Portfoliobox of the Month: Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Minus Objects

Art reflects who we are. In his lifetime, Michelangelo Pistoletto has taken huge risks with his work and has never been afraid to change. Spanning an artistic gamut of painting, sculpture, and performance art, Pistoletto has a tremendous creative repertoire to his name. Consequently, audiences and gallery-goers around the world have seen themselves in his work- quite literally. To honor Michelangelo Pistoletto and to commemorate his work, Luhring Augustine, New York released a custom clamshell portfolio of one of his most important works, Minus Objects.

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Michelangelo Pistoletto began his career over sixty years ago. From the outset, he was eager to experiment with materials and style. Early in his career, he was hailed as a champion of the Arte Povera movement, combining classical sculpture with everyday objects to blur the stratospheres of the hierarchy of art. But it was a series of paintings on mirrors (Quadri specchianti) that first gained Pistoletto notoriety. These mirror paintings would become a hallmark of the Italian master’s work, and appropriately, one such piece is also the focal point of this custom portfolio box.

portfolio, art portfolio, michelangelo pistoletto, minus objects

This clamshell portfolio is a distillation of the Michelangelo Pistoletto experience. A contrasting combination of materials and techniques itself, the Minus Objects portfolio is an appropriate encapsulation of the series. It was this anthology of disparate objects created between 1965 and 1966 that garnered Pistoletto his greatest acclaim. Each work is a distinct representation, completely unlike its siblings in the series. A cardboard rose, a photographic portrait, and a spherical iron sculpture comprise just some of the collection. The silhouette of a wooden sculpture representing a lunch counter is portrayed on the front of the portfolio.

portfolio, art portfolio, michelangelo pistoletto, minus objects

The box opens to reveal a mirrored surface with a modern twist – a cell phone painted on the surface, poised to snap a photo with one of Pistoletto’s works in frame. It’s a tongue in cheek indictment of modern gallery culture to be sure. The mirror painting dominates the interior space of the portfolio and comes as a delightful surprise to anyone lucky enough to handle the box.

Our biggest challenge, and ultimately our biggest triumph with this clamshell portfolio, was accommodating that mirror.
Revealing the mirror was simple enough; open the box, and there it is. But keeping it in place, properly protecting it, and minimizing the amount of handling was more difficult. So, a special platform was added to fit the mirror with the utmost precision. This platform was a feat of design developed by Portfoliobox. The mirror has a recessed hollow on the back of the piece, and so the platform was engineered to adhere exactly to those dimensions.

portfolio, art portfolio, michelangelo pistoletto, minus objects

This accomplishes two functions. First, this platform holds the mirror in place and restrains it from traveling inside the portfolio. Second, it minimizes handling. When the mirrors first arrived, we were provided with a pair of gloves as not to tarnish the flawless reflective surface. The gloves would have to be administered whenever touching or removing the mirror. But, the addition of the interior platform allows access to the sides and bottom of the mirror, eliminating the need to grab the piece from the top and risk smudging the surface.

portfolio, art portfolio, michelangelo pistoletto, minus objects

This deluxe clamshell portfolio resounds in regal blue Iris bookcloth. The Minus Objects design on the front panel was achieved through a blind deboss, while yellow matte pigment foil stamping adorns the spine. The interior cavity beneath the mirror holds a commemorative book celebrating Pistoletto’s Minus Objects series. A ribbon pull was added for ease of access to the collateral.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Luhring Augustine many times, but this project was especially noteworthy. This portfolio is a gallery experience unto itself. A distinct work of art at the center, the box has all the trappings necessary to inform a Pistoletto experience in miniature. Distinct designs, a comprehensive book, and an unmistakable mirrored artwork come together to create an exceptional portfolio box.

Portfoliobox of the Month: The Epitome of a Fine Art Portfolio

Our last Portfoliobox of the Month explored how a portfolio can be a work of art. This time, we’re looking at how a portfolio can accentuate works of art. Ada, a collection of portraits by renowned artist Alex Katz, is a hypnotizing anthology of artwork consolidated in a striking fine art portfolio.

Musing about a Muse

fine art portfolio, luxury fne art portfolio, linen bookcloth, foil stamping, alex katz
Lipped Clamshell design with pigment foil

At 91 years old, Alex Katz is one of the most prolific American artists working today. An immense volume of work behind him and a tremendous wealth of art still being generated, Katz shows no signs of slowing down. In years where most people have become sedentary, he’s swimming laps and running miles, attending galleries and giving interviews.

But at the center of his career, and indeed his life, is Ada. Represented in portraits at The Met, The Jewish Museum, and galleries the world over, Ada has proven to be as enticing to audiences as to the artist. In a handcrafted piece made by Portfoliobox for Lococo Fine Art Publisher, Ada is as captivating as ever.


