Blog — behind the scenes


Content Magazine SlimFold Feature

Having my own studio space has not only helped with productivity, but since it’s located in a larger shared space, I’ve been able to connect with other Bay Area artists and makers. Through the course of being involved in that community I’m thrilled to share that SlimFold is featured in the current issue of Content Magazine!

SlimFold Minimalist Wallets Featured in Content Magazine

Each time they publish an issue, they have a “Pick-up Party” to celebrate the release, allow subscribers to get their copies, and meet the folks featured in the issue. It was a lot of fun to attend last week and meet some customers as well as other artists and designers.

Pick-up Party at the Improv

I honestly hadn't read a physical magazine in a long while but really enjoyed the experience of reading through all the great, well, content. It brought be back to the days when I'd devour each new issue of ID Magazine and Metropolis.

Content Magazine SlimFold Minimalist Wallet Feature

I'm a subscriber now and I hope you'll consider becoming one too.
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Introducing MONYOU Series Japanese Prints

I’m pleased to introduce the MONYOU Series- a limited edition collection of prints inspired by traditional Japanese patterns.
Monyou Japanese Prints

View MONYOU Collection

This distinct style is characterized by repeating geometric patterns which reflect those found in nature. The tradition dates back over 500 years when bold patterns were needed on flags to distinguish different groups on the battlefield from a distance. From there, they began to be used as family crests and as motifs on crafts.

Modern Material with a Traditional Twist

Featuring clean lines and bold patterns, this collection is a blend of modern and traditional. For example, patterns like this would commonly be found on washi paper. The texture in this traditional paper is often visible, adding a unique character to the print. Our modern Tyvek material achieves the same effect due to the random swirls of fibers that are used to create it.

Design Process

You may not have been aware, but one of my close friends Damon has been the unofficial Creative Director for SlimFold for years. I’ve always bouncing ideas off of him and he even helped shoot our first two Kickstarter videos! I was thrilled that this year he was able to contribute in a more official capacity on several projects. When it came time to do a new print run, I offered him three slots on the press sheet as a “blank slate”. He came up with several ideas which pushed the limits of how we produce the wallets in order to achieve them.

We made no compromises to the design vision and spared no expense creating these wallets. We’ve traditionally done 1-colr print jobs and utilized screens to achieve different variations. This allowed us to use PMS spot colors and achieve colors that are deep, vibrant, and exact color matches. But these patterns required a 4-color print run. By working closely with the printer, we were able to achieve exact matches across all of the colors and still achieve the deep colors we were after.
MONYOU Flower Pattern

Next was the cutting. With the color break on the fold of the Aqua Star pattern, registration had to be perfect. I coordinated with the local die cutter before the print run to set things up so we’d have a shot at pulling it off.
MONYOU Star Pattern

View Star Pattern 

There was a very real possibility that none of these patterns turned out well once we printed them. Or that they would get destroyed in the process of cutting them. I’m happy to say that our production partners were able to deliver on all of them.

MONYOU Wave Pattern

Though Damon now lives on the East Coast and contributed his designs from afar, he was able to stop through California for a few days and we did a photo shoot together. From concept all the way to the final images, this project is Damon’s creative vision. I’m glad I could help bring it to life with this project.


The New SlimFold Studio

I’m excited to announce that SlimFold has a new home! Or at least some additional space in which to develop new products and innovate our slim wallets. Since taking the leap to go full-time, I’ve been prototyping more but also came to realize that I was making certain compromises by not having the proper space and equipment to explore ideas.

Theoretically, being in the Bay Area should be an advantage so I can leverage the capabilities of the other companies around here. But when my laser cutting vendor is also making prototypes for Google and Tesla it’s not surprising that my projects often get pushed to the back burner ;)

Light Renovation of SlimFold Studio

I actually started looking for space in the beginning of the year and the perfect opportunity came up when a local artist’s collective and school was moving into a bigger space and looking to sub-lease some of it. Since Tech Shop closed down, a lot of folks have been left without a way to create their projects and this Artist/Maker Space fills that void for many folks in San Jose. There’s a common area of tools, a laser cutter, and wood shop… but everything is more oriented around artists so they also have facilities for welding, casting, forging, and screen printing. I’ve been inspired by the folks I’ve met there so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of their creations.

Wall going up at SlimFold studio

It won’t be a retail location and I most likely won’t do any production there except small batches for beta testers to use. So signing the lease and purchasing equipment is pretty much a pure R&D investment. I’m so appreciative of all the support I’ve received so far. In many ways, if you’ve ever bought a product or backed a Kickstarter project of mine, your investment has made this studio possible.

SlimFold Studio Ready for Action
Now that the bones of the space are complete, it's a blank slate. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey and what comes from it!

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