What Are We Jewelboxing: Day Three

We’ve reached day three of our “What Are We Jewelboxing?” week and today’s is terrific if we do say so ourselves. Unfortunately, although we’d really like to, we can’t tell you anything about it. Here’s the scoop, with self-censorship at all times:

“Every now and again, Coudal Partners gets contacted to help CENSORED major CENSORED. Recently, we got a call from CENSORED who asked us to CENSORED for a possible CENSORED, hopefully in the near future. We spent a few weeks thinking of CENSORED and came up with a really strong CENSORED that we thought they’d love. In addition to the CENSORED we also CENSORED and CENSORED. And when we were all finished with everything, we packaged it all together in a Jewelboxing case with a might nice, super simple and clean design by Dawson, and sent it off. With these things, we’re never sure if our CENSORED will CENSORED, but here’s to CENSORED!”

Apologies for having to keep quiet, but this was a hush-hush job. As reconciliation, we’re certain they’d be more than happy to show you all the wonderful things they’re making in Forest Hills, Phillipsburg, Marina Del Rey, Naples, New York, Washington, Roswell, Metuchen, Yonkers, Walworth, Santa Ana, Astoria, San Juan, Denver, Beaconsfield, Villette, and Portchester.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

What Are We Jewelboxing: Day Two

Continuing with our weeklong series of the stuff we’ve been putting together using Jewelboxing here in the studio recently, today we’re taking a look at a side project of Steve Delahoyde’s:

“My good pal Wakiza and I have been making these weird little short films for years and, along with commercials and music videos and everything in between, we’ve amassed a huge collection of this stuff. A year or so back, we’d put together a DVD of everything we had, but it was in an ugly, standard case and we weren’t entirely thrilled with it. So come back around to this past week, we were going to be a part of the popular Funny Ha-Ha series again here in Chicago, and I thought that it would provide the impetus to try building a collection again and see if anyone would buy such a thing. Unfortunately, I came up with the idea on Saturday and the event was on Wednesday night. So I had to alter my plan of attack. Instead, I put together a ‘Best Of’ DVD, with forty or so pieces on it. I animated some menus, picked material that had always worked well with large audiences, and took photos around the house to use in the packaging. I’d used Jewelboxing before, of course, but not a whole lot with my own material, and I’ve always been more of a writer than a designer. But once I had the first case together, I honestly was surprised at how good it looked. ‘People might actually but this thing,’ I thought. And it turns out, they did.”

We know that people will come in droves to buy whatever they’re selling in Toronto, the Bronx, Orlando, Austin, South Haven, Liverpool, London, Edison, Athens, Fairfax, Montague, Calgary, Minneapolis, New York, McLean, Rialto, Baldwin Harbor, Lakewood, Ellington, San Francisco, Joplin, Lynnwood, Okemos, Ottawa, Mississauga, Parma, Pacifica, Williams Lake, and Dublin.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

What Are We Jewelboxing: Day One

Last week it seemed like a lot of us here at the studio were working on our own projects that involved using Jewelboxing. There were a couple of weddings, a top secret Coudal project for a big client, and a little bit of self-promotion. If you’d stopped by at any point last week, you’d have most likely seen someone involved in either printing out templates, folding and tearing, or burning discs. And because of all this internal useage, we’ve decided to make this week a “What Are We Jewelboxing?” series. First up, Jake Walker and his wedding album:

“It’s a little intimidating, working around a bunch of designers all day and taking on your own design project. When one of my best friends asked me to help with his wedding favors, though, I did just that.  Alex asked me to help him put together a wedding favor CD with some of his and his new bride’s favorite songs, dedications, and songs from the wedding.  So I bought a hundred Standard cases, got the templates, and had at it.  Really, the project took less time than I thought it would, and the results were fantastic.  I printed everything out, and even took the advice of an earlier blog entry and put some rice in the gap between the CD tray and the edge of the case. Everyone at the wedding marveled at the gift. Occasionally, I was even acknowledged and given credit for all my hard work (and that’s what it really was all about — wasn’t it?) So, if you’re like me, have a friend who is getting married, and will otherwise have a hard time not getting at least some attention during the weekend, volunteer to handle their wedding favors and you’re insecurities can stay on the shelf for another day.”

There is not a single bit of insecurity to be found among those in Pekin, Allston, Madison, Plano, Los Angeles, Austin, Mesa, Sun Prairie, Rockwall, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Atlanta, Kitchener, South Barrington, Sicklerville, New York, Santa Monica, Broadstone, Waterford, Laguna Hills, and Oxnard.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Very Bright. Heavily Wooded.

The polar opposite of our last post, Luke Morris’ debut album, “Paper Street,” sounds like an experimental record from another planet. Gorgeous textures built from completely alien sounds line the sample track, “Evil Winds”, available on Luke’s site. And we’re figuring there’s a lot more sonic brilliance where that came from, based on his description:

“Paper Street is my debut album, which is under the anonymity of my alias ‘the Brilliant Forest’. People have described the music as “Xiu Xiu’s little brother,” “sounding like the more experimental side of the Microphones,” and “not like anything else (no, that wasn’t an insult).” I decided to use Jewelboxing because it looked amazing, and the lovely humor of the staff (as apparent on the website; that alone sold me). I haven’t been dissapointed. People tell me all the time that my CDs look amazing.”

