The Bindery Blog

  • WWDC 12


    Apple’s annual WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) kicked off this week with big announcements regarding new software and hardware. All of us at PQ were very excited as one of those product lines we wrap in a gorgeous handmade cover, The Cartella case for Macbook Air.


    As expected, Apple gave a very in-depth preview of new features coming to iOS 6 which runs on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. They also previewed the upcoming operating system for the Mac computers, Snow Leopard. The software discussion was all prefaced by the big hardware announcements: the new standard MacBook Pro, MacBook Air (sweet!) and the gorgeous new Retina Display MacBook Pro. What a sweet piece of machinery. I was able to play with one this week at a local Apple store. It is amazingly light for such a large foot print laptop and the screen! Think gigantic iPad 3 screen! It’s awesome. We are all looking forward to seeing how the Retina displays make themselves into more of Apple’s products in the years to come, especially the MacBook Air.


    We have confirmed, the new 2012 MacBook Air 11 and 13 inch models fit PERFECT in our Cartella case. It’s hard to improve the design of this laptop, but placing it in a PQ case this classy and functional seems to add to the Air’s luster. Check out our handmade Cartella cases and enjoy the coupon code for a discount on your next order!


    Thanks for reading,


    -Mr. PQ


    (long suffering hardware purchaser)

  • Dad’s a Hero

    I saw a truck the other day that advertised “Husband for Hire”. I took down the number.  Not because I’m looking to replace Mr. PQ any time soon, but because with all of the rigors of overseeing a new company and small business, there are a few hundred tasks around the household that have been put on delay. With the exception of a backed up sewer line, most of those tasks can be stayed for the time being with little impact on the household in general. This all got me thinking of the other “for hires” I’d like access to, such as “dog for hire” because while Ari the P&Q mascot is a noble beast, she’s basically good for about a mile walk before she prostrates herself in protest and you have to carry her. “Run me to rugby practice for hire” because the oldest Quill relinquished that post last week in pursuit of senior and new job responsibilities. “Massage my neck and shoulders at a moment’s notice, for hire” would be nice, and perhaps, finally, “clean the floor around the boys toilet for hire” would round out my day.


    I did not include “clean out the wicked stench of rotting potatoes that were forgotten in the cupboard that turns into a sauna on the first hot day of spring for hire” because Mr. PQ took care of that one. “Dad’s a hero!” exclaimed the youngest Quill, which fairly well summarizes why you would never see a truck with “Dad’s for hire” emblazoned on the side. Simply put, a Dad just needs to be there, for rotten potatoes and spiders on the ceiling, ball tag in the street and dinner at 6. The list is endless, as are our thanks to all the Dads that take the time raise our next great generation.


    With Father’s Day approaching, dozens of circulars are dropping into my email enticing me with great gift ideas and things to do to celebrate the Pater Familia. We at Pad & Quill would be honored if you would consider purchasing one of our handmade bookbindery cases for iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air and the full Kindle line.


    And of course there’s a generous coupon code for our cases including the Contega. The Quills’ hero loves his, we think yours will too!


    -Mrs. PQ

  • Atlas Shrugged and the Little Quill takes over the World


    The blissful 99 days of summer are almost upon the Pad and Quill household, so it was fitting to commence an assault on my reading list over the holiday weekend. Being as I’m 44 and have never read the Ayn Rand novel, it seemed a suitable accompaniment to a 16 mile hike along the gorgeous Superior Hiking Trail. It is well known that I am a IT mental midget, so I was quite impressed with myself in making my purchase from Amazon and downloading it to my iPhone 4s and iPad. Enclosed in a P&Q Little Black Book and a Ziploc bag, the weighty novel only added a mere 8.2 ounces to my pack weight. The beauty of hiking with your iPhone 4s is that you can then add additional weightless novels, like Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel of which I understand might be all it takes to get Mr. PQ interested in hiking and camping. The remote nature of nature has many benefits.


