Slipcased Book Set with Handmade LED Lighting

When an advertising agency wanted to commemorate not only the retirement of one of its co-founders but also the closing of its doors after 20 years, BO Haynes designed a keepsake that would remind all who received it of how much had been accomplished in those 2 decades. What makes this 2-book slipcased set so special is just how much handwork went into its making. More on that later.

With little more direction from agency Collins, Haynes & Lully than to simply tell a “physical story” about the agency and the retirement of co-founder Nancy Haynes, the project encouraged BO to bring together his passions for paper, finishing, storytelling and interactivity in design. It also gave him an opportunity to apply all that he’s learned in his 20-plus years as a professional creative to honor the accomplishments of his mother, Nancy.

The package is eye-catching without being overpowering, nicely balancing the Whiteness of the Sylvamo Accent Opaque paper with Gray and Red highlights. A simple Red ribbon gives it an additional bespoke quality.

On the front of the slipcase is an illustration of a vintage radio digitally printed CMYK by Subtle Impressions on a wrap of 100 lb. Sylvamo Accent Opaque White Smooth Cover over a box made from the same paper.

Gray and Red accents and a Die Cut where the radio dial would be are complemented by the words “[You may have heard] Twenty Years Ago,” setting the stage for a brief but effective story. Running a finger along the side of the box, my finger finds, of all things, a switch. Sliding it suddenly brings the radio dial to life with an intense Red glow!

Turning the package around reveals 2 books held in place by the Red ribbon. The covers of both feature Red Foil on the spine and cover, continuing the Red and White theme of the slipcase. However, so little pressure was applied during the stamping process, the Foil here is surprisingly smooth to the touch. So much so, I at first didn’t believe it was Hot Foil Stamped until I saw…well, you’ll see why I changed my mind a little later 😉

Even more intriguing is the binding technique used, which the designer describes as a “floating Saddle Stitch.” Subtle Impressions scored the covers and then Saddle Stitched the interior pages in the center of this false spine with White staples that match the cover – voila: the best of both worlds.

Inside “Volume 1: A New Era,” a Gatefold opens up to reveal a tiny pop-up typewriter printed and hand assembled by the designer. Red and Black illustrations and type throughout continue this project’s minimalist but effective color palette.

“Volume 2: A Look Back,” also bound by “floating Saddle Stitch,” opens with a powerful spread of 2 full-color photos of Nancy Haynes: a recent headshot on one side, and one from 1968.

Now, back to that slipcase. With the ribbon untied, the front now opens into a Tri-Fold. Inside, each panel features minimalist illustrations that demonstrate how the agency has followed the evolution of communications over the years.

With the opening of each panel, the bright Red LED glow of the radio dial becomes first the illuminated screen of a phone, and then that of a digital billboard – all accomplished by the strategic placement of 3 Die Cuts and a sheet of 40 lb. CTI Paper USA’s Glama Natural Red Translucent Vellum.

Closer examination reveals the source of the glow: an LED light circuit hand-built by BO and powered by a 3 volt battery, all cleverly housed inside a closed compartment in the slipcase. When you consider that nearly 70 of these keepsakes were produced, you can appreciate how labor intensive this project truly was.

Three different versions were distributed to clients, reps and others who played an important role in the agency’s history. But only 2 were packaged in this special Founder’s presentation box. A quick peek inside explains why.

The keepsake package arrives nestled snuggly in a White foam insert, matching the color and gloss of the slipcase and the presentation box. Next to it is 1 of the 2 dies actually used to Hot Foil Stamp the covers of the 2 volumes!

As you can imagine, this piece has won multiple creative awards. But if you ask BO, having it featured for fellow paper and print nerds to enjoy is the greatest honor 🙂

Project Details

Title Slipcased Book Set with LED Lighting Client Collins, Haynes & Lully Date 2019 Design BO Haynes Design Print Printing/Binding: Subtle Impressions (Gastonia, NC)
Die Cutting, Acrylic and Foam Inserts in Founder’s box: Heritage Printing (Charlotte, NC)
Paper Sylvamo Accent Opaque White Smooth 80 lb. Text and 100 lb.;
CTI Paper USA’s Glama Natural Red Translucent Vellum 40 lb.

Production Details

Dimensions 6.5” x 2” x 5.25” Print Quantity 68 Production Cost ~$4,000 Production Time ~6 months Printing Method Digital Number of Colors CMYK Finishing and Binding Saddle Stitching, Die Cutting, Hot Foil Stamping, Hand Assembly

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