Go pick yourself up a copy. And while you’re at it, pick up a few extras for the fine people in New York, Fresno, Foster City, Gilroy, Culver City, Metairie, Edison, Leeds, Coral Gables, Cambridge, Beverly Hills, Arlington Heights, Culver City, Flagstaff, Little Rock, Armadale, Grass Valley, Portland, Chicago, Santa Barbara, and Marietta.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

We’re Fond of Helicopters

Usually, in a band’s biography, you’re given a list of what other groups they sound like. The description of Chicago’s helicoptersreads: “too rock to be The Postal Service, too pop to be Beck, too modern to be 80’s, too happy to be Radiohead.” And they couldn’t be more right. Helicopters have created a sound that’s uniquely their own and it’s utterly terrific. Since member Jason Caldeira contacted us, we’ve all become big fans of their work. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that they appealed to our design side by packaging their new album, How to Fake Fall Asleep, with Jewelboxing. Here’s what Jason had to say:

“In April, we released our debut album. It was two years in the making, so needless to say we were more than thrilled that our hard work had finally paid off. To celebrate, we held a cd listening party at Bella Lounge in Chicago; an atypical venue for a local band’s cd release. So of course, we couldn’t just release a typical cd. Instead, we used the Jewelboxing system to create 100 limited-edition cases featuring the work of local photographer Mark Battrell. The cds sold out almost immediately. This inspired us to release multiple limited-edition batches of the cd, all featuring the works of Chicago-area artists and photographers… and we have Jewelboxing to thank.”

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the album. You won’t be sorry. And then, make sure you check out the work of the fine folks in Needham, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Oakland, Chino, Coimbra, Weston, Fairfax, Reno, Baltimore, Silver Spring, Waltham, San Diego, New York, Arlington, Gatineau, Chicago, San Jose, Auckland, Lake Owego, Minneapolis, Manitou Springs, and Mountain Home.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Hire This Man!

One of the first times we ran across Nick Campbell’s work was on a short film compilation DVD called Cherry Bomb. The disc series was funded by small Chicago businesses who would pay a small fee to include their logo on the packaging, and have a commercial included on the disc, made by local amateur filmmakers. As with most things that work with such low budgets, the spots ran the gamut from not-so-great to clever-but-clearly-inexpensive. However, we stopped dead in our tracks when we came to Nick’s spot for the popular Wicker Park coffee shop, Jinx Cafe. Here was a gorgeous motion graphics piece that blew everything else on the disc out of the water, and even rivaled any expensively produced national spot. We knew we had to get to know him.

So over the past year or so, we’ve all gotten aquatinted with Nick and his terrific work, which keeps getting better and better. Most recently, if you’ve been to a Sox or a Bulls game, you’ve seen some of his animations on the Jumbotrons, screens as big as they come.

And so it goes without saying that, as he neared graduation from the Chicago Institute of Art, we were thrilled that he was going to be using Jewelboxing to package his hundreds of reelshe’d be sending out on his job hunt. He dropped a few of them off for us the other day, and, typical of Nick’s standards, they were nothing short of fantastic. Super clean design, a quick, catchy reel, and a newly revamped logo for his motion design nom de plume, Creamy Orange. Suppose what we’re saying here is that, if you’re looking to hire a big talent, Nick’s your guy.

We’re certain that there are also buckets of limitless talent in Old Portsmouth, Springfield Gardens, West Chester, San Francisco, Springfield, London, New York, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Racine, Atlanta, Simi Valley, Antioch, Cheam, Lake Oswego, Hopkins, Miami, and Milpitas.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

A Wedding Invite in 1’s and 0’s

If you follow this blog at all, you’ll know that the people who use the Jewelboxing system aren’t solely directors, editors, musicians, and motion graphics firms. We’ve had the privilege of highlighting painters, photographers, record collectors, new parents, instructors, typographers, and everything in between.

Out of the huge variation of uses for Jewelboxing we’ve seen are those who apply the system to weddings. We know that a lot of wedding videographers place their final edit in the cases, leading to memorable packaging that compliments an unforgettable day. But recently, we’ve also seen couples who are forgoing the traditional frilly paper wedding invitation in favor of a well-designed Jewelboxing case with something enjoyable included on a disc. A few months back, we highlighted an invite from Peter Fishman and Dara Mochson, who, in addition to a map and a start time, included a mix disc with all their favorite songs.

Recently, we saw another terrific use when we receive a case in from Ronn Kilby (winner of our second Jewelboxing-sponsored “Crash Ballet 2”). Beyond the classic cover, Ronn, a director/editor by trade, included a DVD. The disc served as almost a commercial for the wedding, with a contemporary jazz score and a professional narrator, in addition to photos of the couple, as well as information with the important whens and wheres. It was one of the most unique things we’ve ever seen done with a wedding invitation.

We wish Marti Steele West and Ronn Kilby all the best, as we do with everyone in San Anselmo, Chislehurst, Bodoe, Acton, Atlanta, New York, Vancouver, Irvine, Venice, and Statesboro.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

The Best Phrase. Ever.

Since we started, people have said a lot of nice things about Jewelboxing. However, we’re pretty sure that, when Signe Housser wrote in to us to tell us about the project she’d just completed with the Vancouver Public Library, it was the first time we’d been referred to as “freakin’ awesome.” So, understandably, we were thrilled. And once we got a look at how Signe’s project turned out, we, in turn, thought the work of her designer put together was equally as freakin’ awesome. Here’s her letter:

The Science & Business Division of the Vancouver Public Libraryhas been publishing print versions of our New Media Directory for six years. This is a company directory of new media firms in the greater Vancouver area intended primarily for job seekers. As you probably know, Vancouver is a gaming and interactive entertainment hotbed, not to mention a pretty beautiful place and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

When it came time to produce a CD version of our Directory, we wanted a simple, elegant, all-in-one packaging system to do it justice. Your product exceeded all expectations. We love it! And our designer specifically wants you to know that he thought the system was freakin awesome.

