Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Portfolio for iPad is here

I am very excited to be adding this new portfolio design to my website.  Many artists and designers are finding that printed portfolios are no longer suitable for presenting their work.  Thankfully new technology and streamline tablet designs have now made it possible to  present this same work conveniently and efficiently in a digital format. 

This drop spine flip top presentation box has a magnetic flap closure and can be custom made in one or two of the 37 colors available. As with all boxes and portfolios in the online store, the Portfolio for iPad can be personalized in a number of ways.  Foil stamping and embossing of a name or logo are 2 of those options.  

There are also many style and sizes of pockets that can be added to the inside lid liner.  The Portfolio for iPad can viewed flat on a table or the cover can be inverted to create an easel.  To see more details and photos of The Portfolio for iPad please visit the website.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inlays Add a Splash of Color

I just wanted to share some photos of portfolios that I've made recently that use inlays to add compositional interest and a little splash of color to book covers.  Using the inlay as a background for foil stamping is particularly effective but in the case of the Sila Portfolio and the Dionne Portfolio the inlays speak for themselves as simple colorful shapes.  Inlays can be made in all geometric shapes and sizes and can be placed anywhere on the book's front or back cover.  They can now be added to custom built portfolios in the online store.  When ordering online I recommend sending a pdf for accurate size and placement of your inlay.
Amanda Portfolio
Sila Portfolio
Raymond Portfolio
Joshua Portfolio
Dionne Portfolio

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inkjet Printed Covers

The inkjet experiment that I blogged about back in March has proven to be quite a success.  In the past few months I've had the pleasure of working on several projects which called for the printing of large areas.

While it's been challenging getting the printer to accept the bookcloth, the actual printing has gone very smoothly and I've been very happy with the vibrancy of the colors.

It seems that, at this point, the only real limitation to the process is the size.  My printer can accept a 13" wide piece of bookcloth which limits the size of the printed cover to 12". Fortunately the length is unlimited (I think).  In most cases there are ways to work around this. For example on the blue-grey box pictured below I would normally use one large piece of cloth to wrap around the entire cover, spine and bottom, but in order to incorporate inkjet printing on a box that had a height if 13 3/4", I had to use 2 separate pieces, one for the spine and bottom and a second for the printed cover.

The lime green book pictured below has printing that wraps around the spine and onto the back of the book.  For this, since the height of the book was only 11 3/4", I was able to use a very long piece of fabric, over 35", but with proper planning and registration it worked out perfectly.   

Inkjet printing is a very cost effective way to personalize limited run projects and once I determine that pricing structure and create downloadable templates this option will be available in the online store. Until then please contact me directly if you are interested in having a custom portfolio, book or box made with printed covers.  You can always visit the custom showroom of the website to see more details on these and other custom projects.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Large Format Portfolios

Large format portfolios are now available online. There are 3 new standard sizes;
13 x 19 landscape
19 x 13 portrait
20 x 15 portrait

Each style of portfolio; hidden screw post, exposed screw post and coffee table, can be ordered in these larger sizes and all are customizable with one or two of the 37 colors of bookcloth.

Hinged pages and hinge strips are also available for each of these sizes.

If you need a size that is not offered on the website please call or email to discuss placing an order for a custom sized portfolio.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Tips for Transporting and Shipping your Portfolio

You've spent countless hours and a nice chunk of change putting together the perfect portfolio presentation and now it's time to show the world what you have to offer.  At this point the last thing you want is to have your portfolio mishandled and damaged in it's travels.

Fortunately this has only happened to one of my clients (that I know of) but it was devastating enough that I felt it was important to share some tips to ensure the safe delivery and return of your portfolio.  While this post focuses on the shipping of portfolios, it also applies to transporting your portfolio to face to face meetings.  Accidents happen and while you probably feel confident hand carrying your portfolio to visit potential clients, you can't always prevent unexpected events. It could be bumped around in the car on the way to the meeting or someone could brush your arm the wrong way and cause you to drop it.  For this reason it's always best to overprotect your portfolio.

