were told there would be a wake. We decided to go. We wanted to find about a young man who had left this world too early.

    From that experience came the idea for a film which became aWake. We finally completed it this year. Since we made the movie for 17 grand, it took a long time, and there were long periods where it looked like it might never be finished. The fascinating thing about indie filmmaking is that you are forced to learn to do everything yourself. The process is both intensely painful and heartbreaking, and satisfying and filled with wonder.

    After so many years, I wanted to send out the film in something that was special, not cheap and loveless. Cynicism is built into all low quality products, and my film deserved a little more love than I could find in Vancouver. One day I happened across a directors reel at a large commercial production house in Vancouver. You know the place, where buckets of money are thrown at everything, and it’s perfect, on time and gorgeous. They were using Jewelboxing and the moment I saw the DVD case, I thought “Wow, that is beautiful!” It was unlike any other case I had seen. I did a little research and ended up on the Jewelboxing site. It was more than we could really afford (I don’t consider them expensive, but the indie pocket book is small, and expenses are infinite), but we splurged anyway.

  • Now I must apologize. I am not a designer so I fall back on my one standard principle of design, which is low-fi, handmade with love. I am pleased to announce the system they have is practically foolproof, and very easy to work with. All the pain has been taken out of the process, and my few dealings with them have been fabulous. When a box arrived broken, it was replaced immediately. The service is as good as the product.In my estimation, anything can be made better and they have made the best cases I have ever seen, and provide a simple and user friendly system for making beautiful packaging yourself. I rest my case.

    Here’s hoping the labors of love are coming together as well as Awake in Chicago, Lowell, St. Paul, Seattle, New York, Mexico City, London, Loveland, Pacific Palisades, Outremont, Jacksonville, Brooklyn, Olympia, Frederick, Georgetown, Morganville, Hastings, Jersey City, Atlanta, Bonita Springs, Waukesha, Washington DC, Portland, New Albany, Sun Valley, Corona, and Huntsville.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Their Winter Post-Production Is Summer Post-Production To Us

We must have production on the brain right now, because suddenly we’ve found ourselves surrounded by it. In our other lives, over at Coudal Partners, we’re in the middle of a big campaign we’re shooting a bunch of cool spots for. It’s all we’ve been thinking about of late. When we came back to our Jewelboxing e-mails, we were happy to find that we need not leave that world of film and video for even a minute, as we’d gotten a great sample from of a case put together by Brendan Cook for Velocite Editorial. Here’s the whole scoop:

Velocite Editorial is a post production house based in Sydney, Australia and with a satellite office in China. We provide desktop editing services to broadcasters, production companies and ad agencies, and hate having boring packaging that doesn’t stand out. For our Senior Editor John Buck’s most recent round of meetings with the who’s who of advertising in Shanghai, he needed a DVD case that would stand out both in initial chats and then on the recipient’s shelf in the weeks ahead. So he asked Brendan Cook at the Sydney design studio pictureDRIFTto develop a package which extended on the look developed for his company identity.

Here’s to hoping the collaborative efforts are going as well in Denver, Dacula, Hollywood, Pasadena, Chicago, New York, Houston, Albany, Stockbridge, Tunkhannock, Winnipeg, Norfolk, Amsterdam, Alexandria, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Vestal, Lafayette, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Orem, Wrightsville, and Bordeaux.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

2017-11-09

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Fond Memories That’ll Actually Last

Lockers have all long since been cleaned out, report cards have been distributed, and those who have just graduated from high school are already likely looking through their yearbooks and thinking “Who was that person?” Thus is the plague of the school annual, where bad photos of the people you only kinda sorta knew slowly start to fade away, not helped in any way by the amount of brain cells that will likely be destroyed once you hit college. All that’s the sad truth, of course, unless you happened to go to school with Sujay Thomas, who put together a short film about his graduating class and expertly packaged it using Jewelboxing. Here’s what Sujay had to say:

“Our high school career was coming to an end and it seemed fitting to me to compile a great DVD package as a departing gift for all the seniors. I’ve always enjoyed design and film. For our Senior Class Day, a close friend and I were in charge of creating a fun, short video, chronicling our time during high school in a fun, entertaining way. After it was finished and screened to the whole entire senior class, with fantastic reception, I knew it couldn’t end there. So I planned on making my first DVD, a memory for my friends to keep for the rest of their lives. Knowing how creative our class is, I knew that it would only be fitting that our package reflect the students’ uniqueness and be something that I’d be proud to have in my collection. I turned to Jewelboxing for this very reason. I didn’t hesitate to order a King set, and was more than thrilled when it arrived. The end product was a stylish, colorful case that is sure to stand out.”

We hope there’s stylish, colorful, stand-out things going on as well in New York, Darien, Hudson, Minneapolis, New Richmond, Phillipsburg, Austin, Chicago, Savannah, Phoenix, League City, Huntington Beach, Vancouver, Troy, Los Angeles, Huntsville, La Mirada, Easthampton, Lambertville, Sinjhuang City, Ponca City, and Wellington.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

The Shiny Sheen of Chroma

Here at the studio, we’re all a bunch of audiophiles. Rabid record collectors, the lot of us, we also revel in anything new we find in used shops or in travels on the web, from strange sound collages to found audio to outtakes from classic albums. So when we got an e-mail from Danny Adler telling us about his latest project, an inventive album-slash-interactive-project called Chroma, we were all over it. And all the more exciting that he decided to package the whole thing using Jewelboxing. Here’s the story from Danny:

“Chroma, the album, was my thesis project for my Digital Media Design undergraduate degree. In addition to the music and packaging design, the disc contains an interactive Flash application called “Coactive” that will launch upon inserting the disc into a CD-ROM drive. In the game, the user is able to arrange and construct pieces from a song of mine as they wish within an animated and appealing interface. The music is various types of electronic music. I go from badass beats to epic melodic trance to ambient soundscapes to orchestral and back throughout the course of the album. After a few tweaks and edits, I’ve begun selling the album in the Jewelboxing casing, and my listeners love the packaging (and the music too, I think!)”

“My evaluating professors were extremely impressed with all of it, including the super-cool case! It was really great being able to print up 3 great-looking copies at 5 am the day the project was due! I managed to get a panoramic drawing across the front and back covers so when you open it up and look at the outside, you see the whole drawing. You’ll see it in the second image I am attaching. I didn’t use the included disc labels — instead I went for printable silver CDRs and used my inkjet to print right on the discs. Inkjet ink isn’t terribly permanent on that surface (just a little moisture will rub it right off), so I sprayed each disc with clear adhesive. This came with the bonus effect of making the discs super shiny. They look awesome.”

Danny was gracious enough to offer up the following sample tracks from the album:
Haven
Lofi Attitude
Me Semper Maneas (featuring vocals by Aurora)

Here’s to hoping the projects are as inventive and as super shiny in Calgary, Santa Monica, Covington, Seattle, Montreal, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Edmonton, Vancouver, Studio City, Phoenix, Watertown, Newark, Market Rasen, Mount Juliet, Bend, Edmond, Atlanta, Grand Rapids, Austin, New York, Attleboro, Cadillac, Bell, Horsham, Greenwood, Hollywood, and Toronto.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Boxing with ‘Boxing

A terrific piece of work in our own backyard. We recently heard from Kevin Berry, a filmmaker who has just finished up his feature documentary Shadow of a Bout, which follows the stories of four young men from the Roger’s Park neighborhood here in Chicago during their time in the Loyola Park Youth Boxing Team. The film has gotten extremely warm receptions whenever it’s been screened locally, so Kevin took that next big step and began shipping Shadow out to film festivals all over the world. Here’s the whole story, straight from the source:

“I am a filmmaker. My filmmaking process entails taking on multiple creative jobs: writing, shooting and editing among other things. Back in high school I designed cassette tape inserts for my rock ‘n’ roll band; I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an undergrad; I took on freelance illustration and graphic design gigs while editing Shadow of a Bout in 2004, and over the nearly five years it’s taken to make the documentary I’ve kept my eyes open for ways to innovate and to make my artistic work dovetail with the business side of my job. I’d seen a lot of different package designs for films on DVD but nothing compared to the Kings I first saw on the Jewelboxing page back in 2005. So I ordered a 20-pack of Kings and it sat under my bed for over a year before this film came into its own. And boy, when that day arrived I felt like a million bucks. I returned home from the community screenings amped up and ready to do the story justice with a package that would make a killer first impression. A good package does not a movie make, yet when the picture has finally found its shape it deserves the best presentation possible. That’s my philosophy and I’m psyched I was able to employ images from the film and from our photographer Stephan Knuesel to round out the Jewelboxing case design and give it the sparkle that would hook people in just like a good movie should. Thanks for putting the tools at my fingertips.”

We’re planning on somehow extracting Kevin’s dedication and enthusiasm and bottling it for retail sale. If this works, we’ll be sending complimentary samples to all those in New York, Toronto, Wichita, Encinitas, Mesa, Chicago, Naperville, Concord, Salinas, Louisville, Ottawa, San Francisco, Terre Haute, Cedar Falls, Los Angeles, Venice, South Bend, Antwerpen, Odessa, Indian Wells, and Pittsboro.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Thanks for the (Case of) Memories

It’s graduation time around, well, everywhere really. And with that usually comes some traffic our way with the need for something to package reels, portfolios, and whatever else students are hoping will land them that great gig. Ivan Brezak Brkan from Zagreb wanted to use his cases a little differently. After years of good times with his friends, he wanted to put together a proper send off, to make sure every one of them could hold onto all those memories they shared. Here’s the whole scoop:

“I’m just finishing college and I know I won’t see a lot of my friends from my class for a long time, which is quite sad when you think about it (in Croatia, each generation has 4-5 classes of 25-30 people). Anyways, we had a lot of fun in “our time” so I wanted to make something special, and decided on an interactive dvd with photos from our various “adventures” such as the trips to Dublin and Graz. Knowing it had to be perfect, I didn’t want to use any old case, so the logical step was to go with the Jewelboxing system which I heard was really practical and high quality. I have to say that the process of making the cases, from Photoshop to print, was quite enjoyable and I would recommend these outstanding cases to anyone who wants quality to be the essence of not only their content, but their packaging as well. My peers were happy with the results and now these cases will hold memories of one of the most enjoyable periods in my life.”

“P.S. Well designed Jewelboxing cases go great with roses, as the ladies love the extra thought.”

We’re going to test out Ivan’s case-with-roses theory immediately, so be expecting a flower delivery person on your door shortly if you live in Atlanta, Marathon, Winston-Salem, Greenwich, Toronto, Dillsburg, New York, Calgary, Los Angeles, Louisville, Valencia, San Francisco, Remscheid, Chicago, Schenectady, Vancouver, Santa Monica, Portland, Little Rock, Dearborn, Detroit, Stamford, Logan, or Ottawa.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

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.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Comping Up Samples

Photographing a Jewelboxing case isn’t the easiest thing to do. You’re taking a snapshot of a very shiny, clear surface, but you don’t want any of the shine. It’s kind of like taking a picture of a mirror, but you don’t want any of the reflection. But over time, even though we still haven’t found a sure fire method of reaching perfection, we’ve picked up a few tricks to make it work most of the time. So we were talking around the studio of maybe making a tutorial about this for the blog. But then it dawned on us that we have these terrific cases Susan painstakingly built in Photoshop that allow us to really easily drop in cover images and essentially build a virtual case. It’s how we make all the sample case images we use here on the site. So why not just share those? It would give potential customers who haven’t used the system yet a chance to try some ideas out and see how their finished product would end up. It would allow for people to put together comps to show to their own clients. And for current Jewelboxing users with something they already have out there in the market, they could use these templates to show how great their product looks. Seems like a win-win for everyone. So without further ado, here they are for your downloading pleasure:

 

And, of course, here’s some tips on how to use them:

* Bring your images into this Photoshop file and place them in the folder labeled “Your Images Go Here.” To fit the cover, just go to Edit –> Transform –> Distort. Then just manipulate your design so it fits on top. Same will apply with the sides and edges. Then just turn off the red samples we have in there now, so there’s no accidental bleed through on the sides.