Since we’re on a roll here, we’d like to take this moment to say that there are some of the freakin’ awesomest people in Merthyr Tydfil, Leominster, Atlanta, Decatur, Sandpoint, London, Austell, Sanford, Brooklyn, New York, Toronto, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Truro, Buffalo Grove, Plano, Salinas, Grafton, San Diego, Alameda, Ekero, Ankara, Hoboken, Maidstone, and Urbana.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Attend Two and Call Us In the Morning

It’s always cool when someone sends in a project to us that’s really unique from anything else we’ve ever received. That happened this week when we got a package in from Carole Guevin. Of course, the design she used to dress up the Jewelboxing pack was the first thing to catch our eye (after all, we’re all designers ourselves). But when we got into the workshop Carole had prepared, that really got us interested. Here’s some info from Carole:

“The workshop is called Real PILLs, an acronym for: “Powerful Instant Latency Lot of Suggestions.” The workshop combines 2.5 years of private coaching and my 20 year experience as a designer. The whole idea is to put attendees in a situation where they face a succession of rapid and unpredictable twist and turns on a specific assignment (the pitch). The exercises mimic the flow of changes experienced in a real life project and helps to discover that uncontrollable changes and constraints are opportunities to evaluate their creative strengths, adaptability, potential and areas of improvement.

The theoretic aspects are passed on seamlessly with the intense hands-on situations. The order of the day was to introduce complete chaos to the attendees and let them learn how to stay on top of it and deliver. Which they did!

After the workshop, the group Photoshop files are posted to download and can be burned to a CD. The beauty of this concept, resides in the fact that having participated anonymously, they can now view and criticize the work of everyone, gaining new insights into what they have learned, shared and experienced over the course of the workshop and the Jewelboxing becomes way more than just a souvenir.”

UPDATE: Carole just dropped us a line to let us know that the PILLS workshop may be hitting the road soon and visit a batch of cities near you. For more info, contact Carole.

We’d like to get comp tickets to Carole’s workshop for our new pals in London, New York, Calgary, North Chatham, Vancouver, Indianapolis, Coeur d’Alene, Blue Grass, New York, Brooklyn, Corvallis, Fresno, Arcadi, Van Nuys, Washington DC, Amsterdam, Clarksville, Summerland, and Singapore.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 5: EyeballNYC

Part of the joy of Jewelboxing is that we have some of the coolest clients around. Being the design-junkies we are, we’ll get an order in from a company we so admire, it’s sort of like an avid “US Weekly” reader running into George Clooney on the street and having him say, “Hey, I like your work.” That’s the way we feel about our long-time client EyeballNYC. Not only are they making some of the greatest spots and identities for virtually everyone (you’ve seen them), they’re also an incredibly nice batch of people. So, with all of that, it goes without saying that we were honored when we got the chance to talk with Limore Shur, EyeballNYC’s Creative Director and Owner:

1. Can you tell us a bit about EyeballNYC?  And your role in the company?

EyeballNYC is a cool little company. We like to come to work everyday and design the world the way we like to see it. Each new project allows us to find a new and challenging way to communicate our clients message.  I credit much of our success to the desire to constantly evolve and grow as designers and as a company. It is always difficult to describe what we do with words. One has to see what we do in order really understand what this company is about.

For the past 13 years we have been witness to and participated in the growth of a new industry. This is a rare opportunity for most new companies. Unlike many internet companies that were supported by a slow build up, a boom and lots of support from existing industries, our industry has been a very quiet and organic development. Having survived the ups and downs of any new industry, Eyeball has found its stride.

I graduated with a degree in Illustration from Pratt Institute in 1991. After freelancing for a bit I started the company out of my Brooklyn apartment in 1992. Eyeball on the Floor was the original name of my company. Not sure what I did as a company I found myself taking on any job that I could find that used my new talents as a self taught 3d and 2d animator. Slowly, but not surely, various types of work came through my door. In 1994 I moved to my first real office in the heart of the Manhattan F.I.T. campus. This small room inside a video editing resellers office grew into a multi room office with a handful of designers and a lot of desire. We did a variety of work for networks at the time, most notably and still on the air, TLC’s  “Trauma, Life and Death in the E.R.”. After a few years and a few accomplishments we moved downtown to Soho.

Our new office really didn’t feel in full swing till the beginning of the year 2000. This was a major turning point in our history. 2000 was the year that I began to understand the make up of my company. I began to understand the needs of the creatives who I collaborated with and the clients we worked for. The first 7 years were the education years and moving forward with greater ease was now possible. Since 2000 I have turned my focus to not only being a creative director for the design we create, but to be a creative director for the companies environment that supports our passion for what we do. This is not a small task when it comes to consistency and longevity. We are in our infancy as a design company. We are growing up with our industry, and I look forward to all the challenges that each day brings. I hope to look back one day and be happy with what we have done, because I still as a designer, dislike most of our work once we finish and keep hoping the next job will finally be one that I like. This is the curse of marrying creative and business.

2. Every year, Eyeball creates so many iconic identities and commercial spots.  Are there certain ones that you’re known for, that when people think, Eyeball, they think, “Oh yeah, that’s the group that did….”?

I rarely find anyone who knows the difference between EyeballNYC or any other company in our industry. When I do speak with those who do, they are usually in our industry and already fans of our work. Generally, I have found that no one really knows that our industry exists or understands exactly what we do. My peers in motion graphics are usually remarking that  “my mom doesn’t even understand what I do.” This stated, most people who have remarked on our work, usually mention Mos Def “Miss Fat Booty”, Nike “Lebron James”, Comedy Central ID’s 2002 – 2005, CMT Identity, and the current Best Buy work.

3. Continuing along those lines, because of EyeballNYC’s reputation, are there a lot of situations where the company’s you’re working with or the agencies, just had over a project to you with no direction, because they just know you’ll give them back something cool?

Yes. This happens quiet often in various degrees. This is the foundation of our relationship with Nike, Best Buy, CMT and Comedy Central. Each client varies in the amount that they contribute but the sentiment reflects the question as you have put it.  Creative briefs come in many forms, and the more aware the client is of themselves, the easier it is for us to interpret the assignment with the focus on coming up with original thinking and design.

4. Any favorites of yours that the firm has released?

Nike “Lebron James”, Nike “Made to Move”, Comedy Central “Holiday ID’s”, CMT

5. The motion graphics world seems to be one where there’s time spent looking at others’ work and saying, “Wow, how’d they do that?!  That’s amazing!” and then trying to top them.  Friendly competition that ultimately benefits the viewer in the end.  That said, what other firms, individual designers, or groups are you consistently impressed by and keep your eye on?

