Friday, November 5, 2010

Refreshing Colors

Today I did some foil stamping trials for a new project I'm working on with an invitation designer in Bethesda Maryland. Claudia Smith of Fig. 2 Design made my day when she chose  Lime, Bright Yellow and Pool to cover her invitation binders.

This afternoon I was thrilled when I saw the white foil popping off of these brightly colored fabrics.  The foil stamping will be combined with some letterpress printed insets to title the spines and covers of the trio of binders.

These are sure to grab the attention of the brides and grooms browsing through the field of possibilities at their local invitation boutique.

Look for pictures of the finished binders on the blog as soon as they are complete.

To learn more about Fig. 2 Design please visit the beautifully designed website

And to see other invitation binders and presentation pieces that have been made here at the studio visit the custom showroom at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

8 New Colors

There are 8 exciting new covering materials available for your portfolios and boxes; Grey Brown, Ivory, Saddle, Rust, Bright Pink, Dark Green, Bright Green and Grape.

Start building your portfolio today in the online store.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Portfolio Design

I am very excited to be offering a new portfolio design in the online store.  With it's super clean solid lines, this portfolio is something you'll be proud to show off.  I'm calling it the coffee table style book because it has the look of a hard cover art book that you could leave out on display at your home or office. When combined with foil stamping or embossing of your name or logo, this design has a strikingly professional look.  It also maintains the flexibility of the other designs.  This portfolio uses screw posts so you can easily swap pages in and out and can even replace pages with spine spacers if you decide to display fewer pages.  I recommend ordering your portfolio to fit the maximum number of pages that you would possibly include, as fixed spine books can accommodate no more than the number of pages that they are designed to hold.

You can insert your own printed pages by using the included template for hole punching or you can purchase black or white hinged pages in the online store.  These can be used for mounting photographs or other printed material.

Please visit the website for more details and to see the many size and color options available for this portfolio.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Jet Box

There are some projects that I just don't want to let go of. Today I shipped out one such project. It was a very special jewelry box that has come to be know as "the jet box". I had such a hard time letting this one go because I've spent so much time and energy designing and building it over the past month.

The client is a newport beach CA based luxury jeweler (not called Ologon as the label may suggest) and the assignment was to build a traveling jewelry box that could be carried aboard a private jet for the passengers to browse through. It had to have 5 drawers of differing depths, a matching removable mirror, a pocket for printed materials, a secure closure, a handle and it had to be covered in this metallic silver bookcloth that I've been using for all of the other presentation pieces that I've made for this client.

There are a lot of components involved here and they all need to fit precisely together so this had to be built one piece at a time from the inside out.

I started with the drawers. The first step was to build simple square trays covered inside and out in the silver bookcloth. At this point I couldn't add the facades because I needed to know how the drawers would sit in their cases and take precise measurements from there. The facades needed to line up perfectly.
The next step was to create the case for the drawers. Working with bookboard and glue is entirely different than working with wood and nails so it wasn't going to be as simple as building one large box with runners for each of the five drawers. The drawers need more support than that. Each drawer needed to have it's own box that it could slide in and out of so I essentially built a lined slipcase for each drawer, covered the front edges in the silver bookcloth and then stacked them up, glued them and pressed them. In the very top section I had to cut out 2 squares so that the screws and washers that secure the handle would be recessed, otherwise the drawer wouldn't open completely.

At this point the facades could be made. They needed to cleanly cover all the edges of the slipcases so that when looking at the open jet box all you'll see is drawers and none of the structure holding them. Considering this box would be on a jet, the finished product couldn't be too bulky, it needed to take up as little space as possible so knobs and handles weren't an option. I decided to go with notched pulls, they don't take up any space and seem to work well with the overall simplicity of the design.

Next I built a large sturdy double walled box to hold the stack of drawers. Knowing that the completed jet box with all the jewelry inside would be quite heavy, I didn't trust that the double layer of bookboard on top could support all that weight. I did a test by stacking bricks inside of the box and lifting it up by the top. This determined that more support would be needed so I added a piece of 1/4" plywood and wrapped it and the seams with fabric and this absolutely did the trick. I did a second test with even more bricks and it held up very well with no bowing at all. The only parts of this component that will be seen are the 1/4" front edges so I wrapped them with the silver bookcloth.

