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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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.

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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.

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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!


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