Portfoliobox of the Month: Hardcover Slipcase for Stephen King’s Sleeping Beauties

Where do we go when we dream? Isn’t there something sort of supernatural about it? Our bodies shut down in the dark and we hallucinate for hours. We have these sagas of the subconscious every night, and we just accept it. In fact, we look forward to it.

Maybe we take it for granted just how strange sleep is; and dreaming. That somebody lying perfectly still can be way off in a completely different world. But for Owen King, the subject of sleep was fertile ground for a terrifying story.

In a collaboration with his father, Stephen, the King combo imagines what would happen if the female population of the world fell into a deep slumber in the novel Sleeping Beauties, where waking up has deadly consequences.

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The story is set in the heart of Appalachia, the country town of Dooling, West Virginia. The town is ground zero for a confounding, nightmarish plague which envelops women in white cocoons as they sleep, leaving humanity with an entire gender indisposed.

Without women, the resulting male-only society quickly deteriorates, and one woman, Evie, holds the answers to the cure- if only Dr. Clint Norcross can keep her alive. There’s telepathy, talking animals, and a Lord of the Flies-style battle royale. Pretty standard King fare.

We collaborated with Cemetery Dance Publications to create a custom slipcase for the hardcover edition of Sleeping Beauties.

If you’re a reader, you’ve certainly experienced the heartache of a damaged book jacket. Forced to discard the beautifully decorated paper cover, you’re left with the plain-jane hardcover. It’s just not the same. If only there were some sort of box or casing that could prevent that from happening…

A slipcase adds an extra layer of security to works of literature that defends against damage, dust, and general deterioration. Plus, they’re fun to show off. It’s a collector’s packaging that separates the casual reader from the hardcore fan.

This hardcover slipcase is embellished with foil stamping modeled after of the cover art of Sleeping Beauties. The original artwork depicts the visage of woman peacefully asleep with a moth covering her eyes, and here, that image gets a bespoke treatment.

The thrust of the entire story is apparent from this visual alone; and not to fall into cliché, but you can, in fact, judge this book by its cover.

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Everything is there. The moth alluding to the cocoon-like casing which envelops the afflicted female population. The floral accents cuing the natural world and the aforementioned talking animals. And of course a woman’s face, obscured, almost disappearing.

The design is soft, plenty of curves and feminine imagery, rendered in a shimmering turquoise foil stamping. But the paranormal beauty of the cover art is subverted by juxtaposing bold red lettering against it, signaling danger and providing visual contrast.

Scrawled over top of it all is the title Sleeping Beauties, rendered in an erratic, maniacal font, furthering the foreboding mood of this slipcase in its peculiar handwritten typeface. And you need some foreboding in this design. It’s a Stephen King novel, after all.

There are three different layers of foil stamping to this slipcase, each of which require a specific set up on our machines to accommodate the heat and pressure sensitivities of each respective foil color.

Black Skivertex cover material from FiberMark  wraps the box. This leatherette simulates the look and feel of real leather and adds a tactile element to the piece- something you can feel as much as you can see.

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We’ve been lucky enough to make a multitude of hardcover slipcases for Cemetery Dance Publications and the work of Stephen King. This construction is perfectly suited for hardcover books, spooky or otherwise.

Dreaming of working with Portfoliobox for your next project? Get in touch with us today.

Portfoliobox of the Month: Perch Plans Custom Box Set

Buying a house is stressful. Building one is an even bigger endeavor.

Perch Plans is a division of Tim Brown Architecture established to provide high-end house plans on a budget. With upwards of twelve unique, customizable designs available, Perch Plans bridges the gap between built-to-specifications and always-in-stock.

When building a custom home, there are really two options: either hire an architect to design your dream house and break the bank, or scour the internet for affordable, homogenous stock houseplans and hope one resembles what you’re looking for. Perch Plans offers another way.

Diligently designed, convenient, and affordable, Perch Plans is a class above the average architectural plans available through a cursory Google search.

To ensure the most individualized experience possible, Perch has implemented limited distribution of its plans per zip code. This provides customers with a greater sense of ownership over their particular home and prevents any one area from becoming oversaturated, helping to preserve the individuality of every Perch design and making it feel just a little more customized.

As a purveyor of modern architecture providing online house plans, one might expect Perch Plans to be a completely digital enterprise. But blueprints are meant to be held, explored, and understood in person.

With every purchase, customers are sent a custom box set of physical documents including printed drawings, specs, and energy calculations. We at Portfoliobox made sure that box was as spectacular as the plans it was made to protect.