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Who is Ada? For Alex Katz, she’s the one and only. His wife, his partner, his inspiration.

He’s been painting Ada for sixty years. His perennial muse is an impressive character in her own right; research biologist, Fulbright Scholar, theatre producer. According to Katz, museum patrons and gallery-goers often report seeing a resemblance of themselves in Ada, whose demure yet arresting features manifest with magnetism in the paintings which depict her. Thick eyebrows, pronounced lips, prominent nose, treated with reverence and celebration. Rarified beauty distilled into human terms, giving the impression that she’s someone you’ve met, someone you’ve seen on the street, someone you want to look at.

Ada has taken many different forms during her half-century stint as a fixture of American art. Katz has painted her in scenes, solo, in duplicate, in color, with a beaming grin, or stern and stoic. In this collection, Ada appears in a more expressionist style, rendered solely in black. Expressionist in the sense that the strokes of paint are sometimes more representative than realistic, but also expressionist the sense that the look on Ada’s face, her very expressions, are focal in this collection.

The Epitome of a Fine Art Portfolio

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Yellow Iris bookcloth makes this fine art portfolio shine

This Lipped Clamshell Portfolio is everything a fine art portfolio should be. The piece was made to contain a set of prints and a supplementary book, the subject of whom you have surmised by now. Ada appears on the front of the wood frame box in the same decoration that adorns the cover of the book contained within. Yellow Iris bookcloth covers the surface of this fine art portfolio, accented with lettering in white pigment foil. White Iris bookcloth was wrapped over the side panels, providing a compliment to the white cover decoration.

fine art portfolio, bookcloth, foil stamping, fine art, alex katz

Like the work of Alex Katz, this wood frame portfolio is deceptively simple. The crisply wrapped edges and precision foil stamping required focused craftsmanship from our talented team. And there’s more to this portfolio than meets the eye. An internal pocket contains a supplementary book which hides inconspicuously amid the wash of yellow bookcloth. A ribbon pull provides access to this concealed feature.

fine art portfolio, linen bookcloth, fine art, alex katz

Fine art portfolios are a specialty of ours and we’ve had the privilege to work alongside some incredible galleries and art publishers. The wood frame construction of the lipped clamshell is well suited to protect and preserve works of art on paper. A premium bookcloth like Iris provides a rich tactile experience when handling the box. If you are in need of a fine art portfolio, we at Portfoliobox encourage you to take stock of this handcrafted piece.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with us today!


Shatner Shares the Stage with Portfoliobox

You never know who might end up with a Portfoliobox.

We teamed up with Interform Incorporated to create a box for a small sculpture by artist Rodger Stevens. The sculpture was to be awarded to honorees at the University of Colorado Crystal Springs 10th Annual Bachelor of Innovation Awards. We are no strangers to creating deluxe portfolios and presentation boxes for institutions of academia, but we have to admit that even we didn’t expect where this project would go.

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William Shatner was awarded the BI Bold Award in a three-panel folder by Portfoliobox

Captain Kirk himself got his hands on our work. Beloved actor William Shatner delivered a keynote speech at the UCCS BI Awards, encouraging young people to believe in the transformative power of science despite uncertain times. Several UCCS students were recognized for their contributions and innovations. Shatner was honored by UCCS with the BI Bold Award and he took a moment to pose with presentation packaging by Portfoliobox.

The award is a stupendous design by Rodger Stevens. Few symbols are more representative of innovation and ideation than the lightbulb and Stevens captures that essence succinctly in curving wire. But that bulb would look pretty lonely all by itself. A three-panel folder with a French panel provides a sophisticated platform. Silken World Cloth 540 Black on the exterior and suede-like Prestige Black on the interior create an extravagant textural experience. An insert was placed in the base to cradle the lightbulb sculpture.

Surprises like this don’t come around very often and we at Portfoliobox were delighted to see such a familiar face with one of our boxes. We’ve always considered our work to be stellar, but this project was truly one for the stars.

Portfoliobox of the Month: A Twist on the Professional Art Portfolio

A professional art portfolio where the portfolio is more than just a vessel, or is it?

Creativity is a fickle thing. Sometimes the act of making is irresistible- even fun. Often though, the creative process is frustrating and the cause of many an artist to exercise a little procrastination. For artist John Armleder, a missed deadline lead to the inspiration for a irony drenched professional fine art portfolio that is a work of art in and of itself.

 The Professional Art Portfolio Reimagined

Over lunch in New York, World House Gallery owner Donald Taglialatella asked John Armleder if he would compose some water colors for him. Taglialatella even supplied Armleder with paper to work with. Armleder agreed, but only “if the spirit moved him.” A few weeks later, the two met again. Armleder returned the paper, still blank, and the project unfinished.

