Feline Fun with Gracespace Alternative Folio

Grace Coddington has been described as the most influential fashion editor of the past 30 years, and her Gracespace alternative folio is a testament to her continued relevance.

As Creative Director at American Vogue, the legendary stylist has produced some of fashion’s most striking and enduring images. A camel, a biplane and a monster truck convene in the California desert. A trio of Dalmatians flank Naomi Campbell in a white convertible. It’s all part of the striking imagery that defines a Grace Coddington photo shoot.

But there is another, more whimsical, side to Grace’s creativity. Since the publication of her book of drawings, The Catwalk Cats, in 2006, Coddington has attracted a following for her illustrations. Her inimitable style is characterized by spare lines and a dry sense of humor. Gracespace, commissioned by Artspace, is a limited edition curated selection of 10 archival Coddington prints.

Artspace is a Phaidon Global Company, owned by international publisher Phaidon Press, based in the UK. Artspace is the leading online retailer of contemporary art and the Gracespace collection is sold exclusively through their online platform. Phaidon asked Portfoliobox to develop and craft an alternative folio that would be elegant, simple and fun.

The Base and Lid style is a contemporary alternative to traditional Folio or Clamshell style packaging often seen in limited edition art print collections. The classic lid lifts off to reveal a base with a flange reminiscent of a candy box. A raised platform provides a stage for the prints, and a simple grosgrain ribbon lift provides easy access to the works and removes the risk of dog-earing or damaging the prints.

The platform and inside of the lid are lined with an all-over print showcasing playful cat and mouse doodles drawn by Grace and inspired by her love for her two cats. A whimsical self portrait of Grace and her cats, taken from Catwalk, appears on the cover. The execution of the alternative folio elegant simplicity and the design is fun.

Given the short run nature of this limited edition, the alternative folio was perfectly suited to a digital press. All of the decorative printing was achieved with an HP Indigo digital press on Classic Crest paper from Neenah. The end result is a perfectly crisp, multicolor print with a smooth matte appearance. Remove the ribbon and the box is 100% recyclable- but who would ever want to part with this fun keepsake?

To learn more about Gracespace, click here to view the collection on Artspace.
If you would like to learn more about limited edition fine art portfolios, contact us!

Portfoliobox of the Month: Bespoke Luxury Invitations + Packaging for Any Event!

Weddings, Charity Balls, Corporate Events, Restaurant Openings or the Ultimate Party. We depart this month from our usual format to feature possibilities rather than specific projects. Whether it’s an invitation, gourmet menu, an awards folder or special packaging for a keepsake, Portfoliobox brings your vision to life.

Bespoke Packaging

You’re launching a chic new cocktail restaurant; imagine a collection of bespoke lunch, dinner and drink menus with irregular and distinguishing silhouettes, all in a unique bonded leather cover material with matching ribbon.

You’re hosting a black tie fundraiser for your local philanthropy association with premium donor tables; Imagine luxury invitations, place cards, and a memento gift box, all in the same printed silk.
Bespoke Packaging

You’re organizing a celebratory luncheon for university trustees; imagine custom-dyed leather bound folders with your university seal in metallic foil.

Group_Wedding

From almost any starting point, our design team integrates structural and decorative materials, forming and finishing techniques and skilled craftsmanship to make your presentation ever more memorable. Client projects pictured above include luxury invitations with coverings of silk, metallic and soft-touch paper over frames of Eska board or wood. Everything from custom screen printed designs to foil stamped logos to embedded plates decorate the surfaces.

Group_ ChicSueade

Portfoliobox – we make the luxury packaging that your guests admire, take home and keep. Reminders of special times.

In need of bespoke luxury invitations or presentation packaging? Get in touch via our Contact Page or give us a call today (401) 272-9490

The Story Behind Portfoliobox: Part 2

I’m often asked how and why I started Portfoliobox. People assume that I went to art school and majored in 3 dimensional design or, conversely, that I came from the business community and was looking for a niche that needed to be filled. Neither, of course, is true. The origins of Portfoliobox can be found in books, especially old books.

I was a graduate student in English literature and I loved buying old books at flea markets and used book stores. Being a grad student in lit requires a lot of time sitting at a desk in front of a typewriter – I know, I’m dating myself – and I needed something else besides writing in my life. A friend suggested that I learn to restore the old books I was accumulating. A little research led me to Dan Knowlton, a longtime bookbinder at Brown University. I studied the basics with Dan and quickly discovered that I loved working with my hands and bringing these wonderful old tomes back to life. One of the basics he taught me, almost as an aside, was how to make a lipped clamshell box. I still have that box today.