Too many to list. I would say that collectively we view 100’s of pieces a week that we find interesting and exciting. These pieces are by various groups of design based agencies. There is a great amount of work to see and we have started to see our industries work saturate televisions, theatres and computer screens around the world.

6. Identity packages seem to be some of the most interesting stuff on television anymore, and you’ve done some of the best in the business.  When approaching that type of work, obviously the goal is to make the client look good, but they’ve also come to you because they want something new and original.  I suppose what I’m leading toward here is how difficult is it to walk that line, where you’ve got to work with this gigantic, familiar presence, but make it something altogether new.

I think that it is an easy thing to do when you have simplified the process of branding to a few key elements. This minimal criteria allows for the simple solution, if you understand the brand and the messaging completely and use that information as an artist to make a piece of work, how can you go wrong. All that is left is subjectivity, and when it comes to that, we generally fall on the approving side.

7. If you can talk about it, what’s coming up next for EyeballNYC?

Next for EyeballNYC is more of the same. Continuing to be cautious in what work we take on and how far we stick our neck out. I encourage each and every person that I work with to stay awake and aware of what is happening around us. I don’t believe that we know what the future holds for us, it is the potential that we look forward to and I hope that we continue to break new ground and find ourselves doing projects that we never imagined.

8. What projects are you using Jewelboxing with?  And why did you decided to use the system?

We use Jewelboxes for our company demo reel. This is the second year that we’ve used them. Everyone’s always looking for a cool way to package DVD’s or CD’s. We tried clamshells a while back but they suck. There’s really no presence with them. I may as well tape our Demo reel to a frisbee.  With Jewelboxes we can design the artwork that our demo reel comes in. It allows us to set the stage and to a degree the personality of our brand. It’s a nice, clean, durable package that reflects a professional image.

9. The company seems at the top of its game, but growth is always something everyone’s striving for.  Where do you see EyeballNYC in the future?

Growth is a tricky subject in creative industries. I look at it with a generally negative viewpoint. There is good growth, but it is rarely combined with growth in the size of a company. Outside of Pixar, there are few companies that seem to have really figured out how to keep hundreds of creatives excited about the work that they do every day. In EyeballNYC’s case I would really like to see us stay around the same size as we are now. We are comfortable with a staff of 30ish. We would prefer to see our company move into new areas while leaving some behind. This is something that you can see in our previous work. I hope to continue to foster creative growth and a collaborative environment. My focus is always to “protect the creative”. This is the core of our company. I hope that I am allowed the privilege of doing what I do until I have exhausted what I have to offer, and I hope that those who remain will want to out-do what I did. This is the future I look forward to.

Great Design in a Nutshell

Ben Rozens is a guy whose resume is constantly expanding. Starting off in the newspaper business, he spent his time buried in images, working in everything from photo processing to color correction. In 2003, he decided to go it alone and start up his own design shop, Nutshell Studios. At first, he stuck to what he knew: print. But when that wasn’t enough, he decided to pick up 3D animation and motion graphics. For months and months, he poured himself into both learning the trade, all the while building an eighteen minute animated short film called “Fusion Chronicles.” When it was finally complete, he decided the only way to send it out to festivals was by using Jewelboxing. Says Ben, “I chose your system because of the quality and the value of the product. It’s a great service for up and coming filmmakers.” After seeing the trailer for his film, and its fantastic packaging, we’re convinced he’s right.

In order to thank them for being customers, we’re building realistic CGI models of those in Bath, Hollywood, San Francisco, Mercer, Winter Park, Copenhagen, Dordrecht, Jacksonville, Tucson, Santa Monica, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Amherst, Harrisonburg, Tempe, Fremont, Paris, Red Bank, Middleburg Heights, Tonawanda, Newfield, Grove City, Hawthorne, Ames, Truro, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Fresno.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

The Top of Portfolio Mountain

Along with the already-employed’s search for better and brighter positions, it’s also graduation time around the world and with all of that comes mailboxes full of reels, demos, and everything in between. It’s those that arrive on desks that stick out and make an impression that leads to landing jobs. Vanessa Harper, a Creative Director by trade, who just finished up with a design program in Orlando, Florida, sent us a copy of her portfolio, and based on what we saw, we’re pretty confident it’s the kind of work that’ll take her very far. Heck, just based on her Jewelboxing design, it proves she knows her stuff.

We know they’re receiving dream job offers every day in Iver, Seattle, Snohomish, Baltimore, Kennesaw, Boulder, Limehouse, Duncton, Nottingham, Savannah, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Boca Raton, Tempe, New York, Astoria, Cambridge, Lawrenceburg, Evansville, Atlanta, Hoboken, Seneca, and San Mateo.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 4: Heavenspot

Like with our last Case Study, Rafael Macho, you’d be hard pressed to have missed the work created by Heavenspot Studios. You’ve seen their work in feature films, in print ads, on television, and everywhere in between. Currently, they’re working on such cool projects as designing a teaser site for the “Tenacious D” feature and doing design work for the doc we’re all anxious to see here at the studio, “The Aristocrats.” Did we mention that they’re also Jewelboxing users? We were honored that Chevon Hicks, founder of Heavenspot, gave us a few minutes of his valuable time to talk shop. Here’s what transpired:

Can you fill us in on what Heavenspot is?

Heavenspot is a boutique creative agency.  We are creative in the traditional sense of graphic design, art direction, illustration, etc., and we also take a creative approach to the technology we employ.  It’s a company with a system that allows creativity yet demands staunch professionalism.  We believe both are needed to deliver a consistent product.

What’s your role and history there?