I then created a cover to surround this large box. The cover wraps around 3 sides and has a door at the front and a flap that attaches to the right side of the box with super strong hidden neodymium magnets. These are sure to keep the box closed even in turbulence. On the inside of the door is a liner with a pocket to hold the printed material. For the finishing touch, both the door and the liner have small insets where an engraved plate with the company's logo will be placed. I then glued the cover to the large box one side at a time, made liners for the top and bottom of the box, glued them on and then measured very very carefully for the handle placement and then drilled the holes for the handle screws. At this point I thought I was home free but soon realized there was one thing that I didn't consider, how was I going to fit a screw driver into a 1" space? Back at the hardware store, the problem was quickly resolved when I saw the allen keys. I could use socket screws with an L shaped allen key. This was a great solution but wouldn't have worked for anyone with hands larger than mine, there was just enough space.

Lastly for the mirror I decided on a folder structure that when opened would reveal the framed mirror. I secured ribbons on either end so that when the folder was folded back onto itself, the ribbons could be tied and the mirror could stand up on it's own in an A frame style on top of the Jet Box. All the bases were covered and I finished the job feeling very satisfied. It isn't every day that I have to design a jet box but it sure was an exciting challenge.....I'm already looking forward to the next one.

To see more of the custom work that has come out of the studio please visit the custom showroom at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fabulous Invitation Boxes and Folders

It's all about presentation here at Kristin Dunn bookbinding & design and it's not limited to portfolios. Creating striking custom invitation presentations is on the top of our list.

When a wedding invitation needs to go above and beyond the typical, then our custom made cloth covered boxes, folders and panels are sure deliver that extra WOW factor.

Boxes, folders and panels can be made in any size and quantity and with any combination of embellishments including pockets, ribbons, embossing and foil stamping. From smooth linens to vibrant textures, there are hundreds of cloths to choose from and we are always happy to send out swatches to ensure that the perfect covering material is chosen.

Invitation folders can be designed to fit into any standard sized envelope or shipping container. One of the favorites is the A7 favor boxes from Paper Source, they come in a number of colors and are the perfect size for dropping in the mail. We can also build the custom invitation boxes to fit into these fabulous favor boxes. Another shipping option for the invitation boxes is these Tab Lock Tuck Top Mailing Boxes that are available in a variety of sizes from most shipping supply companies.

While we do not do any graphic design or printing, we do work very closely with invitation designers to create exquisite wedding invitation sets that pair the printed pieces with gorgeous cloth covered boxes and folders. Whether the invitations are being sent to 10 people or to 200 people, we can work with you to create an invitation presentation that the bride and groom and their guests will never forget.

If you are an invitation designer and are interested in what we offer, please contact us with your questions. We do offer a binder that is filled with pages of swatches, images of structures and embellishments and pricing. The cost of the binder is refundable in increments starting with your first order.

If you are a bride or groom please ask your invitation designer to contact us.

The quality of our custom handmade boxes and folders as well as our service to you is unmatched in the industry and goes far beyond what you will receive when working with the mass producing overseas companies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stunning Business Proposals

Make your next proposal stand out in the crowd. Why just submit a proposal in a standard office store folder when you can have a custom made presentation that is sure to turn heads.

The photo on the above left is a business proposal that includes two coil bound pamphlets, a cd and a memory stick. The outside is covered in a tan bookcloth and the 4 pockets are covered in a olive green bookcloth. The pockets are made with hard edges to allow the 1/4" thick pamphlets to slide in and out comfortably. An inset was created in the cover for the company logo. The logo was printed out on high quality heavy stock paper, mounted onto a metallic gold paper and then placed in the inset for a nice clean professional look. 7 identical folders were made to send out to all parties considering the proposal.

The proposal package on the below left is a hidden screw post portfolio in landscape format. This horizontal format works best when using standard 8 1/2 x 11 pages as the pages are easier to turn. A pocket for the company's business card was included on the inside cover. This job proposal is covered entirely in a tan bookcloth and uses only the burnt orange from the business card and cover inset to add a splash of color.

Both of these proposal folders were custom orders but we're working on some designs to offer in the online store so stay tuned and visit the website often and follow Kristin Dunn bookbinding & design on facebook to see the latest news from the studio. Until then please call to discuss some ideas for your next business proposal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spine Covers now available in the online store

If you're looking for the look of a hard bound coffee table style book but still need the flexibility to add and subtract pages from your portfolio, then this spine cover is a perfect solution. 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.

It can be built to accommodate any thickness of pages. You should consider the maximum thickness of pages that you will be putting into your portfolio when determining the width of the spine cover. You will still be able to use this spine cover if you decrease the thickness of pages by up to 1/8" without noticing a big difference. However if you increase the thickness of your pages, you will need to order a larger width.