When I finished graduate school I decided to become a bookbinder rather than a college professor. I opened The Hawthorne Bindery in Wakefield, RI, named after the subject of my thesis, Nathaniel Hawthorne. I spent my time restoring books, binding thesis for local colleges and making portfolios for artists. I’ll always remember my first famous client, the wood engraver Fritz Eichenberg. I was so honored that he trusted me to make his folios that I wouldn’t take any monetary payment. We traded my work for his prints.

A little over a year later I entered the next stage of my training. I traveled to NYC for a few days every month to study fine binding and decorative gold tooling with Gerard Charriere. Gerard is a Swiss bookbinder, known throughout the world for his imaginative contemporary bindings. He really opened my eyes to the design possibilities of both books and boxes. He taught me how perfect a hand crafted object could be and the ability to recognize when it is perfect.

In the spring of 1978 I was looking for someone to help me with my ever increasing workload. I was approached by John Romano, owner of the Sign of the Unicorn Bookstore, a used book emporium in Peace Dale, RI. John held degrees in sociology and was a kindred spirit when it came to books. We talked about old books and how neither of us wanted to pursue the careers for which we had spent so many years preparing. We made an arrangement where I agree to take John on as a paid apprentice and teach him the craft of bookbinding.

Sometime around early 1980 I decided to close my bindery and go to work for a box and display company. They were starting a new division, Museum Box Company, to manufacture archival quality boxes for the art market and they wanted me to head it up. The experience was an eye opener. We still made all the boxes by hand but instead of one box we would make many hundreds at a time. I had to learn how to design for a production environment where every box needed to come out exactly the same while retaining the high quality workmanship of the singly made prototype. I spent a lot of time out on the shop floor observing the workers.

I soon became aware that one particular woman, a young mom in her early 20’s, was clearly the star of the crew. Carol Lajoie seemed to work instinctively, her fingers flying and her scissor cuts almost always perfect. Although she was the youngest on the team, the other women clearly respected her skills. I started asking her opinion on design/engineering options before I discussed these things with the customer. I had come to realize that when I am trying to work out how to bring a customer’s vision to fruition an important step is to go out into the shop, asking the very people who make the boxes. Carol would often offer suggestions on how we could simplify the production of a complicated box while improving the results. Some 15 years later our box making paths would once again come together.

During my time at Museum Box I never gave up bookbinding. I spent many nights and weekends working at my home studio restoring books or collaborating on portfolio projects with John. We both had home binderies and between the two of us we managed to make quite a few boxes and folios. I worked with the clients and came up with the design and then took the materials to John’s house in the woods where we set up production. I still remember going over that one lane wooden bridge in the snow and the dark of night heading over to his house. We both worked our “day” jobs but spent evenings and weekends binding books and making boxes. Although yet unspoken, I think we both knew where our future’s would lay.

In the next chapter of this blog I will share those seminal moments in the life of our company.

Portfoliobox of the Month: Princeton’s Premium Slipcase

Effective donor recognition can be a weighty challenge. The Princeton University Library‘s exhibition of Landmark Thematic Maps provided an opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation to premium donors. The exquisitely printed exhibition catalog, brimming with reproductions, needed an equally impressive packaging solution to complete the presentation. Portfoliobox, in collaboration with book designer Mark Argetsinger, engineered and produced this premium slipcase.

The slipcase is constructed with a basswood frame and Eska board panels, securely holding this surprisingly heavy book. The covering material is Brillianta, a linen-type material made by van Heek Textiles. The image on the cover is taken from a page in the book, trimmed and placed in a recessed well. It has been likened to a “window” into the book. These little details are what help the premium slipcase make the book into a truly memorable gift.

Technical Specifications:
Product Held: Book commemorating the collection
Style: Slipcase
Size: 11 x 8.5 x .875″
Materials: Basswood, Eska board, Brillianta wrap
Decoration: recessed printed label

Portfoliobox of the Month: Chuck Close Limited Edition Portfolio

Portfoliobox collaborates internationally for the material difference

Chuck Close is an American painter known for using creative and intricate patterns to portray a human portrait. He envisioned Scribble Book as a self-portrait that emerges step by step out of the printing process one plate and one color at a time. Volume One contains the State Proofs, a series of 9 monochromatic prints, 1 for each of the 9 applied colors. Volume Two, the Progressive Proofs, shows the colors building up on the paper. The completed limited edition print is revealed on the final page.