I’m the owner of the company and creative director.  Heavenspot started as my portfolio website.  The trip from apartment to office building was very organic.  Like many designers, I started off doing everything myself.  As more and more work came in, I eventually got some programming help, design help, and so on.  After running the business for five years, I finally hired a producer, so that I could get back to doing what I love – being creative.  Parts of the company are running themselves now, so I’m personally less involved in the daily tedium, which is actually a huge benefit to my clientle – happier creatives produce better work.

From your bio, it looks like you started out really young in the industry.  How have you seen it change?

Ha ha!  Yeah, I started reading AdWeek when I was sixteen, sixteen years ago. The main thing I’ve noticed is that you can do a lot more with far fewer people.  It was as if an agency’s greatness was dependent upon it’s staff size.  Nowadays, nobody wants to work with a bloated company, especially in the interactive world.  I’m actively aware of this not happening to my own company, while at the same time, a certain amount of growth is always necessary.

The clients and jobs Heavenspot has been involved with reads like a dream list for most designers.  How did you get to the point where you were landing these great gigs?

Most of our work has come through word of mouth, and we’ve really tried to make the most of the flagship projects that have come our way.  The size of the company has also allowed us to take on jobs too big for the guy in his bedroom, but too small for a major post production facility.  Thanks to the Mac, we’re able to do 2k film animation on the same machine we build movie websites on.

You seem to do it all, from print to music to games.  There have to be times when you’re busy and jumping around from format to format.  How do you keep it all going along smoothly?

The great thing about being a creative shop is that we can apply our creativity to anything.  There might be some new technical stuff to learn, but the process of sitting with the client, taking copious notes, research and development, are always constant.

Along with that, do you have a favorite form to work with?  Print?  Motion?  Etc.?

Motion is the direction we’ve been moving in for the past couple of years.  Film is the most powerful medium, and influences all  other media because it creates an experience.   Since the web is the cornerstone of our business, it’s nice to see the advances in flash video because soon, we’ll be able to do everything we want to do creatively in the same medium – the web.  Like movies, we now have a real chance to affect people on a visceral level with a website or rich media banner ad.

Throughout most of the work on your site, there’s something of a cohesion there. I want to say it’s that Heavenspot has a certain “look” that it uses.  Do you have a name for this style?  Any ideas why you’re drawn toward it?

The style is called vector realism.  It’s more of a description than the name of a movement, but as a name it certainly conveys a sense of the science behind the work.  My personal influences tend to come from pop art and graffiti, not only in look, but also approach.  I’m drawn to this imagery because it has both organic and mechanical aspects to it.  At normal size, objects seem hyper-realistic, while if one were to zoom in, you’d see a splattering of vector shapes that look like the abstract expressionism of Pollack or deKooning.  Few things rival the emotional impression of a photograph, which is why the vector style is so highly marketable, it’s like the best of both worlds – illustration and photography.  The added advantage lies in our ability to twist the photograph’s reality a bit, or find some character nuance that wasn’t readily apparent in the photograph.

What are a few of your favorite projects you’ve been involved with at Heavenspot?

On the “Harold and Kumar” project for New Line Cinema, we created an animated dream sequence for the film, built the website (which included games and secret rollovers), and created the online advertising campaign.  It was nice to live and breathe a project for nearly a year and create consistent branding for the film which carried over from production to DVD.  My other favorite pet project is the illustration work for Atomica magazine.  This is one part of the business that I keep completely to myself, and it nurtures the fine artist in me.

What project are you using Jewelboxing for?  And why did you chose to work with it?

We are currently using Jewelboxing for several projects, but our first, which came to your attention, was for commercial director Mike Maguire.  After years of being a hyper successful commercial director, Maguire wanted to get back into the agency side of advertising and wanted an interactive DVD he could send to creative directors.  I’d wanted to use Jewelboxing for years, but the right client hadn’t come along – or should I say, none of my previous clients wanted to pay for designer cd packaging!  We are using Jewelboxes for all of internal marketing projects including our DVD reel, and a company presentation which we leave behind at meetings.

Where would you like to see Heavenspot go in the distant future?

I’d like to see us become an agency / production company with a much bigger emphasis on television and film.  At the same time, I’d like the core interactive business to grow, so when convergence happens, we’ll be ready with both ends of the plug.  Can the two businesses become one?  You bet, in fact it’s already happening.

What do we have to look forward to coming up from Heavenspot?

Hopefully more work from our A-list clients, and several original content projects we’re developing including destination/community websites and some HD programming.

A Favorite of the Chimps

Out of the blue one day, we received an e-mail from composer Benjamin Dauer, who performs under the name, Chimp Logic, wrote, “Hey, I’m just finishing up my promo CD and am using Jewelboxing. I’d love to send you guys a copy!” Never ones to pass up anything free, especially if it’s packaging would clearly be beautiful, we told him to send it along. A few days later, we were listening to Benjamin’s terrific new album, “{ movement 1 }” and oogling the super cool, ultra sleek layout. We also enjoyed a letter he included:

“In anticipation of creating this solo album, and after having searched for years for the perfect packaging solution, I found your company. Upon reading about your products, I immediately placed my first order and got busy polishing my inserts and labels. I wanted to ensure that when I submitted my album for review at the hands of directors, choreographers, and talent scouts, that mine would stand out from the rest. This is by far the most comprehensive and classy packaging solution in existence.”

Reading that while listening to Benjamin’s great music made us, well, about the happiest packaging solution company in existence. That and our new pals in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Clovis, Markham, Overath, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Winslow, Boston, Brooklyn, Rex, Orlando, Marshfield, Outremont, Venice, Jersey City, Toronto, and Portland.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Designing “Ecology”

A few months back, we ran across a site called Textilesounds, a cool independent record label/blog in San Francisco run by Matthew Dingee. It popped up on our radar because Matthew was near finishing his new solo album at the time and had begun thinking of packaging and he’d said that he was thinking about using Jewelboxing. Although the mention was brief, his blog was incredible, with him detailing every bit of album making process. We immediately knew we’d be smart to keep up with his progress. And that paid off times ten.