That’s where the story of such doomed projects usually ends. But inspiration wasn’t absent, just late. Some time later, Armleder emailed Taglialatella with a novel idea. His lack of art was, in fact, art. Armleder conceived a vision for a presentation folio for World House Editions that was “unsigned, unnumbered, undated, untitled”- a vessel devoid of any contents. A sort of commentary on printed works, this was to be a professional fine art portfolio that contained no actual art. And would be advertised as such.

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Professional Art Portfolio: Lipped Clamshell design wrapped in Black Brillianta and decorated with silver foil stamping


The lipped clamshell design was wrapped in black Brillianta and accented with silver foil stamping. By all appearances, this is a quality professional art portfolio like any other. The title of the project, “(really) NOTHING”, along with the name of the artist and the publisher are the only visible decorations on the exterior of the box. One would expect the minimal exterior to conceal a rich, perhaps even boisterous collection of content within. No one would actually release a fine art portfolio with nothing inside.

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Professional Art Portfolio: All the nothing our lipped clamshell design could accommodate

There is absolutely nothing within this portfoliobox. It is a black, vacuous space of utter emptiness. This a superlative piece not because of the works within, but the lack thereof. Save for one detail. On the interior of the front panel, justification note in sheer white. And to further the motif of nothingness, the copy is inkless, giving the appearance of a totally blank sheet of paper at first glance.

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Professional Art Portfolio: You may have to squint to read this Justification Note from John Armleder

The white on white effect of this note embodies the nothingness that defines this project. The intent is visible, but only barely. If you don’t look closely and think, you might miss the point entirely. That effect, however, is the genius of this concept.

This project puts the emphasis solely on the professional art portfolio, not the contents. Although this is, of course, John Armleder’s work all the same, it does give Portfoliobox an opportunity to contribute to high art by virtue of our product alone. One can imagine the experience of opening this lipped clamshell and recognizing the irony of absent work. But this project isn’t nothing. Not really. The gag only works because the portfoliobox is in keeping with the quality of a professional art portfolio used by many renowned artists of the highest caliber.

Portfoliobox was honored to participate in the creation of this original work.

If you have a unique project requiring a fine art touch, contact us today and speak with Stuart about how Portfoliobox can help you.

Portfoliobox of the Month: Mark Stoermer’s ‘Filthy’ Box Set

For a collector or super-fan, nothing beats a box set. Sure, there is a pleasure in assembling each individual release – to collect every separate album or film in a series along with the respective packaging- but there’s an undeniable element of curation and exclusivity to a box set that makes it feel even more than complete. Box sets go beyond. They give fans a chance to assemble their favorite media and score specialty swag along the way. Box sets are also an opportunity for designers to flex their creativity and create distinct, memorable packaging.

Making a Mark

You might know Mark Stoermer from his work with perennial American rock band The Killers. Since 2002, he’s been playing bass in one of the most popular bands in the world, but in recent years, he’s been honing his solo sound. Stoermer’s latest album, “Filthy Apes and Lions” is a psychedelic journey through a sonic jungle. The lyrics ooze vivid imagery, and when combined with Stoermer’s floating vocals, the affect is something like Sergeant Pepper’s era Beatles.

Custom Box, Tray with 3 Panel Lid, Fur Lining and ribbon lift.
Filthy Apes and Lions box set, a Tray with a 3 Panel Lid style package.

This album is more than just the music, however. It’s also an incredibly well-branded project with playful, elegant packaging.

A logo can go a long way. How iconic are designs for acts like The Wu-Tang Clan or The Grateful Dead? In the case of “Filthy Apes”, the titular apes and lions appear on all sorts of Mark Stoermer merchandise to support this release. The medieval-influenced designs don t-shirts, air fresheners, and even appear in the album artwork by Romanian artist Saddo.

But the apes and lions might look best in gold foil on the cover of this superlative box set.

Beast of a box set design

Only one hundred pieces were made for this limited-edition box set. Inside and out, this is an exceptional piece. The foil stamped figures on the front of the box practically leap off the soft-touch panel. The filthy beasts are rendered in brilliant golden detail and pop out against the black background. And on the interior, a truly wild surprise; fur lining.

Custom Box, Tray with 3 Panel Lid, Fur Lining and ribbon lift.
The gold foil metallic foil stamping on the front stands our razor sharp against the soft touch black material of the wrap.

Much of our finer work features a specially lined interior to accommodate the particular nature of the product. Silk is standard for premium liquor packaging, and suede material has also made its way into our repertoire of premium jewelry packaging. A lined interior adds a sense of value while complimenting the aesthetic of the packaging. For an album called ‘Filthy Apes and Lions’, mock orangutan fur was the only appropriate choice.

