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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What 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.
Along 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.