    Closer to home, the 11 year old is looking to be promoted to crew chief of Pad & Quill fulfillment and has already submitted his work schedule and pay requirements. I predict he will be on the board by the end of the August. As he is on a forced Lego purchasing hiatus, I’ll be curious to see what acquisition he has in his sights. Given that he frequently bemoans his lack of a “serious electronic device”, my guess is that he will have secured an iPhone and full year of data service for himself before dropping in to the Junior High scene this Fall.


    Remember, no matter what your plans, a Pad & Quill bookbindery case will make your summer reads authentically enjoyable and make great graduation and Father’s day gifts!

  • The Littlest Black Book Case for iPod Nano is Shipping!


    Unbelievable. This whole project has been such a blast that I thought I would share the history of how we came to make the world’s smallest bookbindery case for the iPod Nano.


    Will B., our operations manager, brought the idea up to me as a joke about six months ago. We make the Little Black Book for the iPhone 4/4S, how about one for the smallest Apple touch device, the iPod Nano? We thought about it, laughed and then put the idea aside as the very busy holiday season of 2011 was upon PQ. In early January the idea came back and we decided, what the heck – let’s buy a Nano and see if Eric, our CNC wood cutting technician, could make a teeny tiny frame for this idea. He did, and within about 3 hours of design, the moment I held it I knew we had to do it.


    I contacted our master bookbinder who made the very first PQ case, The Case, Vol.1 back in 2010. I asked Duncan if this was a project even worth considering and he showed me a book he’d made that was half the size of the Nano case! Two weeks later we had five prototypes. We put the wood in and could not stop laughing. Words like ridiculous, hilarious and completely awesome were abounding out of everyone’s mouths. Mrs. PQ and the little Quills could not stop looking at them. The kids kept telling their friends at school about what Dad had come up with.


    Then it hit us, we love the iCade. The iCade was an April 1st joke that put out when the first iPad was released back in 2010. The iCade looked like a miniature version of the old arcade console including slots for putting in quarters. You just placed your iPad inside and boom! You had an old school arcade game. Well that became reality as thousands begged for the product to be made and you can now get one at your local Best Buy.


    Our aspirations were far smaller, but we thought April 1st of 2012 would be the perfect day to launch our Kickstarter campaign for this teeny tiny case. We made a video, had photography done and launched the product at 12:01 on April 1st, 2012. Media contacts could not tell if we were seriously releasing a product or if this was just a joke. That had to be the best part of the day, when we explained that if the backers showed up these were going into production.


    30 days later the Kickstarter campaign was completed and we raised 160% of our funding. Perfect. As of this week, Pad and Quill just got the first run of book covers into our warehouse and are installing the tiny wood frames and the micro book plates. The laughing and high fives are still occurring even as we get ready to ship these wonderful little cases. What about the Nano I bought for this project, is it in one of these? Yep, every day I carry my Nano to the gym and around on walks in the Littlest Black Book.  Does not matter how small the device is, you have to maintain style.


    Look for the Littlest Black Book to soon be available on our main site!

    - Mr. PQ

  • A New Tablet or an ‘S’ on the End?


    A new tablet or an ‘S’ on the end?


    Apple has had an interesting naming scheme when naming their new iOS products. The original iPhone was simply that, but the next version referred to the iPhone’s new cellular network update, faster processor and a changed case design, the iPhone 3G. This was followed by a 3GS which made sense as this smart phone was really just an upgrade in speed to the existing iPhone 3G. The exact same pattern came in 2010/2011 with the iPhone 4/4S.


    The iPad is in its 3rd generation. With the newest iPad, Apple chose to simply refer to the product as, well the iPad, not iPad 3. This does makes sense with the way they have named the iPod lines and makes one wonder if the iPhone 5 will follow the same pattern. Having owned the new iPad (3rd Gen) for about three months now, I wonder if the new iPad really deserved to be called the iPad 2S?


