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.