On the 9th, the album now completely finished, Matthew updated the site to talk about the packaging:

“The Jewelboxing folks deserve as much praise as you can heap on them. Their system allows you to produce a polished product on the cheap. Basically, you get the parts of a sharply designed jewel case complete with rounded corners and clasp closure that works. In addition, you receive perforated card stock sheets and downloadable templates for your graphics software. Hand over the templates to your excellent graphic designer friend and then print them out”

From the images we saw of what he’d come up with, we ordered the album that second, hoping the music was as good as the design. And right we were. “Designer Ecology” by Grappa, Matthew’s band pseudonym, is an amazing collection of haunting melodies, beautiful and complex compositions, and quiet brilliance. In short, it’s a tremendous album, and we’re honored that Matthew decided to use Jewelboxing to help present it. Do yourself a favor and order two: one for you, one for a friend.

We’re buying copies right now for everyone in Seattle, Burbank, Boise, Marina del Rey, Washington DC, Angwin, Delray Beach, San Francisco, La Crescenta, New York, Fort Saskatchewan, Brooklyn, San Diego, Pasadena, Beaverdam, Columbia, San Pedro, and Dennisport.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

What Is He Doing?!

We get excited about gadgets but not just the latest cell-phone or Tivo or GPS system. We really dig mechanical gadgets, like that machine that counts twenties at the bank and our new Jewelboxing gadget, the Airplus machine. Oooooh.

Dawson was kind enough to demonstrate it and we brought in the Junior Jewelboxing Team (Grace, 6 and Spencer, 4 “And 3/4!”) to evaluate the greatest thing since the Cotton Gin. Check out the results in this short video. [speakers on]

In the past, we’d been using that staple of the packaging and shipping industry: peanuts. Along with palates of boxes and big rolls of shrink and bubble wrap, every month we’d get in a huge batch of these eight foot tall bags of peanuts. We’d scoop them into each shipment that was headed out, piles and piles of them. And then when customers would receive them, they’d get their cases in safely, but they’d also have a mountain of these shipping peanuts to deal with. Yech. No more thankfully.

If there’s a line to see the new Airplus machine, the first people we’ll let in to see it will be from Miami, New York, Burbank, Duarte, Cincinnati, Washington, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Chatsworth, London, Houston, Los Angeles, Delray Beach, Reno, Copenhagen, Richmond, Canton, and Bradford.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Aural Fixation

One of our new favorite people of all time, Chaz Windus of Blazing Lazer, has helped us out once again. Not only did he send in a series of amazing music tracks for us to help score the Jewelboxing commercial, he followed up by doing all of the sound design as well. What was once just a flashy little spot with cool music, is now a flashy little spot with cool music AND a cornucopia of wooshes and beeps. It really does breathe a whole new life into the whole thing. Check it out.

With this step, it seems like we’re nearing the end of this fun side project. However, we’ve come this far, we can’t just let the thing sit and waste away on this site, can we? Well, we may not have the media budget, but we’ve got something sneaky planned that’ll get this thing seen. Stick with us—more revealed soon.

We would be making boring animations about dirt and sticks, if it weren’t for those in Wellington, Carmel, Minneapolis, Wien, Tallahassee, Yonkers, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Hudson, San Luis Obispo, Tucson, Goleta, Nesna, Philadelphia, Verdun and Troy.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Learning the Ropes, One Case at a Time

A lot of Jewelboxing users have design in their blood. These are the kinds of people who, even with both arms tied behind their back, a blindfold firmly in place, and equipped solely with a dull black crayon, could come up with something that’d make you fall over and weep from jealousy. And when they stick their work into one of our cases, it’s like a perfectly fitted glove. Just take a look at everything we’ve highlighted in our Examples + Inspirations page. Now there’s good design.

But what about for the writers out there, or the singers and bands, or that Joe Average who loves great design, but couldn’t draw a stick figure to save their life. We got to thinking about that when we found this posting on the Kermit the Blog about a new father trying to put together a nice looking compilation of moments from his daughter’s birth:

“I go nuts with these little projects and they get away from me like a tornado on a dog leash. Now I’m designing the packaging via Jewelboxing. This kind of thing is always the hardest part for me, as the visual arts kick my ass. I am the graphic world’s bitch. I looked at the examples and inspirations page at Jewelboxing I’m having a hard time even duplicating the designs I’m blatantly ripping off (hey, at least I admit it). I know I can just pop a pretty photo up with some text, but my nature won’t accept such simplicity. So, who wants to point me in the right direction? Know of any “design for the unapologetically untalented” websites I can crib from? I could ask you to advise me on choosing a color palate and such, but I’ll keep it pretty simple: How do I make it not look like ass?”

We feel for the guy, we really do. And we’ve gotten word of these types of frustrations more than once, from people who really want to use the System, but are a little intimidated. So here, for the benefit of those-less-confident, are some quick pointers.

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

Sure, that’s a lot of information to digest, but hopefully there’s some information there to put you on the right path to brilliant design. The best advice we always give to an aspiring designer to do is just learn limitations. Force yourself to use just one type size, one color, and one image until you’ve found something that works really well. It’s impossible to tell you how to get there, but even with a limited palette like that, you’ll eventually hit upon a moment of “a ha!” when everything clicks. Then you’ll have that concept in mind for future designs and away you go. We’ll be watching our backs.

Some of the finest designs we’ve ever laid our collective eyes on are coming out of Durham, Arlington, Midland, Rockford, Venice, New York, South Sioux City, Cambridge, Spokane, Frankfurt, Alexandria, Eindhoven, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tulsa, Flagstaff, Salt Lake City, Manitowoc, and St. Morris.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Unabashed Hedonism, Really Cool Design

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

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

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

(click for a directory of images)

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

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 3: Rafael Macho

We can absolutely guarantee that you’ve seen the work of director/designer Rafael Macho’s at least once in your life. Probably dozens of times. From his instantly recognizable, beautiful and effective series of spots for Janus to movie openers, Rafael has done it all. We were thrilled when he sent us over a letter about his using Jewelboxing for his newest reels, and even more so when we got to throw a few questions his way.