    The Retina display is gorgeous and finally getting a decent camera inside is great, but the overall speed and performance of the new iPad seems exactly the same, if not slower (gasp), than the iPad 2. I truly cannot feel the difference between the two models when using them side by side. Although the newest tablet has the fastest processor of any iPad, that speed is almost entirely used to display the very finely detailed Retina screen. This iPad just does not feel like the huge change that occurred from the iPad 1 to the iPad 2.


    Now gamers, photographers and graphic artists would likely disagree as the new Retina screen and faster processors allow for much better console-like gaming, photography viewing, editing and even finer graphics work. I guess that my excitement over the newest iPad has just diminished a bit as I’m realizing the overall function and use for my everyday tasks feels like an “S” upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a gorgeous tablet screen any day and could not be happier with my overall experience with all iPads over the past 3 years!


    At PQ we are making cases for all versions of the iPads. We have four lines devoted to the iPad 2 and iPad 3 alone! Check out the Contega, Octavo, Luxury Octavo (gorgeous genuine leather!) and the Graduate Edition for iPad 2 and iPad 3.


    Mr. PQ




  • A Graduate in the House


    We have a graduate, how did this happen? Mrs. PQ and I can hardly believe our oldest quill is graduating from high school this spring. Memories now flood my mind of holding her the moment she was born in a Minneapolis hospital, her first steps, learning to ride a bike, learning to drive a car. As I compiled a montage of her life from iPhoto for her graduation party, I was awash in a mixture of sweetness and a tinge of sorrow that my little girl is heading out of the house. She has made us proud, working alongside us through the PQ start up, really applying herself in school and most importantly becoming a woman of integrity that both her parents are very gratified to see.


    The college is set (hello scholarships!) the dorm is picked out and of course the Dad is on the hook for a new Macbook Air or Pro; I would have our daughter work on nothing less than a Mac. Of course if she had it her way, she would head south to her new digs with an iPad 3 and a Macbook. The Graduate Edition case for iPad 3 is her favorite case. She even helped pick out the colors in our current product line.


    The Graduate Edition for iPad 3 and iPad 2 is a traditional spine wrapped book made with Arrestox bindery cloth, a company that has been making book cloth for over 125 years! This case wears just like an old book, even developing a patina over time and usage. We've included all the great features of the Octavo with this case including a rugged design, magnet on/off, satin finished Baltic birch, the Sure Lock bumper system and of course the signature PQ bookmark for device removal. If you’re looking for a beautiful handmade iPad case for a graduate in your life, this case would be perfect!


    Well done dear, we love you!


    Mr. (and Mrs.) PQ

  • A Mother's Day Note from Mrs. PQ


    A Mother’s Day Note from Mrs. PQ (Editorial note: Or to-do list for Mr.PQ)
    Mother’s Day is approaching and what mom wouldn’t love a new Kindle or iPad 3? Whether you choose the basics of the Kindle Family or give the gift of surfing the web with the Kindle Fire or Apple iPad 3, Mom’s bound to be pleased with the easy portability of her new technology (unless she’s really in to trail running and actually wants a pair of Salomon S-Lab Running Gaiters to keep those pesky rocks and pebbles out of her shoes). Of course, if you do buy an Apple iPad 3 or Amazon Kindle for Mom, you will want to purchase a handmade PQ bookbindery case to protect her new device.


    At Pad and Quill, we’ve been making the case for books for almost two years now, so we know our customers love the quality leather, precision craftsmanship and stealthy book like appearance of our Octavo and Contega cases for iPad 2 and 3, Little Black Books for iPhone 4 and our full line of Kindle cases like the Kindle Firekeeper and Kindle MiniKeeper. We are pretty sure your mom would love one too (in the event she doesn’t want a Fuel Belt Hydration 4 Bottle Belt).