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An elongated base and lid design maximizes its impact through a combination of luxury packaging materials. Ironclad Eskaboard composes the material structure of the box, ensuring reliable protection for the collateral within. Peerless R70 Royal paper from Ecological Fibers lines the neck tray. And lush bookcloth material Iris from Bamberger wraps the piece in Midnight Blue.

This custom box set design is thoroughly modern, not just in its contents, but in concept.

Particularly indicative of modernity is the exposed neck tray. Bright Royal blue from Ecological Fibers and indigo-tinged Midnight Blue from Bamberger compliment one another exceptionally well. A sense of coolness, calm, and trustworthiness exudes from this intelligent color combination.

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The extended neck tray is an incredibly popular packaging design element. It’s a visually remarkable touch, especially when decorated in contrast to the outer wrap.

The disruptive band of color between the base and lid works as much aesthetically as it does functionally. The complimentary colors of the wrap material are naturally visually pleasing. Structurally, the extended neck tray also supports a properly aligned and securely sealed closure of the lid.

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The entire interior of the box is lined with the aforementioned R70 Royal paper, creating a sense of concentricity to the interior. It’s often disregarded in favor of an intricately decorated exterior, but the lining of a box can be even more rewarding than the outside. Take this one, for example.

A vivid, lively liner is an unconventional, but incredibly effective way to make a box feel special. After all, boxes are meant to be opened, and it’s the contents we are interested in. That splash of color, or pattern, makes the reveal more memorable, and encourages recipients to explore the custom box set.

That’s not to say the outside of this box is any less impressive. Custom foil stamping adorns the exterior, the Perch Plans logo shines in resplendent silver against the textured Iris bookcloth.

An unusually elongated design combined with high quality packaging materials makes this project as distinct as the work within. For unconventional projects with a need for bespoke finesse, Portfoliobox has the capabilities.

Looking for a partner for your next packaging project? Get in touch with us today! 


Portfoliobox of the Month: Limited Edition Collector’s Boxes for Cemetery Dance

Maine is a proud state rich in natural beauty. It’s home to majestic moose, rugged coastal geography, wild blueberries, hungry sewer clowns, telekinetic teenagers, and bloodthirsty automobiles. At least, that’s the Maine most of us are familiar with thanks to the work of Stephen King.

At this point, it’s impossible to think of the Pine Tree State without Stephen King. His penchant for recognizing the malevolent in the mundane has become a genre-defining trait of modern American horror.

Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Even if you’re not a reader, you know his stories thanks to multiple screen adaptations of works like The Shining, IT, Carrie, and The Body (adapted for the screen as Stand By Me). To date, King has written fifty-eight novels, hundreds of short stories, and is one of the best selling authors of all time. Cemetery Dance Publications is one of King’s most prominent publishers.

King joined forces with fellow horror writer and Cemetery Dance founder Richard Chizmar to bring terror to the town of Castle Rock, Maine in the chilling novella Gwendy’s Button Box. Set in the summer of 1974, the story focuses on young Gwendy Peterson and a chance encounter with a man in a small neat black hat.

To commemorate the release of Gwendy’s Button Box, Cemetery Dance came to Portfoliobox with not one, but two limited edition collector’s boxes. These boxes were each loaded with collector’s items and other exclusive material.

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limited edtion collector's boxes, box set, portfolio, stephen king, cemetery dance, gwendy's button box, richard chizmar

Collector’s editions are a specialty of ours. The exclusive, limited nature of the contents lends itself to extra creativity in packaging. Consider the reverence with which the owner of a collector’s edition box must regard the contents. Whether it be film, music, or literature, that box set was purchased to demonstrate prestige. And so the product needs to be adorned, accentuated, even elevated. For Gwnedy’s Button Box, two different styles of limited edition collector’s boxes accomplish those tasks.

The contents of the limited edition collector’s boxes include original illustrations by Keith Minnion, author’s signatures, fine binding and two-color printing throughout the special editions of the books themselves. And most fitting for our purposes, each of these two limited edition collector’s boxes came with a commemorative coin, minted with a familiar face.

Limited Edition Collector’s Box

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For the Limited Edition Box, we created a tray in four panel folder, of which three hundred fifty pieces were made. Fine Skivertex from FiberMark, a division of Neenah Paper, gives a true leather appearance to the box, as well as the corresponding leather feel. On the interior, Graphite Gray Prestige provides a velvety textural experience that you can see.

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There are two recessed areas inside the box for two respective trays, one for the book and one for the commemorative coin. Each are provided with their own ribbon pull for ease of access. Magnets on the front panel add a sense of protection and exclusivity- that small sensation of resistance as you open the box conveys the assurance of a secure package.

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Finally, resplendent foil stamping catapults this box to new heights. Multiple colors are used to achieve the lettering of the title, but also create convincing silhouettes of Gwendy and the mysterious man in the hat.