* To make that whole process easier, there are three mattes in the folder marked “Mattes.” Just turn one of those on and you’ll have the surrounding area grayed out.

* The side, gutter, and edge can be a little tricky if you’re trying to work in your own images. If you’d like to skip that process, and draw the focus to the cover, just change the Color Overlay on each of the side to whatever you’d like.

* We’ve locked the folders “Case” and “Shine” because you’ll likely never need to touch anything in there. But if you want to change anything to fit your preferences, have at it.

We hope you’ll find this as useful as we have, and that it leads to lots of successful pitches, ideas, and sales. We’re sure all three are happening, in ultra-rapid-succession in Vancouver, New York, Santa Monica, Franklin, Southfield, Portland, Denver, Culver City, Stavanger, Grundy Center, San Francisco, Pleasant Hill, Somerville, Lakewood, Stamford, Davis, Pennsauken, Worcester, Grand Rapids, Brooklyn, Morristown, Toronto, and Miami Beach.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

From Our Studio, To Yours

Most often, our customers come to Jewelboxing with all their supplies ready to go. They just need the paper and the cases. But you’d be surprised how often we’ve gotten questions from the same person, who ask things like, “What kind of printer works best?” “Can you recommend a type of disc to use?” and “How do you guys apply disc labels without having them not line up properly?” The more we received these questions, both from people new to all of this and those experienced designers who suddenly found themselves in need of creating some eye-catching packaging, we got to thinking about some sort of all-inclusive kit. And thus, the Jewelboxing Studio was born.

The kit, which comes in three boxes, includes every single thing you’ll need to make a run of 100 cases (except for a computer and design software, of course). There are 100 Jewelboxing King cases and trays, 120 custom-milled and coated trayliners and insert books (we throw that extra 20 in there, just in case you catch a typo or forget to put in a new ink cartridge), 120 disc labels, 100 super high-quality, completely textless Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs or DVD-Rs, 100 very strong corrugated disc mailers, 200 protective pads for mailing, 120 printable mailing labels, a disc applicator for perfect alignment, an example case with alignment templates included on the disc, which work with Photoshop, InDesign, and pretty much everything else. To top it off, also included is a Canon Pixma iP4200 Inkjet printer, with 2 extra sets of ink cartridges and a USB cable for quick setup. It’s a big batch of stuff, to be sure.

The best thing about it all is that you’re getting the materials that we use here at the studio. We’ve been embarrassed by discs we’ve burnt that didn’t seem to play on a client’s machine, but never by these by Taiyo Yuden. We’ve heard back from people who received a cracked case we sent them before we figured out the best method of shipping, using the included, very sturdy corrugated mailers and spongy pad thingamabobs. We’ve tried dozens of printers, and we’ve found that the Pixma works best with our paper, at a reasonable price. And now we all have one at our desks. So with the Jewelboxing Studio kit, not only are you getting everything you need for a project, you’re also getting the benefit of these last couple of years of our own trial-and-error solutions.

Sure, the Studio won’t be for everyone, but for those who need it, we think it’ll be a terrific, immediate answer to a project that requires one-stop shopping, instead of spending the whole day searching around for all the components.