Plush strands of bright orange fur protect the precious goods within. The contents of the box included a signed vinyl copy of ‘Filthy Apes and Lions’, two stickers, a custom journal/storybook, poster, and two unique Polaroids. Everything an avid collector could ever want. A ribbon pull on the inside of the packaging ensures an easy removal of the collateral without risk of damaging the rare materials inside.

Custom Box, Tray with 3 Panel Lid, Fur Lining and ribbon lift.
Mock orangutan fur lines the interior, a shocking flame orange experience!

There are any number of design wonders that can elevate specialty packaging. It could be a structural innovation or a graphic decoration that really convinces consumers to give it a shot. For ‘Filthy Apes and Lions’ the simple addition of textured fur material launches this box set into a wholly different league. It’s not often that such a whimsical feature is paired with such dignified packaging. It’s a refreshing mixture that demonstrates the breadth of our capabilities in custom work.





Portfoliobox of the Month: Lierac Paris Cosmetics Influencer Kit

Sales Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac
Influencer Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac

If you are a product company, your packaging is the first tangible ambassador for your brand; a hefty and important role. If you are a product company in an industry as image focused as cosmetics, this is even more true. Cosmetics are more than an industry, they are a cultural phenomenon. With infinite hours of makeup tutorials available on YouTube catering to everything from contour techniques to extreme Halloween transformations, it’s safe to say cosmetics are a point of obsession for many of us. Premium cosmetics help us achieve our look and keep our skin healthy; they make us beautiful. But what about the cosmetics themselves? Don’t cosmetic products deserve to look as chic and stunning as the people who wear them?

At Portfoliobox, we created this custom influencer kit for Lierac Paris, one of the world’s most prominent cosmetic companies. The kit was designed to showcase the breadth of Lierac’s exceptional products and to be securely stashed yet easily accessed.

Sales Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac
Influencer Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac

Fluer De Lierac

Lierac Paris is a breed apart. The company was founded in 1975 with an emphasis on plant-based cosmetics. Then, in 1979, under the auspices of Patrick Ales and the Ales Group, Lierac’s formulas were reworked to include even more botanical ingredients and fewer preservatives. Lierac became a pioneer in popularizing “phytocosmetics”, or, the practice of using botanical material to create cosmetic serums.

Lierac has since become one of the most popular skin care brands the world-over as a result of remaining dedicated to plant-focused formulas.


Sales Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac
Influencer Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac

Beauty in the Box

We wanted to make Lierac’s products look as gorgeous as they make their customers . A functional, yet spare design was the right choice. A calculated sales kit highlighted the beauty of the Lierac Paris line without competing for attention with the products within.

This tray in five panel folder was wrapped in a black linen book cloth and finished with white foil stamping. The boldface logo dominates the hinged panel which opens and closes the kit. “Lierac Paris” is foil stamped on the interior of the hinged panel as well, making for a well-branded sales kit with a consistent visual reminder of the creators of these premium cosmetics.

The features of this influencer kit are all about security and convenience. Dual velcro closures ensure a secure lock when the kit is shut and a handle fixed to the tray facilitiates easy transportation, should the need arise.

The standout feature of this influencer kit is undoubtedly the intricate foam insert, which held the respective cosmetics. There are ten cut-outs in five unique shapes. The foam ensured maximum protection as well as easy access to the products upon opening.

Sales Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac
Influencer Kit for Luxury Cosmetics Company Lierac

Influencer Kit with Subtlety

This influencer kit lets the product speak for itself. The Lierac logo is visible on either side of the hinged lid while the individual serums are held in form fitting foam- a shape that was only ever meant for those bottles. There are no extravagant ornamentations or busy decorations. The beauty of this box is in its simplicity.

Portfoliobox is dedicated to providing the best results for our clients. Sometimes that means flexing our design skills to make an impression and sometimes that means playing a supporting role. For a company with a reputation as prestigious as Lierac Paris, we were just humbled to be part of the process.





Creative Commerce & Small Business in Rhode Island

Enterprising Warren

A few things stick out when you look around the town of Warren.

For starters, you can’t go more than twenty feet without hitting a café or a bar. The old colonial houses straddle the streets with their steep, flat silhouettes. Enormous red brick mills jut out along the skyline. Even in one of the smallest towns in the state of Rhode Island, there are mills everywhere. They’re on the water, on Main Street, and tucked away in residential neighborhoods.