Exclusive Lettered Edition Box

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The Lettered Edition Box is a different approach to the value displayed by its Limited Edition sibling. Only fifty two pieces of the Lettered Edition were made. The first thing you might notice is the dual hinge lid, like a set of double doors barricading the contents. As you might expect, these hinged panels open up to reveal the book and collateral in the interior tray. But wait.

limited edtion collector's boxes, box set, portfolio, stephen king, cemetery dance, gwendy's button box, richard chizmarWhat makes the Lettered Edition Box so incredible is that as the dual panels are pulled back, ribbons connected to either side are drawn taught and elevate the interior tray up and out of the box. Carbon X carbon fiber paper from Neenah lends a particular metallic  textured effect to the surface of the box.

limited edtion collector's boxes, box set, portfolio, stephen king, cemetery dance, gwendy's button box, richard chizmarAlong the interior, black satin lines the elevated tray, adding a touch of luxury and care to the book and coin within.

There are far more possibilities for limited edition collector’s boxes beyond the standard slipcase. And that’s not to say a slipcase can’t be gorgeous and artfully crafted in its own right. However, what makes these Gwendy’s boxes so compelling is that the two designs represent a break from traditional book boxes and place an emphasis on the total packaging experience.

Looking for a collector’s edition box for your project?  Get in touch with us today.


Portfoliobox of the Month: Custom Wine Box for Orin Swift

It was the first wine Dave Phinney ever made for Orin Swift. A notoriously difficult style to perfect. So painstaking to create that it would be eight years before he would attempt to make a Zinfandel again.

But when he returned to making Zinfandel after nearly a decade, it was absolute vindication. An undeniable blend that he calls the most personal of any wine he has made. The end of exile. A return to the start.

Something of a poet, Phinney has dubbed this wine Eight Years in the Desert, a celebration of time away and coming back to the foundations of Orin Swift.

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Orin Swift Cellars is a leading maker of fine American wines, renowned for their quality and their eye-catching labels. This varietal, Eight Years in the Desert, is especially treasured. The wine itself is an exacting blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. Each of the eight individual bottles in the set are adorned with their own hand-made, mixed media label.

Given the care and attention put into this product, it was only appropriate that a custom wine box of the highest caliber was made. But there’s a bit of a catch- it wasn’t just one bottle of wine that needed a box- it was eight. And therein lies the triumph of this project.

Bottles of wine, if you’ve had any experience, are heavy. Not to mention fragile. And the more crowded they are in an enclosed space, the more they tend to clink and clash. So how do you fit eight bottles of highly coveted wine in a box?

An oversized tray in three panel folder composed entirely of Eskaboard holds the Eight Years in the Desert set. Typically, we at Portfoliobox would put such a product in a wood frame box for its sturdy structure. But Eska is a durable alternative to a wood framed box, appropriate here for its comparatively light weight.

In this box, we were not only accommodating the size of the bottles, but also had to consider the overall mass. Eight bottles of wine are heavy enough on their own, and a wood frame would only add to that. So, lighter paper-based Eskaboard was chosen for its tough rigid structure.

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A bit of ingenuity comes into play when arranging the Eight Years in the Desert bottles. A three-tiered system of removable trays was our solution to fitting all the product as well as the collateral.

The large tray in three panel folder box itself, wrapped in black Verona paper-backed linen material. A magnetic closure on the lid adds a touch of luxury. A little resistance when opening the box that indicates a protected product within. After pulling back the magnetic lid, the multitude of contents contained in the custom wine box becomes apparent.

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We are first greeted with a shallow lift out tray which contains a limited edition booklet from Orin Swift. The interior is lined with that same Verona linen, now in a shade reminiscent of the desert itself- a sandy beige hue. With ribbon pulls on either side, this first tray is easily removed to provide access to the next level, a custom insert to hold four bottles of that precious Zinfandel blend.

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The bottles are separated by their own unique trays to prevent collision, and these individual trays are also lined in sandy Verona. Thanks to handles on either side of the tray, the insert is easily removable.

orin swift, wine package, portfolio, tray in three panel folder, packaging design

Finally, this same removable tray of four wine bottles is echoed again at the bottom of the custom wine box. But it wasn’t for lack of creativity on our behalf. This third tray is glued to the base to provide necessary structural support to the entire piece.

Accommodating eight bottles of wine in a paperboard box is not the easiest of tasks. It required creativity, collaboration, and expertise to get this project right, but we could not be more proud of the results. The culmination of a wine making odyssey deserved a fitting tribute to the journey.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Town Wharf-01.jpg

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.


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