To determine which size spine cover is appropriate for your portfolio, stack your prepared pages, including any spine spacers and measure the thickness on the left hand side where they will be bound. Please call or email if you are unsure which size to order. Visit the website at or go straight to the listing to find out more about spine covers.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Large Format Print Portfolios

I just finished this exciting project with Bobby Namba of Trapeze Editions. It was an edition of large format, 18 x 14 folios to house a set of 3 prints from LA based artist David Choe. The folios were covered in a slightly metallic black bookcloth and were then beautifully screen printed in silver or gold depending. The inside left panel was covered in a heavyweight drawing paper where the artist will create an original drawing for each folio. The right inside panel is finished with a matte black bookcloth and accented with metallic corners that secure the prints.

These limited edition folios are being sold by Trapeze Editions and can be seen, along with details of the artwork, in their website store.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Round Portfolio Pockets

Just added to the site! A new way to express yourself through your portfolio. Now you can choose from horizontal, vertical, diagonal and round pockets. The small pockets are perfect for storing your business cards and the larger ones for unbound materials such as resumes and other leave behind literature. These pockets can be added to the inner liners of portfolios and clamshell boxes and can be covered in any of 27 color options.
Visit to see all of the options.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Metallic Portfolios and Boxes

These coated metallic fabrics give a stunning finish to custom portfolios and boxes and they are now available as covering choices in the online store. There are 7 colors to choose from, light gold, pearl, lava, aqua, steel, pewter and silver. Shown here is a light gold clamshell box, a pearl notched clamshell box and a lava exposed screw post portfolio. They are photographed on the aqua.

Not only is this covering material beautiful, it's also very durable. Because it's a coated fabric, liquid will not penetrate it as it does the linen cloth. It can be gently wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dust and it also resists scuffing. If you're interested in seeing swatches before ordering please send an email with your address and I'll send them your way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A new way to personalize your portfolio

Now you can order your portfolio with a custom sized inset to mount photos, printed logos, title cards and other printed pieces on the cover.

This a terrific, affordable and virtually limitless way to personalize your portfolio. Foils stamping and embossing are beautiful and very professional looking but the costs can add up and the process limits the color that can be used. With insets you can print out your logo or design in full color on the paper of your choice and simply mount it into the clean edged inset.

You may also mail your piece to the studio and it will be adhered to the portfolio of box at no extra charge. Visit the online store to get started

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wooden portfolios are here!

Exposed Screw Post Wooden Portfolios are now available in the online store. I will be adding Hidden Screw Post version soon as well as a larger variety of woods and finishes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wooden portfolios available online soon!

I've been getting many requests for wooden portfolios recently and because of the high level of interest I will be adding some standard sizes to the online store very soon, hopefully by mid April. The portfolios will be available in the same 7 sizes that the bookcloth versions are and to start will be offered in 3 different woods, most likely walnut, ash and teak and 3 finishes. The ordering process will be simple and foil stamping, colored cloth liners and pockets can be added to any wooden portfolio. The standard hinged pages as well as polypropylene pages will fit these as well. Stayed tuned and check back soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

jazz up your applications in 2010

If you're searching for jobs or applying to grad school programs and you want your application to stand out from the rest, what better way to catch their eye than presenting them with a striking personalized portfolio loaded with your credentials. When they open the package and see your name emblazoned on the cover of a professionally made portfolio they will know that you are serious and are sure to remember your name. There will be a lot of information inside the portfolio that needs to be the real star of the presentation so keeping the portfolio design clean and simple is the best choice in this case. Choose colors that say something about yourself, your work, or even the institution that you are applying to. There are 11 fonts available in a variety of sizes and styles that can be used for personalizing your portfolio. For a subtle approach, a blind emboss of your name in the bottom right corner of the cover would be a great choice. If you want to add some color and make your name stand out a bit more, then choose one of the 10 colors available and opt for a dead center or optical center placement. All of these options are available in the online store at

Monday, January 11, 2010


Take a look at these new fonts & colors available for personalizing your custom portfolios and boxes. There will be more embossing and foil stamping options added throughout the year so check back often.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year

I am excited to announce the launch of a new online store at It offers a large selection of semi custom screw post portfolios, ring binders and presentation boxes. Each design is available in a number of standard sizes and can be customized by making selections from various drop down menus. At this time there are 20 bookcloth colors to choose from however many more will be added in the near future. A portfolio can be covered entirely in one color or a second color can be chosen for the inner liners. Each structure can also be customized by adding any number of pockets or personalized with embossing and foil stamping. Take a look at the new site, your feedback will be appreciated.