    Your mom loves getting out in nature too? An iPad 3 is a great way to minimize the bulk of maps, books and journals, as well as save a few trees. A Pad and Quill Graduate Edition case for iPad 3 will allow her to protect her gift while adding a mere 11 oz overall weight. Of course a Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cook Set will also help shave weight, but that would only make sense if your mom were a co-owner in a company that makes wonderful bookbindery cases for Apple and Amazon products and thereby owns a multitude of e-devices and covers…


    -Mrs. PQ

  • The Luxury of Genuine Leather


    The Octavo Luxury cases for iPad 3 and Little Luxury Books for iPhone 4/4S are shipping this week. The first batch arrived at our shipping department here on Tuesday. I could hear from the shipping area exclamations like "wow, that's amazing", "whoa", and "these are unbelievable!" Yeah I'm fairly certain that if our own team is freaking out, we have a win on our hands.


    We are so excited to bring these to our customers. These iPad and iPhone cases are crafted with very soft, stitched genuine leather and lined with deep earth tone traditional bookbindery cloth. Each one has a unique pattern and texture that can only be found in premium genuine leather. The iPad sits in a Russian Baltic birch frame that was given extra coats of satin lacquer finish to produce a furniture-like finish on all the wood. Of course the iPad case features our new Sure Lock bumper system that keeps the iPad nestled quite nicely. We are now looking at even more genuine leather designs and other product lines for later this year! Think Contega iPad cases, covers for Kindle, MacBook Air cases and more :)


    Our goal, as always, is to provide the most premium handmade cases on the market. With the Octavo Luxury case and Little Luxury Book we feel that we have achieved that objective.


    Happy Spring!


    Mr. and Mrs. PQ

    (Brian and Kari)


  • PQ News

    Stay tuned for our new product announcement this weekend on Facebook/Twitter and our main site! We are covering a whole new device with our handmade cases and we think you will find it...a little intriguing.


    Mrs. PQ and I (Kari and Brian) have been overwhelmed with the response to our new series of handmade cases for the iPad and iPhone. We take great passion in the art and design of our products that we deliver to our customers. Yet what really stokes us is the new Minneapolis jobs that are created due to your purchases. Thank you from the entire PQ shop!


    The Octavo and slightly late shipping Contega pre-orders are all shipping this week.  Graduate and Luxury Genuine Leather iPad cases are shipping soon. We’re confident that you will find the build, materials and finishing touches of our iPad cases to be industry leading and an amazing value.


    Please do not hesitate to contact us! We can be reached by phone Monday-Friday (8-5 CST) to answer questions, hear comments or take orders by phone. You can also reach us via email. Jill and Karl look forward to working with you.


    Toll Free: 1 855 PQ BOOKS




    Thanks again!


    Mr. PQ

  • The World has a lot of Great People, You Just Need to Know How to Find Them


    Last weekend Mr. PQ spent the hours of delightfully early spring working with our awesome photographer Cory, of CJ Ryan photography, capturing our new Luxury Line of the Little Black Book for iPhone 4/4s and Octavo for iPad3. Choosing wonderful locales such as the historic St. Paul Hotel and artistic Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden, the guys captured the feel and essence of our new line of products as well as adding some spring to our existing bookbindery cases. We think you will enjoy the artistry as much as you enjoy our books. In the course of hauling mountains of gear from site to site, Mr. PQ failed to notice the absence of one iPad 2 and its beautiful Octavo case. No wonder, we designed them to be sneaky like that.
    Just ask the wonderful mom of twins from Chicago who happened upon the “journal sketch pad” leaning against a park bench. As it happened, she was in town for a wedding and had taken her young family to enjoy the sculpture garden when she found our iPad. She called the next day to say she had our iPad 2 and ask how she could return it to us. She even felt badly that she had forgotten about it until she unpacked the Octavo Monday morning. While Mr. and Mrs. PQ in dismay had feared the worst, it was the great Chicago Mom who reminded us there are a lot of great people in the world.
    -Mrs. PQ

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