damaged box
Treat your portfolio as you would the art that it holds.  Our portfolios are extremely sturdy and well built but they are presentation pieces that need to be protected.  For this reason I recommend that your portfolio is packed with extra care and more padding than you think it needs.  UPS and FEDEX do a great job but they don't know or care what's inside the boxes they are delivering and Handle with Care tags do little to change the way that packages are treated.

perforated foam
One of the simplest and least costly ways to create an appropriate shipping container is to start with a basic cardboard box that is at least 4" larger than your portfolio in all directions.  Since you are trying to make a good first impression be sure to use a clean, new, unmarked box.  Purchase some heavy duty foam from a shipping supply company or a foam company.  The Foam Factory sells perforated foam sheets, called Pick and Pluck.  The perforation allows you to create any sized cutout in the foam. Use this in combination with solid foam pieces to create a form fitting nest  around your portfolio.  Choosing foam over paper or bubblewrap is preferable for a few reasons; it makes it easier for your potential client to re-pack the box for return shipping, it looks much cleaner than bunched up pieces of paper and it prevents the portfolio from shifting during shipping.

If you have a bit more to invest, there are many companies that offer standard and custom made hard shipping cases.  Many of these are marketed as computer or instrument cases but can be used for just about anything.  Take a look at Janal Cases, Quick Cases and Pelican Cases for some possibilities.  Many of these are crush and waterproof and come with a lifetime guarantee.  You've invested a lot in creating your portfolio so it's a good idea to invest just a little more to protect it.  If you have any questions or would like further recommendations please don't hesitate to call.

Janal Cases

Friday, July 8, 2011

3 New Colors

While I was disappointed to have to remove Metallic Aqua from the color chart a few months ago, I am very excited to be adding 3 new colors to the covering options for custom portfolios and boxes.

There are now 37 colors to choose from so everyone is sure to find a color combination that is suitable for their project.

The new colors are Avocado, Orange and Metallic Midnight.  If you'd like to see swatches of these or any of the other colors please call or email with your request and they will be sent out the next business day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Printing on Bookcloth

photo album with printed cover
Many years back I did a personal photo book project in which I printed onto a grey bookcloth and really liked the results.  The process and it's possibilities have been in the back of my head ever since.

Another, more recent, personal project allowed me to do some further testing.  I designed a CD cover for a friend who really liked the look of the foil stamping that I do onto bookcovers and so requested that I somehow incorporate that look into the design.  Again I loved the printing, particularly how the softness, created as the fabric absorbs the ink, contrasts with the sharp saturated marks of the foil stamping.

photo book with printed cover
The past couple of weeks have been particularly busy here at the studio but I was determined to find time to create a donation for my niece's school auction.  I'd been wanting to experiment more with inkjet printing onto bookcloth and this was the perfect opportunity so I made a scrapbook style photo album with a tree design printed on the cover.  It is a fairly low contrast design, with a dark brownish grey printed onto a light brown cloth.  To me it feels very atmospheric, like I'm standing on a mountain looking down into a misty forest. I also made a clamshell box to hold this album.  The box is covered in the same light brown fabric but it's brightened up a bit with burnt orange accents. In the bottom of the box I created a well that can hold a 1" stack of the photos that don't make it into the album.

CD artwork printed on bookcloth with yellow foil stamping

In each of these cases I printed onto Iris bookcloth which is a linen style cloth with very little texture so I'd like to move on to some other textures and incorporate some color.  I also addressed the issue of the ink running if it gets wet by coating the fabric with a spray varnish.  It didn't affect the color, texture or gloss but did prevent the water from reaching the ink.  As soon as I find some time, I will move forward with some experimenting. I'll report back, hopefully soon, with the result and if all goes well I hope to add this option for portfolios and boxes in the online store and for custom projects as well.

the printed cloth
album block and album case
uncovered clamshell box tray

finished clamshell box with album

finished clamshell box with well and ribbon lift

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Hinge Strips

Another item that I've been getting a lot of requests for is hinge strips.  Many of my clients print their own portfolio pages and use the templates that I include with all portfolio orders to punch the holes for the screw posts.  This works out great but in the case where a client wants to use a heavier weight paper the issue of page turning always comes up.  Lighter weight papers turn just fine on their own when put into screwpost books but when you get past about an 80lb paper the page will want to spring back which makes the portfolio viewing less than a perfect experience.  Scoring the page where it will fold is a good solution to this but it isn't ideal.