1) To get everyone up to speed on who you are and what you do: who are you and what do you do?

I am a storyteller using directing, installation, motion graphics, writing, illustration, typography, etc. Today I am pushing the directing side, shooting short films, installations and commercials. I really like to work with a crew. May I add that I also like to create soundtracks? Or is this confusing?

2) What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?

Last year I was asked by Sedgwick Rd./McCann-Erickson in Seattle to create an installation for their annual creative meeting. I worked with a company named Fad and created an installation made of 6 chandeliers composed of 6 TV tubes with 3 video feeds hanging over the diner table. For 30 minutes, each chandelier would turn on and off and interact and tease the people, slicing their tender steak with questions such as, “How is the food tonight? Not too bad, huh?”.

The deconstructed story was this: what would happened to “the First Man” if he would enter our society of consumerism? The First Man (which actually was a very hairy gorilla) got teased by some beauty and ends up signing a contract with Microsoft, Nike, and some other sponsors. Some people were really surprised, either loving it or upset! I laughed a lot that night. I think people will remember that bizarre night.


3) What are your influences and/or other designers you admire?


I have this awful exercise to do: try to describe one job that the Attikhas done and name the client… On a more respectful note I must say that I admire the company Motion Theory. They keep pushing the envelope over and over. I love what David Lynch or the Quay brothers did in their short films. Why is no one exploring their dark side?

4) Motion graphics, it seems, is like a huge, nearly overwhelming blender of disciplines. It’s not enough to just be a great designer anymore, but now you’ve got to make all of these designs move and fly around. Yet it also seems like you’ve got a lot more control than ever before. Any thoughts on that? Or, perhaps better phrased, how do you approach these projects?

I always start any new job with my Moleskine sketchbook. I love paper. I refuse to jump on the computer. I like to do some research and learn how other people have approached a similar project before.

I think the future of motion graphics is looking great: we can now do almost whatever we want to do. But I wish people will try to cultivate difference and avoid trends and develop personality. The idea that Mc Donald’s or Burger King are the only places to go to eat freaks me out.

5) You’ve worked with a lot of the big names in motion graphics, such as Imaginary Forces. Any top favorite projects of theirs?

A lot of companies change when they pass from a small-medium size to a giant one. As the money goes up, the level of creativity doesn’t necessary follow the same path.

I am very thankful from what I’ve learned from these companies. I was there at the best time for Imaginary Forces and Kyle Cooper was a great mentor. But as I am trying to develop a more personal voice. It is sometimes difficult to grow in such companies. Starting new companies are exciting, more risqué.

6) What are you sending out right now that you’re using Jewelboxing for?

I compiled my latest work and some classics like those Janus commercials that I did for Imaginary Forces. I also decided to show some personal works that are not only about motion graphics, but photography and film. I don’t believe anymore in montage, because they’re clueless and just eye-candy, and you don’t really know who did what. If I am choosing to hire a designer, I will look for ideas and concepts first.

7) Why Jewelboxing?

The first time I had one of those cases, it caught my attention. It looks different! I started to see more and more Jewelboxing, and every time I saw one of those, I want to check the content of the DVD. If a designer can not design a proper package for his reel, then I’ll pass.

8) Finally, what’s it like to be a Macho, possibly one of the coolest last names we’ve ever heard?

Ah-ah-ah!! I will tell a little story: when I was 14 years old, there was a girl who I liked very much. But she thought that people called me ‘Macho’ because I was a real Don Juan. When I had the chance to tell her that it was only my real last name, she suddenly understood why people called me ‘Macho’! She became more friendly with me after that.

Today, I still have the same last name. The great news is that people remember that name. The bad news is that I keep trying to grow a mustache and those bling-blings on my hairy chest…so noisy!

Like A Glove

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

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

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

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

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

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 2: Woxy.com

We got to talking to Jewelboxing user, Chris Glass, a few weeks back. He’d told us about all of the projects both he and his creative counterparts were working on and using Jewelboxing for. Everything we were shown added up to a sheer cavalcade of cool. Ultimately, something needed to be chosen to be highlighted. It was decided that his work with Woxy.com was perhaps the best to show off. That said, here’s a brief interview with Chris:

So what is Woxy.com?

Woxy is an independent and alternative Internet radio station based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s a small outfit of DJs and a geek who all love music and weren’t satisfied with what corporate radio stations considered rock and roll.

After the traditional station’s airwaves were bought out in 2004, we generated enough interest to keep the streams going online.

How did these CDs come into play?

We started these Lounge Act sessions in our new studio last year. It’s a much better space for live recordings.

As bands would pack up their gear, we’d burn a disc for the them to take on the road. The acoustics of the space and running everything through the board sounded great, so we thought we’d make the package fit the production values.

Response from the bands has been phenomenal.

What kind of bands?

We like alternative music, and there’s been a surge of independent stuff (thanks Internet) coming to the surface — stuff you wont find on the dial, or MTV. In the past few months we’ve had: The Fiery Furnaces, Ben Lee, The Kills, Sondre Lerche, The National, The Golden Republic, Low, Of Montreal, David Lowery and Johnny Hickman (of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven), Jem, Dirty on Purpose, and Palomar. Some shots taken during a session with Fiery Furnaces here.

What inspired the Lounge Act package design?

Our new digs. The package is a series of snapshots of things you’d find when you walk in the studio: cords, headphones, CDs, wood, knobs, some retro couches, amps and more cords.

A requirement was that we needed these to be super easy to produce. So we created blank areas on the insert and back cover to write in band names and track listings on the spot. Some additional case shots here.

Why Jewelboxing?

We’ve been using your stuff for personal projects quite a while, and everyone loves them. When you’ve got one of your cases in hand, you know you are holding something unique — and that pretty much sums up the station, our philosophy and spirit of music we play.