Like so many other Rhode Island towns, people came to Warren to make things. It’s a typical case of manufacturing in the Ocean State. Immigrants from across Europe came to find a better life in the burgeoning New England textile industry. As a result, population boomed, the economy grew, and immigrant workers fundamentally reshaped the social structure of the town. [1]

Today, Warren is undergoing something of a renaissance. Textile manufacturers have all but disappeared, but in the wake of absent industry, artists and entrepreneurs are filling up the vacant mills. It’s a trend that you can trace across Rhode Island. Small businesses are setting up shop and revitalizing their surrounding communities, and together they are creating an economy of creativity.

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Warren is undergoing it’s own small business renaissance

Repurposing our Mills

More than a century after the first wave of textile manufacturing transformed Warren, the brick mills are still standing. Some mills remain completely vacant while others find new tenants. The majority are either in transition, like the original American Tourister/Samsonite mill, or home to various new small businesses.

We at Portfoliobox got our start in a mill space in Pawtucket, where state and federal tax credits for artists as well as multi-use development policy for the old mills have brought in droves of creative, quirky small businesses. At the Lorraine Mills, the brick structure Portfoliobox used to call home, you can find everything from hand-blown glass to Paleolithic granola to screen printed shirts and posters. All this and more made the move to Warren a natural one.

Manufacturing a Change

Warren is no slouch in manufacturing terms. The internationally renowned Water Rower exercise machine, designed in RI in the 1980s, is still manufactured in Warren, with worldwide distribution. Food production is serious small business over at the Handkerchief Factory where Rhode Island-famous Tito’s chips and salsa are made as well as a decadent selection of desserts from Buckleberry Foods. There is also a certain manufacturer of premium packaging on Child Street.

Creativity Driving Commerce

It’s no secret the arts are booming in Warren. O&G Studios creates gorgeous hand crafted furniture that Vogue magazine has called “heirlooms of tomorrow.” The Imago Foundation for the Arts features ever-rotating installations from renowned artists and is always open to the public. You can see some of the best theatre in the state at 2nd Story Theater. Down on Market Street, you can catch a show at Fort Foreclosure, the studio of artist Will Schaff, nationally known for his impressive cover art for bands and musicians. In fact, the maker-artist community is so strong in Warren that several creatives got together to start an artist cooperative to sell their works; Made in Warren opened last year.

Cuisine Driving Creativity

As a scrappy up-and-comer on the famous Rhode Island cuisine scene, Warren might be the best food town outside of Providence. Eli’s Kitchen serves up crab beignets worthy of the angels in an intimate open kitchen atmosphere, while on the other side of town, Chomp has a handle on the artisanal beer and burger game. At the Square Peg, locals and out-of-towners bump elbows at the bar, and just up the street the Coffee Depot gives the East Bay its due caffeine fix. Go into any of these establishments and you will meet at least one artist, likely two dining together.

Old mill buildings are being repurposed in Warren and across the state

Keeping Small Business in the Smallest State

You can attribute the success of the Warren Renaissance to an active and involved community, who stood up for preservation over mega-developments. You won’t find a Wal-Mart or a Whole Foods in Warren, instead it’s a patch work of small businesses that provide the town’s commercial needs.

For towns like Warren, and indeed Rhode Island as a whole, the future of the economy is vested in the success of small businesses and working artists. Manufacturing made Little Rhody prosperous in its heyday and there are still valiant manufacturers supporting the state, but the hope for revitalizing our mill towns and main streets is firmly placed in creative small businesses.

[1] Baronas, Deborah. The Warren Mill Project. Warren Preservation Society, Warren, RI, 2010.




Custom Portfolio for Northwestern University Donors

A hand bound custom portfolio for premium donors by Portfoliobox.

Northwestern University is a school that carries with it more than a hundred fifty years of tradition. There are traditional rites of passage for undergraduates, like the annual freshman March through the Arch. There’s the Northwestern hymn, the fight song, and a storied history of athletics and sporting events. Tradition makes Northwestern what it is.

For an established and respected institutions such as Northwestern University, traditions are sacred. There are time-honored, particular ways of doing things which could be done no other way. At Portfoliobox, we still do our work in the traditional style. In creating a custom portfolio for Northwestern’s distinguished donors, we were able to demonstrate the niche expertise of our capabilities as makers of custom presentation boxes.

Course selection

We are no strangers to academia. The exacting work of Portfoliobox has been trusted by institutions of higher learning from Wellesley College to Princeton University. Given the needs of our clients, we have created a range of work in a variety of styles. But this Northwestern project was about embodying the essence of a school itslef. An academic approach was the appropriate course.

custom portfolio for university donors
Simple and classic, this book cloth wrapped quarter-bound custom portfolio embodies gravitas.

If you can reach into the depths of your memory and summon some hazy recollection of your college years, you might recall the ancient books which stuffed the shelves of your university library. Many of those monographs probably had a particular look to them. A quarter-bound binding in two tones; one color of material along the spine, a second color on the panels. The appearance of this donor folio is immediately reminiscent of those academic tomes.