The hinge strips that are now available in the online store are essentially like my hinged pages only without the page attached.  I start with a strip of 100lb paper and adhere a 1" strip of thin starched fabric to that.  Then, leaving a 1/4" gap or gutter,  a 1/4" wide layer of adhesive is laid down along the outer edge of the fabric.  The paper strip gets hole punched and bound by the screw posts.

There is a release paper on top of the adhesive strip that gets peeled off so that the printed page or photograph can be securely attached.  When the page is turned, only 1/4" of the back of the page is covered by the fabric hinge and the pages turn with ease and lay completely flat.

Hinge strips are available in both black and white and in 8 1/2", 11", 12", 14" and 17" lengths.

See hinge strips on the kdbooks website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Slipcases are here

Over the past year I've received many requests to add slipcases to the website and now, with the launch of the new site,  they can be ordered online.  As with all of the portfolios and presentation boxes available online, the slipcases can be covered in any of the 35 linen or metallic fabrics.

At the time of ordering, it is important to know the thickness of the stack of pages going into your portfolio otherwise the slipcase will not fit properly.  To get an accurate measurement, stack up the pages along with anything being mounted to them and place your ruler at the thickest point of that stack.  You will choose this measurement from a drop down menu when you place your order.  This will be added to the thickness of the portfolio itself to ensure a proper fit for the slipcase.  If you are ordering either the hinges pages or the polypropylene sheet protectors along with your portfolio you should just measure the materials that you'll be inserting or mounting.

You can find more information about slipcase here: http://kdbooks.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=40_46

Monday, February 28, 2011


The new site has officially launched. It's a more lively and user friendly site.  Have a look and please send us your feedback.  www.kdbooks.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

That extra punch with 2 Color Foil Stamping

To add a bit of extra pizzazz to your portfolio consider a 2 color foil stamping of your logo.

This is a portrait format 11 x 8 1/2 hidden screw post portfolio with a spine cover.  This portfolio is a great example of a very simple design that delivers a big punch.

The logo really makes a statement on the red fabric cover because of the splash of light blue next to the white.  

In order to do a 2 color foil stamping using just 1 logo die, the blocks of color need to have at least 1/16th of an inch between them.

This option will be available in the new online store soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making it your own

This green exposed screw post portfolio is one that I recently shipped out and is one that I am particularly fond of.  It is a terrific example of how the online store can be used to create a truly one of a kind portfolio.

This is a landscape format 11 x 14 exposed screw post portfolio covered in "bright green" fabric.  Dante sent me the printed paper that she wanted to use for the endsheets and a pdf of how she wanted everything laid out including the position of her name.  The foil stamping was done along the foredge in matte silver using Font #9. Both, the round business card pocket and the vertical pocket, are standard sized pockets that can be ordered online.  She chose to cover them in "confederate" fabric to match the scales on the endsheets.

Quite often portfolios tend toward the subtle and conservative, and for good reason, but when the situation permits, make yours stand out from the crowd by being creative with the color and embellishment options.  You can always call or email to see if your ideas are possible before you place your order, more than likely they are.  You can start building your portfolio online now http://kdbooks.com/store/

Monday, January 3, 2011

Favorites from 2010

Portfolio Books and Box set for Graphic Designer Eileen Hu
Invitation Binder Set for Fig. 2 Design Studio
Stab Bound Movie Script
Hidden Screw Post Portfolio with Spine Cover and Foil Stamping.
Ordered in the Online Store
Half Clamshell Box with Magnetic Closure with Embossed Logo
Ordered in the Online Store
Exposed Screw Post Portfolio and Half Clamshell Box with Angled
Magnetic Flap Closure with Embossing and Foil Stamping
Coffee table Style Portfolio with Foil Stamping on Cover and Spine
Ordered in the Online Store
Coffee Table Style Portfolio with Foil Stamping
Ordered in the Online Store
Folding Framed Image Panel for photographer Sandy Chandler