We also liked that you can use every bit of the package to be creative, and the templates are much better than the ones you get from other kits. Word templates don’t cut it.

Oh, and they don’t break as easy as standard jewel cases.

Score Big, Score :30

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

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

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

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

Next week: Voiceovers.

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog


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

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

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

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

November 9, 2017 | Category: Blog

Case Study 1: Impactist

Everyone loves getting packages in the mail. We’re no exception. From cool new techie toys to books and posters we’ve ordered from all over the place, it’s great to pop open something we’ve been anxiously awaiting. However, it’s even better when we get a great surprise in the mail, like the package we recently received from Daniel Elwing of the terrific motion graphics and production firm, Impactist. So impressed were we with the content, complete with their amazing reel beautifully packaged with Jewelboxing, to the gritty paper bag-textured insert with printed company info, we knew we had to do something special. Daniel was game, and we were eager, so we put together the following Q & A session. We hope you’ll enjoy their work as much as we have

Can you tell me a bit about your company?

Impactist is the collaborative work between myself and Kelly Meador. We are a motion graphic design and production studio located in Portland, Oregon. The company was born out of the desire to create an environment that allowed for freedom of thought and creativity. No longer would the emphasis be on following a trend, but instead to create new images out of new ideas. Both Kelly and I have worked in the business for several years, independently, and have subsequently formed Impactist, thus pooling our experience and creative backgrounds.

What clients do you work with currently and have worked with in the past?

Obviously, Nike has been a major client for us. They have provided many great projects and opportunities for experimentation. Over the years our clients have been quite varied, from music videos to work for global leaders in microprocessor technology. Since the creation of Impactist is still relatively new, we’re always looking to expand our client base and engage in new collaborative work.

It seems like a lot of the coolest designers, at one time or another, wind up working with Nike. How are they as a client? A lot of freedom in the design process?

Nike is such a large, global company that working with them has been great considering their reach. We’ve created content for distribution here within the u.s. and also globally. Projects for Niketowns around the world, World Cup Soccer, the olympics, and various special events. The unique venues where their media is shown affect our design just as much as the concept itself. From the three story video wall in Niketown New York, custom projections and environmental displays, to your standard 4:3 monitor. Depending upon the project, the amount of freedom we have been given can fluctuate. Though, initially we try to conceive without limits then work with the client to determine how far we want to push things forward.

What is Robots on Strike?

It’s the online home to some of the non-commercial work we’ve created. Motion, still, and audio work. We asked ourselves, “What would robots do if they weren’t working on the assembly line?” We would guess that they’d pick up a camera and start shooting immediately. When we’re not working on projects for Impactist, you’ll find us working away on our own stuff, be it motion, photography, or sound design.

Your work seems to have both a new, futuristic feel to it, but also, given the textures and imagery you use, and some of the subject you’ve covered, firmly grounded in the past. Does that have something to do with the sort of inherent collage-ness that motion graphics seems to have?

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the tools that allow us to work in our business, but with the workflow being so dependent on digital technology, it’s a joy to work with and incorporate more analog methods along the way. The past really inspires and influences our work. We grew up within families that valued the archiving of moments by means of photography and endless reels of super8 footage. We believe it’s most important to utilize the tools of today without disregarding those processes of the past which can be reinterpreted and combined to create something new.

What kind of influences do you draw from to create these pieces?

We both come from a background rooted in fine arts and design, so naturally those early teachings will always be with us. We’re also fortunate to be in the Northwest. Geographically, Oregon is such a diverse place that you can drive an hour in any direction and be in a completely different climate and visual environment which we are sure has greatly affected our design and direction within our work. Also, music and sound design are big influences as well, since there are such strong similarities between motion design and music in regards to rhythm and tone. Some people need to work in silence, whereas we need the stereo to be playing tracks on consistent rotation.

What made you choose Jewelboxing?

Being a company that creates visual communications and experiences, it was important to use a system for our promotional materials that echoed this. The Jewelboxing cases basically granted us freedom from other existing systems that are simply boring and uninspiring. These cases came along at just the right time for us. Beta cassettes were formally the kings of reel distribution, but dvd’s have taken over and they need a great place to live! We chose to house ours in the ultra stylish and ultra cool Jewelboxing cases.

Did you find the system easy to work with?

Interestingly enough, we believe the system works so well because it does exactly what it’s supposed to. It simply works! Other cases either look low quality or are low quality. The construction is soft or the insert system is messy. The Jewelboxing cases are sturdy and are so clean. Even if you weren’t inclined to use the insert system and only place a single, solitary cd or dvd within the transparent case, it would still come out looking more refined and sophisticated than previously available cases.

How did the idea to put a piece of wood in the spine come about?

Without being overly dramatic, the simple answer would be that we are users of all technology, old and new. One minute we could be creating everything within the computer, the next we could be fashioning real world elements out of concrete and hardwoods to be photographed or filmed. Thus, the inclusion of the small piece of cherry wood. You couldn’t do that with other cases.

Of those who have seen your new reel, what have the reactions been?

The response to both the content and the packaging has been outstanding. You can’t view the contents of the disc without a player, so the initial physical presentation has to be right on. We try to hold ourselves to a high standard, so likewise the delivery system needs to reflect that as well.

How will you be using the paper bag-textured, record-sized poster, included with your reel?

The included inserts serve to compliment the reel design and also provide additional information about ourselves. Forgive us, but we just love that paper stock!

What do you see for Impactist’s future?

Naturally, we’d like to expand and grow, but not necessarily in size. Every project brings a new set of creative problems to be solved. In that respect, we look to continue to develop and create new images and experiences. There has been such an explosion in the way that content is being delivered these days via television, in the theaters, and on the web that we are anticipating great things for both ourselves and the industry itself. And with our varied backgrounds and experience, we are fortunate to find ourselves operating during this exciting moment in the timeline of motion design.