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Re: Corporate Book Opportunities

Kevin Thomas asked:

What opportunities exist for selling custom-made, special-order books,
boxes or portfolios to the corporate world?

I've been making binding & packaging products for companies for about 8
years now. My clientele ranges from ad agencies to financial houses so the
range of projects is limited to your imagination. The trick is to bend your
imagination to their problem, solving it to their satisfaction.

Generally the marketing or new-business personnel are your likely targets.
And working with graphic designers, ad agencies & PR firms is the best
because they're handling the project and *may* enter the discussion with a
greater appreciation for what you do.

When people come to me, they might see one of my personal bindings and get
very excited that I'd been so innovative, and then settle on a simple black
Iris cloth ring binder for their in-store catalog with a blind-stamped logo
at visual center and black ring metal - and they think I've done a creative
job! It is to them, but to me it was a matter of keeping it simple - and
listening to the client's intention for the books and how they viewed their
retail presence.

One ad agency went after a big clothing mfg. and asked that I make 12 1/4"
thick aluminum bindings with welded piano hinges for the opening mechanism.
The paper was drilled and the book was "bound" with steel machine screws
held by hex nuts on the back. A deep etched logo of the prospective client
was on the front, and the agency's logo was etched on the back. My
finishing technique was to apply a 36 grit belt sander to the surfaces and
make an unholy mess of the surface.

The art director wanted an industrial all-American looking book that would
physically impress the client, and I came up with this solution.

The positive side of working for companies is that they're willing to pay
for the work, and often appreciate your vision and skills.  The challenge
is learning what the market will bear for ring binders, or screw-post
bindings with special covering materials. And price breaks for multiples is
a hard concept for a craftsperson to grasp as it's still hand-work.

I have a few photos of my corporate work, and I'm building a web site - if
you're interested email me *off list!* and I'll send you a few.

Nicholas G. Yeager
Artifex Books & Design
Healdsburg, CA

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