This project was completed using many of the same book-binding techniques in practice since the late Middle-Ages; even some of the same materials. While grades of bookcloth have become more thin and pliable and colored paper has become more rich and vibrant, binding glue made of animal parts and tools made of bone remain relatively unchanged. This folio follows the tradition of academic book binding.

Final presentation

Fit for the lectern, this sturdy quarter-bound custom portfolio was composed of .060 Eskaboard. It came in two variations; twenty folios were produced featuring an interior pocket and twenty featuring a French panel with a corner ribbon. The exterior wrap was, of course, an homage to the Northwestern colors.

custom portfolio quarter bound book cloth donor gift
Simple and classic, this book cloth wrapped quarter-bound custom portfolio embodies gravitas.

The subdued tone of the exterior gives this piece a decidedly dignified look. The regal purple which signifies Northwestern is swapped for a subtle eggplant hue and bright white is traded for tope. Both colors are rendered on premium Iris bookcloth.

Graduating with a custom portfolio

foil stamping acid free paper
Simple and classic, this book cloth wrapped quarter-bound custom portfolio embodies gravitas.

The interior is outfitted with Stonehenge paper in warm white. Here, enclosed between the panels of a very traditional folio, modern technique and style take the lead. The Northwestern University logo is foil stamped in vivid purple against a bright white background. A pocket made of rigid paper held the contained collateral and a magnetic closure sealed the folio shut. All of these features, even the paper, are a departure from the traditional techniques visible from the exterior.

We have a wide breadth of capabilities at Portfoliobox, and often, we embrace modern innovation. But at our core, we have years of knowledge and experience in the traditional ways of book-binding and portfolio construction. This collaboration with Northwestern allowed us to demonstrate that expertise to spectacular results.

There will always be new things; new techniques, new materials, a new Freshman class. Sometimes, though, the old ways are best.

Custom Wooden Box for Royal Salute

Royal Salute 21 Year Scotch is a spectacle to behold. A navy blue porcelain bottle adorned with ornate engravings and vibrant gold accents, the shape evokes a vintage majesty- a relic from an era of kings and queens.

Liquor magnate Pernod Ricard was looking to extend that sense of royalty to a broader, more diverse audience. Pernod Ricard brought in Plan C Agency to consult on reaching High Net Worth Individuals in the Asian-American market. As part of a comprehensive branding strategy, Plan C designed a luxury custom wooden box, which would resonate with Pernod Ricard’s target demographic. Plan C found a design-manufacturing partner in Portfoliobox to create this rare packaging experience.

Year of the Box


Tray in a Three Panel Style Custom Wooden Box with gold metallic foil stamping.
Tray in a Three Panel Style Custom Wooden Box with gold metallic foil stamping.

Consider your most valuable possessions. Whether collectors’ items or beloved heirlooms, chances are your treasures are secure in their own dedicated container. Royal Salute is no different. While the bottle is gorgeous on its own, this custom wooden box elevates the luxury liquor to a true treasure.

This custom wooden box embodies celebration and occasion. The stylized foil work at the center of the piece commemorates 2017, the year of the rooster. Combined with the calligraphy at the top of the piece, this hand brushed effect is exquisitely rendered in metallic gold foil. The decoration immediately stands out, but the true beauty of this box lies in the construction.

Worth the Weight


Tray in a Three Panel Style Custom Wooden Box with Satin wrapped French panel and Satin covered foam insert.
Tray in a Three Panel Style Custom Wooden Box with Satin wrapped French panel and Satin covered foam insert.

At 750ml, the Royal Salute 21 Year is a hefty product. To accommodate such substantial contents, a wooden frame box was the best choice, and necessary. The tray in three panel folder design maximizes protection and allows easy access. Iris book cloth gives texture and provides distinct color. This is a box which can tuck away neatly in a liquor cabinet or display prominently behind a home bar without fear of damage.

The interior of this box further demonstrates the value of the product enclosed. Upon opening, all aspects of the design draw the eye to the product. The purpose of the blue Iris book cloth wrap becomes abundantly clear as the bottle comes into view. The colors play wonderfully together. Bronze satin contrasts with blue as the creases in the lining pull focus to the 21 Year scotch.

A satin wrapped French panel gilds the inside, providing a tight fit when the custom wooden box is closed. A foam insert to hold the bottle is elevated to luxurious extremes with the addition of satin draping over the foam. The insert was crafted to exactly fit the size and shape of the bottle. The result is a cloud-like effect; a lustrous silken pillow cradling a precious treasure.

