Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bookbinding and the Unexpected Everyday Object

Custom bookbinding is an old tradition and pretty niche industry. Whether a binder makes handsewn embossed leather tomes or sleek modern structures like our screwpost portfolios, albums and portfolio boxes, most of us in this industry got into our profession, at least in part, because of our love of books: their form, their varied structures and their roles in our everyday lives: as beautiful and protective capsules for important text, images and information.

But every so often a job calls for us to reframe our roles as bookmakers to create something a little more unorthodox.

We enjoyed our recent collaboration with Garnica Interiors to create these beautiful and hardy boxes as a smart clutter solution for a client’s laundry room. The larger of the boxes features a magnetic front for easy access as it will sit high on a shelf, and the custom turquoise color ordered specifically for these boxes matches the tile in the room. We hope for photos and can’t wait to see how they are incorporated in the space.

This recent job also brings to mind the deceptively simple flax linen storage boxes we made for another of Garnica’s clients a while back, among other home furnishing orders. These sleek, utilitarian containers are all function without sacrificing form, with the quiet power to transform a domestic or working space into a more serene, productive space.

Days like these have us thinking it might be time to really step up our own laundry room game! Why not update the old Ikea Kallax with something a little more chic and coordinated to the room’s color scheme? Why suffer flimsy corrugated file boxes or that weird junk shelf under the entryway table when you have hearty bookboard and a variety of bookcloth colors to choose from?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Spine Covers to Enhance and Protect Portfolios

Spine covers provide the look of a hardbound, fully cased in coffee table style book, but provide the flexibility for adding and subtracting pages from your portfolio as need be. The spine cover is a "U" shaped channel that hides the spine edge of your portfolio pages and is sandwiched between the front and back covers.

Why choose a hidden screw post portfolio with a spine cover over a coffee table style portfolio?
If you decide to increase or decrease the number of pages inside your portfolio you will be able to simply purchase a new spine cover and screw post set to fit these pages rather than order an entirely new coffee table style portfolio.

Spine covers are most frequently paired with hidden screwpost portfolios, but can also be paired with exposed screwpost books, and made to match or complement the front and back cover, logo color, slipcase, clamshell, inner liners, pockets, etc.  They can also be screen printed or foil stamped with your logo or title of your portfolio, especially handy when your portfolio is encased in a slipcase.

Spine covers not only act as an additional design element to provide a sleek, finished look to your portfolio, they also protect your portfolio's spine and pages from dust and wear.  There is no portfolio more polished and protected than a book paired with a striking spine cover and encased in a matching slipcase or clamshell box.

The below gallery features just a few of our favorite projects that include spine covers.

Click here to see spine covers on our website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Custom Inlays for a Unique Edge

Inlays are a great way to add a splash of color or add some interest to the composition of your portfolio or box cover. They are particularly effective when used in conjunction with foil stamping and embossing.

Inlays can be made using any of the book cloths, can be any size and placed anywhere on the cover, along the top, bottom or foredge of the portfolio or box cover. They can also be placed along the spine edge of exposed or hidden screw post portfolios, on the spine or wrapping around the spine of a coffee table style book. 

Inlays can also be long and skinny, tall and wide, rounded, squared or oblique. You may also choose to have multiple inlays on your book. Our clients often choose inlays that contrast or complement the cover color and/or match the inner liners and pockets.

If you have a question about adding an inlay to your portfolio please call or email kristin@kdbooks.com

2 Rounded Pink Inlays with White Foil Stamping on photographer's portfolio

Hidden Screwpost Portfolio with Spine-edge Inlay
Oblique Orange Inlay to match slipcase
Sharp white foil stamped logo on slate inlay to complement a Metallic cover

Top aligned Bright Yellow inlay to match inner liners

Contrasting Inlay with Foil Stamping to Match the Cover Color on Landscape Architect's Portfolio

This Red Inlay with a Bold Metallic Font really pops against the Black Cover on Photographer's Portfolio 
Bright Blue Inlay adds a Splash of Color to a Neutral Cover

An Unexpected Flash of Ochre on a Set of Illustration Portfolios

Friday, September 25, 2015

Introducing Flap Book Portfolios

Over the years, we've done a number of interesting and functional custom portfolios and boxes with flap closures.

Flap closures are great as both a design element and for practical purposes. Not only do they add to the presentation of opening your portfolio book or box, they add structural protection for your portfolio's contents, as well as help to hold your portfolio closed, whether with hidden magnets or with ribbon ties.