Scribble Book #5  Scribble Book #2

The process of creating this two-volume limited edition portfolio set took Little Steidl Press over 3 years. The press sheets were printed in Germany under the watchful eye of revered book publisher, Gerhard Steidl, before being shipped to Portfoliobox in Rhode Island to begin the binding and box making process. The covering material traveled from Germany to RI to California and back to Portfoliobox where the books and boxes were completed.

Scribble Book #1

Both the books and the box are covered with Cotlin, a natural sailcloth-type fabric made by Bamberger. The books are accordion bound with each set of prints being mounted on a strip of fabric over 9′ long. A Lipped Clamshell Box with basswood frame was chosen to house the books. This design opens flat at the spine, allowing easy access to the books while offering the option of viewing the prints without removing them from the confines of the box.

Scribble Book #3

 

Learn more about our custom and stock Portfoliobox’s by clicking the links below.

A Very Large Art Portfolio Case

This large art portfolio case was created for Artist Jonathan Singer, the foremost photographer of orchids and other horticulture.  The collection will be part of the Smithsonian Institution Library in Washington, DC.

Art Portfolio Case for Jonathan Singer

This beautiful presentation case measures 45 x 38 x 3 – it was wrapped and fully lined inside with Black Italian Canapetta bookcloth.  It has a gold foil stamped goat skin label mounted on the front panel.  The project also includes a folio wrapped in the same bookcloth that will hold two of the images and nests inside the case.  In addition to the folio the box will hold a photographic print series of the artist’s work.

Side View Art Portfolio Case for Jonathan Singer
This was an edition of just one case and was produced in the PORTFOLIOBOX division at Taylor Box Company.

Welcome to the New Portfoliobox.com

Welcome to the Portfoliobox.com website. We have all worked hard to create a site that works for all of our customers, prospects and curious visitors.

Our goal: build a site that provides both inspiration and utility; whether you are a printer of limited edition lithographs, etchings or screen printings; a professional photographer or serious amateur; an archivist; a graphic designer or industrial designer; an art student; an event planner or a packaging professional looking for exceptional hand crafted product presentation cases.

On Portfoliobox.com you will find our store stocked with a variety of portfolios and premium presentation cases. Within our custom packaging gallery you will find projects that we have completed for a broad array of end use applications; single cases for prestigious award presentations, cases for artist limited editions, invitations to important personal and business events and product packaging for exceptional bourbons just to name a few. So take a moment to explore the site and please let us know where we need to improve your site experience.

The Story Behind Portfoliobox: Part 1

In the summer of 2013 Portfoliobox and our 8 employees joined forces with Taylor Box Company. We had a history of working with the team at Taylor for close to 20 years. Together we tackled many challenging projects, combining the design and production experience of both companies to produce the best possible package, whatever form it took. We developed a good feel for the people, the culture and the focus of Taylor Box Company. Clearly we shared many important similarities.

Our customers at Portfoliobox expected and demanded That our work be of the absolute highest quality. Taylor’s customers expected no less. The desire and commitment to make the very best, whether it be a box or folio for artwork, a point of purchase package, an event invite or a multi faceted presentation kit for brand marketing was and is at the core culture of both companies.

We both possessed an eagerness to engage with customers as partners, helping them in developing important strategic projects. We also shared a vision and a way of doing things. We both believed in running a company that was focused on creating a community around the staff in the shop, the supply partners, the customers and our creative design teams.

Now, as a combined company, we feel uniquely qualified to design and build premium packaging for the world’s most discerning clientele. In other words, we welcome the challenge to work for very demanding customers.

Interestingly, the easy part was packing up all of the tooling, equipment, inventory and miscellany that are part of making beautiful handmade portfolios. That took about a week or two. The challenge would be truly integrating the two companies into one team from top to bottom. It was more than just making the accounting adjustments, finding room in Taylor Box’s facility and building a new website.

We had to explain to our customers that even as everything seemingly had changed very little would actually change. We still had the same people and the same equipment to make our products. We would still make great portfolios and presentation cases but now at a new address 30 minutes down the road. I won’t go into the finer points of the process except to say that it was a learning experience for both teams and we grew immeasurably from having done it.

In my next blog post I will share with you how it all started and provide you with insights into how we built the foremost portfolio workshop studio in the US for making beautiful handmade folios and boxes.

View more of our Custom and

Stock Portfolio Products