There are projects which adequately meet their objectives and there are projects which exceed expectation. Plan C Agency wanted to create a one of a kind gift box to connect with high net worth individuals within the Asian American community. The result was an absolutely glorious piece which demonstrates the breadth of the techniques and capabilities that embody Portfoliobox.






Interesting Portfolio Ideas for Artists & Designers

Suffice it to say portfolios have changed since we started operations in 1984, so we put together some interesting portfolio ideas for your consideration!

The digital disruption to art presentation has imbued the physical portfolio with new purpose. Designers and artists have Behance, a Squarespace website, or even Instagram to curate and record their work, and share with millions in an instant for relatively little cost. A physical portfolio must do more than simply hold art to be of value, it must be art.

You’re busy making and designing for the future, so we at Portfoliobox have gone ahead and collected our favorite interesting portfolio ideas for your mood boards

Acrylic allure

Klo Portfolios


In design, as in life, transparency goes a long way. Some of the most interesting portfolio designs feature a solid translucent cover made of acrylic glass. It’s an incredibly modern look, even futuristic. The acrylic material can’t be hot stamped or embossed as with a more traditional portfolio, so laser engraving and mill cutting are the preferred decorative techniques. The results are impressive.


Comprised of meticulously engineered thermoplastic and decorated by use of lasers, the technology involved to create these portfolios is practically science fiction. Thick sheets of acrylic glass lend to deep, dimensional cuts in the material, and the potential for graphics and coloration is extensive.

Most commercial acrylic portfolios are frosted rather than completely transparent. This semi-clear design is visually remarkable. Frosted acrylic stirs an element of suspense in obscuring the view of the interior collateral. It makes the contents all the more enticing, goading you to guess at what’s inside. 

Utility design

David Ablett, via Behance

The multi-purpose folio is another of our favorite interesting portfolio ideas. Deceptively basic folders can be designed to separate, combine, or completely reconfigure into new forms. Consider a folio which could not only protect your work, but modify to become an easel with which to present it. What about a folio that elevates its contained collateral upon opening?



Azede Jean-Pierre SS11 Lookbook

Much like the latest tablets and notebooks, utility designs transform to accomplish different functions. It seems only natural that the same thing which transports your work is the very thing that displays it. Utility portfolios are a fascinating trend which should excite visual artists and designers yearning to make an impression at their next interview.

Harping on hardware

Above, we mentioned acrylic glass constructions, but frosted acrylic portfolios are part of a larger movement. Screw post portfolios are a surging trend in the market. While our products generally rely on a combination of glue and cover material to open, screw post designs use (you guessed it) screws. This construction tends to have an industrial look. Often composed of metal, wood, or hard plastic, they are more rugged and sturdy in appearance than paper constructions.

Sleek Portfolios

Screw post constructions are more weighty than your average folio. But consequently, screw post portfolios are built for longevity. This binding solution also allows frequent and unlimited curation of the content of your folio— unlike a bound book syle. Combining the screw post closure with a hard cover material like the plastic above ensures protection of your folio contents. This interesting portfolio idea isn’t really the Portfoliobox aesthetic, especially as plastic isn’t very sustainable, but the popularity of the screw post portfolio is difficult to ignore. Give us a ring and we can make it in wood or 100% recycled chipboard wrapped in a material of your choosing.

Inspiration and innovation continue to drive the industry forward. Interesting portfolio ideas are more abundant than ever. But despite trends in design and choice material, quality work never goes out of style.


Singular Jewelry Boxes for Temple St.Clair

Iconic, inspired, impressive.

Temple St. Clair produces unparalleled jewelry steeped in an age-old tradition of Italian goldsmithing and her own allegorical storytelling. We were honored to join the narrative with these handcrafted and wood framed jewelry presentation boxes. Portfoliobox created a lustrous suite of wood frame jewelry boxes to accentuate the incomparable work of designer Temple St. Clair. With intricate pieces involving hundreds of gems and artisan handcrafted gold, our design had to convey magnificence without competing for attention with the ornate jewelry within. The result struck a delicate balance between the sublime the subtle.

Wood framed hand made custom box
Closed, the box has clean lines afforded by the fully telescoping lid. The soft luster of the Corvon Metal-X are rich without being gaudy. The small, simple gold metallic foil stamp also is elegant in its restraint.


From auspicious beginnings in Florence, Temple St. Clair has spent over thirty years designing jewelry. Combining exceptional Italian goldwork with the rarest of gemstones, St. Clair has established herself as one of the world’s premiere jewelers. In 2016, she received the GEM Award for Jewelry Design, one of the industry’s highest honors.

When we were tasked with creating custom packaging for a designer of such magnitude, we knew only our finest work would do. In the end, the challenge was reconciling the aesthetics of a classic jewelry box with the unique character of our client. The timeless base and lid construction, with minor augmentation, was ultimately chosen as the best vessel to represent the Temple St. Clair experience.