We enjoy the added quality and functionality of our custom flap projects, we decided to add the Flap Book Portfolio as a new portfolio option available for order directly on our website:

The flap closure of our flap portfolio is a variation on our coffee table style portfolio and features a support that keeps the portfolio flat no matter how few pages you've put into it. A great option for in progress portfolios!
This particular book has flap to match the inner liners and contrast the light brown covers. The linen book cloth is folded at the seam on the back cover to prevent fraying, to complete the clean look.

For inspiration for the design of the new flap portfolio,  we've been looking through the archives of our flap projects. Here are a few of our old boxes, books and folders all featuring different variations of the flap:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Invitation Presentation Binders

While we offer a wide variety of handmade portfolio and box structures, we find the most popular format chosen by stationers, calligraphers and invitation designers is the custom three ring binder.

With a three ring binder pages are easy to change out, and allow plenty of room for envelope flaps, layers of paper swatches, heavier paper or varied thicknesses of pages, as well as other accoutrements.

As with all of our custom portfolios, the ways in which our binders can be customized are virtually limitless. Some of these examples from past clients show the unique ways they've chosen to show off their brands, using a combination of our customizations.

Inkjet Printed Bookcloth Cover with Contrasting Liners:

Screenprinted Logos on Spine and Front Cover with Contrasting Liners:

Foil Stamped Covers and Spines with Custom Specialty Paper covered Liners:

Screenprinted Logo on Front Cover and Spine Combined with Custom Insets:

In addition to having a stunning cover design, you can add further wow-factor and functionality by adding contrasting liner colors.  Pockets can also be added to the front or back liners for the storage and display of Invitation folders, handouts, takeaways or business cards!

The National Stationery Show in NYC, and many other stationery trade shows are in late spring, but it's never to early to start thinking about how you'd like to customize a binder to best suit your unique brand.

In addition to being a popular item with stationers and invitation designers, binders make beautiful keepsake photo albums and a unique and modern take on guest books!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Swatch Books and All New 10% Student Discount Available

As former art students ourselves, we're no strangers to how expensive art school can be. In addition to the standard tuition, books, housing and other fees all students pay, we also have the additional cost of those expensive art materials!

All that being said, you don't want to skimp on an eye-catching portfolio, when you've already made an investment in your arts education. We want to help you create a beautiful and memorable portfolio  that will stand out in a sea of portfolios and economy presentation books without cutting into your ramen and Red Bull budget. (Yeah, we remember that part too.) 

Because we know every little bit helps, we are now offering a 10% Student Discount.  This offer is good on all portfolio styles on our website, or custom made portfolios by contacting kristin@kdbooks.com directly. 

To get the discount please ask your professor to send a list of student names to kristin@kdbooks.com and we will send a special coupon code for your class to use. Additionally, we will send a 4 x 4 inch swatch book for the class to share. It will be easier and faster for your students than waiting to receive individual swatches!

This offer is perfect for students of Photography, Illustration, Graphic Design, Architecture, Fashion Design, Interior Design and so much more. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wedding Albums

If you're like me, chances are you've been married for years but you still haven't found a wedding album or printed the photos to preserve that special day.  I'm a bookbinder and it took me 4 years to finally tackle this project that everyone assumed I'd be so on top of, but alas, here it is.

Not surprisingly I chose to make my own book. The Coffee Table Style Portfolio makes a perfect wedding album.  From the outside it looks, as it's name suggests, like a hardcover book that you'd have set out on your coffee table at home.  The book can be made to fit any number of pages. When used with the Hinged White Pages, as you can see in the photos, the pages lie completely flat.  This 110lb cover weight paper is sturdy enough for mounting photographs without leaving the book feeling cumbersome.  Photos can me mounted on one or both sides of the pages but you may want to ask your printer if it's safe for the photos to be touching since when the book is closed they will be.  Also if you do decide to mount photos on both sides you will want to order spine spacers along with the pages.  These will help keep an even thickness to your book.

While we don't mount photos here at the studio you can certainly do this yourself. The easiest method would be to apply double sided tape around the perimeter of each photo, however I recommend using an adhesive roll such as Gudy 870.  With this material you can cover the entire back side of the photo which will ensure that it has full contact with the page and won't pop off

Here are the specs of my book in case you're looking to order something similar.  It is an 11 x 14 Landscape Format Coffee Table Style Portfolio that is covered in "Flax Linen" and lined in "Tan".  These are both standard stock colors so this book can be ordered online directly through the website.  I placed an inset on the cover into which I adhered a printed label with our names on it.  The book holds 20 Hinged White Pages and the photos are mounted onto the pages with the Goudy 870 which we do not sell but can be purchased at other online retailers.

As always swatches are free so if you'd like to start the process of creating your own wedding album please feel free to contact us and request some samples of the covering materials, just send an email  with the list of colors and your mailing address and we'll send them right out.