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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.