Custom luxury wood framed packaging for premium jeweler.
The side of the base hinges down after the lid is removed. This creates a stage while also making it easier to access the pieces.


Simple gold foil stamp on the lid.


Gold fashioned packaging

Temple St. Clair has defined herself through the master goldwork of Florentine artisans incorporated into her jewelry. It only seemed appropriate for the project to pay homage to that superior Italian ore, so a gold cover wrap was chosen to coat the exterior of the box. We chose Corvon Metal X paper to adorn the wooden frame, a coated cover material with a wonderful touch and soft luster. The result is an understated elegance, more reminiscent of an heirloom gold coin than it is gaudy.

To compliment the gold cover wrap, the interior pad wrap was fine purple suede, supplied by St. Clair. There is an obvious functional benefit in adding a soft, protective layer is to cradle the jewelry. However the richness of the suede and the violet hue go a step further in evoking of a decidedly regal sensibility.

The defining feature of this project is the dropside panel on the base of the jewelry box. A hinge along the length of the base allows the tray to unfold and for the contained collateral to be more easily accessed. The dropside feature reveals out the jewelry box with appropriate drama, while the form-fitting lid securely conceals the hinge upon closing. In fact, the fit is so precise there is a delay in lifting the lid, suction prolonging the moment of disclosure.

The Temple St. Clair jewelry box is truly representative of who we are at Portfoliobox. Using time-tested techniques and years of expertise, our team is up for the challenge when it comes to even the most glamorous projects. Whether designer jewelry or professional photography, all our custom work comes with a golden touch.


The Wellesley (Augmented) Effect: Custom Slipcase Portfoliobox of the Month

The plan for the state of the art center for musical and visual arts was to completely gut the structure, graft on an addition and repurpose the newly renovated space. The Pendleton West building at Wellesley College was full of cramped classrooms and labs, unchanged since its 1934 construction. Wellesley would launch a fundraising campaign to bring the former science building into the 21st Century, decisively and in its entirety.

An endeavor as ambitious as this demanded a presentation beyond the usual Power Point, so the development team at Wellesley turned to the digital magicians at Studio AMD and their three-dimensional imaging app. Studio AMD, in turn, collaborated with Portfoliobox to build the physical launch platform for the project.

The app and the wrap

Custom inner slipcase wrapped in printing with hidden Augmented Reality effect
Custom inner slipcase wrapped in printing with hidden Augmented Reality effect

Portfoliobox, Studio AMD, and digital printer iolabs, had previously collaborated on a similar project for the University of Kentucky. The core of the presentation is an iPad Air loaded with AMD’s Augmented Reality app and a specially printed photographic wrap on the top and sides of the inner slipcase.

When viewed through the iPad, the campus buildings, including the proposed repurposed structure, appear to rise in three dimensions from the platform in a holographic sleight of hand. Proper positioning of the wrap on all surfaces of the slipcase is critical for the app to work properly, and the crafts people at Portfoliobox were up to the precision challenge.

A Custom Slipcase within a Custom Slipcase

Custom inner slipcase wrapped in printing with hidden Augmented Reality effect
Custom inner slipcase wrapped in printing with hidden Augmented Reality effect

The outer box is a slipcase with a 5-Panel wrap-around folder and hidden magnetic closure. The covering material, Iris, is a natural linen-type fabric made in Germany by Bamberger. The logo is hot stamped with a white pigment foil.

When opened, a second slipcase housing the iPad is revealed along with a ribbon pull. This internal case is covered with white Brillianta digitally printed at iolabs on a Roland large format printer using Eco-Solvent inks. This painstaking process of covering the internal case allows the holographic app to work its magic. A wood framed slipcase, with its crisp edges and corners, assures exact placement and guards against image drop off. The interior pads are covered with domestic Arrestox, its smooth surface allowing the iPad to easily slide out.

We’re happy to report that the capital campaign was a success and reconstruction of the building is close to completion. Portfoliobox is proud to have been an instrument in furthering the academic prowess of such a well-respected institution. Through a confluence of tactile and virtual techniques and our collaborative efforts with our partners we were able to create an effective and memorable presentation piece for Wellesley.

Wood framed book cloth wrapped custom slipcase with white foil stamping
Wood framed book cloth wrapped custom slipcase with white foil stamping

Technical Specifications

Product held: iPad

Style: Slipcase with 5 Panel Folder, with additional inner slipcase

Size: 7″ x 11″ x 2″

Base materials: .25″ basswood, .120 Eska board, .5″ Foamex

Cover materials: Iris book cloth,  inkjet printed Brillianta, Arrestox

Decoration: Foil Stamp

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