Here’s to hoping there are studios are buzzing with all kinds of Jewelboxing activity in Columbus, Stanford, Toronto, Corvallis, Oakland, Burr Ridge, Kansas City, Culver City, Winston Salem, Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Webster Groves, Venice, Chislehurst, Torquay, Kalamazoo, Hopkins, Camarillo, Brooklyn, New York, Whistler, Reston, and Ferndale.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Page Turn Never Looked So Good

Chalk it up to another “first” for us. Chris Okamoto, head of the terrific firm Illumen Studios, just a few miles away from us out in Evanston, sent in a sample this week of the firm’s promos materials, packaged in a Jewelboxing King case. Of course the design terrific, but Chris also passed along a link to a site they’d built, an online version of what’s included on the disc. At the very top, there’s an animated copy of their Jewelboxing cover insert, opening and closing. Sure, we’ve all seen Flash at work before, but how often do you open a page and find that it relates to you? So needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed and very pleased that Chris and his team at Illumen enjoyed Jewelboxing enough to, well, animate it. Here’s a little about their company and this project:

“Illumen Studios is a design company that creates interactive marketing, training, and eLearning solutions. We wanted a clean and simple solution for Illumen’s marketing materials that would leave a memorable impression. Illumen produces interactive work for the medical, hi-tech, and architectural industries so it was important that the piece speak to a variety of audiences. Chris Okamoto designed the piece as an extension of the company’s website, strengthening the overall brand while integrating the visual experience and touchpoints. The Jewelboxing solution proved to be an excellent choice, one that has left a lasting impact with clients.”

Influenced by Illumen’s work, we’re currently in the process of building interactive sites and animations about the people in Montclair, New York, Broomfield, Vancouver, Montreal, Arden Hills, Tunkhannock, Winnepeg, Dallas, Rockford, Culver City, West Hollywood, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oceanside, Pasadena, La Grange, Reisterstown, and Poughkeepsie.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

“Can you recommend a good way to ship my Jewelboxing case?”

We get this question at least a few times every week from people who want to make sure their hard work arrives as beautiful as it was when they put it together.

When we started Jewelboxing, we knew we were going to be sending out samples of the cases from time to time, so we needed to find a package that was not only cost-effective, inexpensive to ship, but also something that provided protection against the drops and bumps it would inevitably receive during its journey through the Postal System. After digging around a bit, trying different things out, we came up with two options:

The first is the Jiffy #2 Padded Mailer. It measures 8 1/2″ x 12″ which the perfect size for both cases, the Standards and Kings. We’ve found that they also hold two cases rather well too, which is great when we have send off a request for a sample of each. The only thing to remember is that if you do wind up sending two together, just make sure there’s something between the cases, so they don’t scuff each other during shipping.

The second option is the Self-Seal DVD Mailer. We tend to use this one for sending out international samples because it’s made of corrugated cardboard and can take more of a beating. It, too, can hold two cases, but, again, we’d recommend adding some padding between them.

For that in-between padding, here at the studio we use 1/8″ x 6″ x 6″ Foam Sheets, one placed on each side of the case in the mailer. This helps keep the case itself from moving around and also adds a bit more protection.

So there you have it, all the items we use to make sure the cases we send out arrive safe and sound. We’ve already caught wind that postal services the world over are in awe of the packages being sent out by those in Honolulu, Chesterland, New York, Pearcy, Miami, Venice, Harrisburg, Laguna Niguel, Anchorage, Chatsworth, Formby, Durham, Lancaster, Deer Park, Eastport, Saskatoon, London, Vancouver, Montreal, Phoenix, Chicago, Charleston, Brunswick, Malibu, Helsinki, and Stockholm.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

In the Desert With Country, Pop, and Robot Cowboys

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; one of the joys of Jewelboxing is getting to hear from artists, musicians, and filmmakers, and learning about their projects. This week, we had that experience when we received the debut record by The Qualia and got a chance to talk with band member, Lars Casteen and Max Fenton, who designed the album using our Standard cases. The music is fantastic, an eclectic mix somewhere between electro-pop and an Ennio Morricone score(fans of The Decemberists might also like to know that we think Lars sounds a lot like Colin Meloy). On the design side, the case follows the themes in the album, with terrific, worn illustrations and familiar woodtype. Here’s the whole scoop. First from Lars:

“We really wanted to make a record that worked conceptually without being terribly rigid, so we decided a good middle ground would be to give the record a setting; the desert. And to connect the songs’ styles, we integrated elements of country and pop. The record flows gradually from over-the-top stories of the old west to the more banal accounts of everyday life. One of our goals was to have each song have a distinctive feel that matched its subject matter, while letting the whole album feel cohesive. For example, ‘Nevada’s Greatest Man,’ is about a tall-tale-style cowboy who also happens to be a robot. It feels fairly big, dramatic, and aggressive. ‘Center of the Solar System’ is about the immoral, selfish conclusions about suburban living and feels like a radio-friendly, guitar-pop single.”

“People might be interested in the record if they like 80’s and 90’s synth pop, but wanted a greater sense of purpose from the music. The songs are hopefully fun to listen to, and if we’ve done our job, don’t feel fraught with pretension. But we aren’t really interested in making overly ironic or emotional dishonest music, either. When we’re recording a song about a home-built sports car that the protagonist drives into space to meet with angels, our tongues are certainly a bit in cheek, but hopefully we’re getting at something real too.”

And from Max:

“Lars and I collaborated to create a plastic, European design to both support the electronic nature of the music and make the most of printing inkjet onto matte paper. Bold colors, vectored drawings, and a narrative created by the movement of the sun from panel to panel. With that in mind, I treated each panel as a painting. Nevada’s state flag provided the banner and an abundant source of abstract shapes to color with. I chose Clarendon becuase it’s what my buddy Andrew uses for The Believer, a magazine as smart and meticulous as The Qualia’s album. All the rest was conversation, experimentation, and an openness to making changes.”

“Design work always has the possibility of going sour, but when you’re working with your best friend, you make sure that doesn’t happen. We live in different states and keeping our conversation open through phone and e-mail let us stay close, realize his vision, and make a demo that will have a serious shot at being heard. The Jewelboxing templates definitely gave me a running start and let me put my effort into design instead of those printing details that always go wrong.”

We know it’s only a matter of time before Lars gets this terrific album into the hands of a big label, and we’re glad to have been a part of their future success. Same applies to all those in Cincinnati, Laguna Niguel, Mayaguez, Pasadena, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Studio City, Oakland, Toronto, Dallas, Wilton, Thornhill, Chatham, Houston, Desert Hot Springs, Muncie, South Charleston, Shawnee, Madison, Castle Rock, New York, San Diego, Sicklerville, Ann Arbor, St. Augustine, Culver City, Bozeman, and Berlin.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Preferable Preforations

In the interest of always trying to provide the best possible product, we’ve recently revised the perforations on the paper that comes with each of our Jewelboxing kits. Last year, if you’ll remember, we spent a couple of months testing out different stocks of high-quality paper options, and ultimately went with a superior, custom-milled stock that we found held ink better and would have more compatibility with nearly every kind of ink jet printer. This time around, we’ve returned to looking at our paper because we’d heard from a few customers that, when they were printing, most often on older ink jets, the occasional perforation on a sheet would catch and tear off (if you’re not familiar with the system, that’s not usually supposed to happen until after you’re all done printing). So we took a look at the sheets, played around with some different ideas, and decided that it might be wise to have the paper layout re-cut, so the perforations weren’t all the way out to the edges, and thus, less chance of accidental tearing.

That said, this paper with the new perforations started shipping out this month and we’re really happy with the way it turned out. It’s a slight alteration but we like to think it’s the details that make the Jewelboxing system better than other options.

We’re sure the benefits of these new cuts are being reaped in by the truckload by those in Vancouver, Chicago, Santa Monica, Minneapolis, Boston, Roanoke, Alexandria, New York, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Saint Charles, San Francisco, Hagerstown, Baltimore, East Rutherford, Charlotte, Houston, Warren, Yellowknife, Astoria, Bainbridge Island, New Berlin, and Cocolalla.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog