Portfolios for photographers, designers, and conservators.


It feels deceptively like summer here in Portland, Oregon. Like the cherry blossoms dotting the city, we've been sitting pretty under tranquil festoons of productivity.

This season we are debuting two specialized portfolio products: a book or a box to house your creative endeavors. 



Each is suited to different applications, with a small variety of elements to customize.

Please send us your questions with ideas or needs.

Pssst, we're working on a new website to launch later this fall. Keep your eyes peeled for the change brewing in our SE Portland studio!

Custom Portfolios for Creatives

Portfolio Boxes for Designers, Architects, & Photographers

Why is a custom portfolio right for you? In this day and age the packaging is just as important as the product inside -- first impressions separate the wheat from the chaff.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a student entering the workforce, the best way to feature your body of work is with a presentation piece made especially to house it. 

Open Bookcloth Clamshell for Long Stitch Album
Open Bookcloth Clamshell for Long Stitch Album

Memory Box with Custom Compartments

Navy Clamshell for Winery
Portfolio with Cedar Cover Coptic Bound

Also key to your presentation are high quality prints of your work. We work exclusively with experts Pushdot Studio and Stevens IS for our clients' digital printing needs.

Contact us with any questions about the materials we source, optional add-ons, or any other ideas you might have that will distinguish your work as the crème de la crème. We are happy to assist you in the pursuit of your dream job!

"I got an internship with the very first firm I applied to because of the awesome work you guys did on my portfolios."

- Matt F.

Happy New Year / New Silkscreening Service

Silkscreened Logo on Portfolio

Silkscreened Logo on Portfolio

We trust you rang in 2015 with both style & intention. Here at HSS we’ve got our own tradition on New Year's Day - finding the nearest freezing body of water and jumping in whole hog! Only the brave Molly made good this year, but hey, Chinese New Year 

is just around the corner for those of us with, uh...cold feet. In any case, we are back in the studio and excited to provide you both style AND intention with this exciting announcement of our new custom service…


We have now partnered up in order to provide you with yet another custom service for your bindery needs! Have a company logo or a dreamy pattern for your custom book or box? Silkscreening on our products starts at $150.00. 

This option adds a uniquely dimensional quality to enhance the structure and character of your custom book or box. Check out our past client samples below. Truly we are thankful to start this year off by expanding our services. As always, if you have any questions feel free to send us a line.


Leather Wine Menu Cover

Graphic Design Silkscreened Portfolio Logo
Graphic Design Silkscreened Portfolio Logo

Small Edition of Hand Bound Books

Short Run Of Books Printed and Bound in Portland, Oregon

We love working with clients to build fine, custom hand-bound books. We specialize in exposed spine stitching, and can add debossing, screenprinting, and letterpress artwork to book covers. (Please contact us for further details if you have a project. See our FAQ page for general pricing and turnaround time.)

The project below was for the 100th anniversary of the local electrician's union. They asked us to build 20 books that included the history of their organization. We used black thread in a long stitch style to bind the pages, which were printed by local shop Bridgetown Printing. Within a recess on the cover is a plaque letterpress printed by KeeganMeegan & Co.

Edition of 20 Hand Bound Books

Custom Hand Bound Book Detail

Union Letterpress Logo On Book Cover

Order Small Edition of Hand Bound Books



See Other Binding StylesView Other Custom WorkSee Logos on Book Covers



Heirloom Photo Presentation Box

A Personal, Timeless Gift

We were recently asked to build an incredible keepsake for a former First Lady. What an honor. Our client wanted to collect photos of the First Lady's experiences around the world, and preserve them in an archival, handmade album. Since the photos were going to be large and many, we ultimately chose to build a clamshell box. The box provides a stunning way to showcase the photos, and allows the viewer to hold and experience each photo individually.

Watching the First Lady carefully view each photo and talk about the experience it represented was truly memorable. We were so thankful to work on this, and to have a client who values and supports our craft. Thank you also, to Pushdot Studio, for their incredible work on the image printing.

Heirloom Photo Presentation Box Photo Presentation Keepsake Box Hand Crafted Fine Photo Presentation Fine Photo Album Alternative

View Custom Work Shop Clamshell BoxesMore About Boxes



Blind Debossing Books in Portland

Logos Imprinted on Book Covers

If custom made books are great, then personalized books are excellent! Here at HSS we have a handy Kwikprint Foil Stamper (named Winston), which we use to imprint logos and names on book covers (sorry, we are not able to deboss on any other items). We recently completed a job for R/West printing Bridgeport Brewing logos on beer journals. Our own debossed branding and a portrait of Winston are also below. Have a look!

Blind Deboss Book Cover

deboss on book cover portland

Foil Stamping in Portland

Contact us if you're interested in having us blind deboss for you. See more debossing samples in the Personalization section of our Gallery.



Our Family Has Grown

Please pardon the blog hiatus...

It has been a bit since I've updated our blog -- in August I gave birth to a baby boy. While Molly has continued cutting, sewing, tearing, binding, gluing, and shipping, I have been busy changing, burping, feeding, playing, and -- mostly-- adjusting.

But we are still busy here at the studio, and we are still making a shipping orders across the world. So this is just a quick "Hello! We're still around! We still love what we do! And our family has grown."

HSS Baby

(P.S. This little boy shows remarkable dexterity -- he'll be sewing books with us in no time.)



Custom Book Cloth Colors

New Colors for Custom Albums, Portfolios, and Boxes

We're excited to announce that we've recently added ten, count 'em, TEN new cloth colors to our product line. These cloths are our "Professional Palette," and are perfect for post-bound portfolios, or for a clean, simple finish on photo albums:

Book cloth portfolio swatches

For comparison, our existing colors, in our "Heirloom," "Nautral," and "Baby" palette are below:

Natural book colors

Bookcloth colors


All of our online products are now available in any of these colors. Woo hoo!

Shop PortfoliosShop Photo AlbumsShop Baby Book

Album for Family Portraits

Handmade Album for Professional Portrait Session

In celebration of her husband Bob's 70th birthday, Linda J. set up a portrait session for their family with Ann Arbor photographer John Shultz. After the session, she contacted us here at HSS to build albums to hold the family's favorite portraits from the sitting. She chose our trifold albums to hold the photos, and let each household choose the cloth and thread colors they liked best for their album. We then built the albums, mounted the photos, and shipped each album off to its respective new home. Have a look:


Personalized Photo Album    Albums for Family Members

Family Portrait Album

Album for Family Photos    Family Portrait Album


What a great way to preserve these wonderful pictures. Thank you for working with us, Linda!

Shop Photo AlbumsWedding Album with Photo PrintsAnniversary Album

Graphic Design Portfolio

Portfolio for Portland Design Student

We recently completed a portfolio for Chloe Fields, a local design student. She wanted something that complemented her work and gave her sophomore design portfolio a polished look. We think the simplicity of the portfolio design really lets her work shine. And shine it does! This gal is going places. Have a look:

Graphic Design Portfolio

Personalized Portfolio Book    Typography Potfolio

Post Bound Portfolio    Design Portfolio Book

Nice work, Chloe!

Shop Custom PortfoliosArchitect PortfoliosCustom Portfolios in our Gallery



Portfolio Cover Inset

Digitally Printed Insets on Custom Portfolios

When our clients want clean, professional personalization, we often create digitally printed inserts on portfolios and books. To do this, we carve out a section of the bookboard before we glue the cover cloth in place. Our clients can then print their logo or artwork onto cardstock, and we can secure it into place on the book's cover. The recessed area provides a frame for the printed card, but also added protection against fingerprints and repeated viewings.

Have a look:

recessed window portfolio

personalized portfolio

design portfolio digital plaque

Simple, yet elegant!

Shop for Portfolios, See Blind Debossing on Portfolios, Book and Portfolio Structures


Personalized Custom Portfolios

Blind Debossing on Portfolios

We're so happy to be adding custom blind debossing to our list of services! We can now print your design or logo directly into our portfolio and book covers. We've added this service especially for our photographer, architect, and designer clients, who can now order portfolios through our online shop. The process of blind debossing works like this:

  • You supply your artwork in PDF format
  • We create a magnesium die from your design
  • We use a hot foil stamping machine to heat the die, then press the design into your book cover

While initial setup fees for blind debossing are expensive, price per piece goes down as quantity increases. And just look at the lovely results:


Blind Deboss on Design Portfolio


Blind Debossing Detail

Portfolio Blind Deboss Detail

Custom Design Portfolio

 Shop Portfolios, Completed Design Portfolio, Architect Portfolio

Clamshell Boxes

Clamshell boxes (sometimes known as Solander cases) are book-form cases traditionally used to store precious books, manuscripts, maps, and are often used by archivists and libraries. Our clamshell boxes provide a stunning display element for your albums and books, and also protect their contents from dirt, dust, and light. We make them in all of our cloth colors, and you can order them with or without a personalized letterpress printed plaque. wedding-guest-book-with-clamshell-box clamshell-hinge-detail clamshell-box-hinge-detail

An example of a custom clamshell box built to display fine letterpress invitations:


What are slipcases? Shop Clamshell Boxes {Contact us to inquire about custom-sized clamshell boxes.}


Our slipcases are five-sided boxes into which you can "slip" your album or book. They add a valuable layer of protection against dirt and dust, and can coordinate nicely with your book's design. Our slipcases come in five sizes, all the same cloth colors as our albums and books, and can be ordered with or without a personalized plaque. 7x7 book with slipcase slipcase edge detail10-Square-Slipcase

Well then, what are clamshell boxes? {Contact us to enquire about custom-sized slipcases.}


Square Wedding Albums

A Perfectly Sized Album in Many Colors

Lately our clients seem to be ordering the 10 x 10 album more than any of our other books. The size is great -- big enough to hold multiple 4x6's per page, yet small enough to fit comfortably on your lap. Below are some of the recent variations we've made:

Set of three albums, each in a different color: (rye, quinoa, birch)

custom wedding albums and parent albums

Variation bound with ribbon:

elegant wedding album archival wedding album ribbon

Variation bound in black leather:

Leather photo album

Other color variations:

lovely wedding album cream album brown accents



Shop Photo Albums and Guest   BooksWedding Album with Photos InsideHow to Care for you Photo Albums


Fine Art Wedding Album

Elegant, Archival Wedding Album

When an out-of-state client asked us to help her create an elegant, archival album with printed pages, we knew just who to send her to for page printing. Pushdot Studio right here in Portland does the most gorgeous fine-art page printing we've seen, and this book was no exception. The client provided the page layout to Pushdot, they did their printing magic, and we transformed the pages into a custom ribbon-bound album with a personalized letterpress plaque and slipcase. It's one of our favorite pieces we've made this year, thanks to a great client and great collaboration.


 ribbon bound wedding album

fine art wedding album

See also: A Wedding Album with Photo PrintsOur Most Popular Wedding Album •  A Variety of Other Albums and Boxes



Custom Portfolio, Made in Portland

Design Portfolio for Creative Agency

We love working with designers and other creative people: they often know what they want, and their finished products tend to come out even better than we first imagined. Take this post bound portfolio for Magmatic NW. They wanted a book they could take with them to show potential clients. They needed it to be large enough to showcase the work, have screwposts so pages could be added and changed easily, and to fit with their aesthetic:

design portfolio custom


custom post portfolio

They were pleased with the result, and so were we. We're planning to add a line of made-to-order portfolios to our site in early 2013. Until then, check out this custom graphic design portfolio,  custom made clamshell boxes to hold various portfolios, and a few other presentation pieces for architects, photographers and designers.


Birthday Invite Booklets

Picture Book Birthday Invites

We just finished up these adorable little fifth birthday party invites (they're based on mini photo books we've made in the past.) Each page of these books has a picture depicting the birthday boy at age 1, then 2, then 3... The last page includes the 5th year picture and the invitation to the party! Each booklet slips inside an envelope to be sent to party guests. We were happy to make them and LOVE the results. Take a look!

photo booklet invite

cute fifth birthday invite

How to celebrate 50 years. High school senior portrait album.

50th Anniversary Album

Memorable 50th Anniversary Gift

Our friend Josh recently asked us to make a 50th wedding anniversary album for his parents. We then had the pleasure of meeting his folks when they visited our studio yesterday. They brought along their album, which had been filled with photos from their years together, including their recent family trip to Italy. We were thrilled to see an HSS album full of such wonderful memories. Thanks so much for visiting, Ed & Joni!

50th Anniversary Album

Photos were put into the album by a family member (who did a great job, we think.)

Album for Photos

Ahh, notice how the album covers sit parallel when the book is full. We love full books!

Unique Custom Photo Album

The album with its protective slipcase:

Elegant Photo Album Slipcase

Want more? See this size album in our online shop. View a different album full of photos: a wedding album, or a senior portrait session.

Personalized Guest Book

Guest Books for Weddings, Memorials, Anniversaries, and More

When wedding season comes around, we find ourselves making more guest books. We think, though, that guest books are also a great way to preserve memories and personal notes from any event.

What to look for in a guest book:

  • Do you want your guest book to last? Opt for archival materials.
  • Choose a book with matte pages. Shiny pages are more likely to smear.
  • Personalization! A guest book with your name on it is extra special.
  • We like books that lie flat when opened (that's what we typically make.)
  • Match your event. An elegant event deserves an elegant, coordinating guest book.

We really like guest books with blank pages, as they leave room for notes and even drawings:


We also just added a guest book with lined pages to our website. This offers a little more structure, and can be great for larger events, or times when you want to collect guests' addresses:


If you'd like to add photos to your guest book, choose a book with enough room to add content so the pages don't fan out. (You're really better off going with a photo album for this.)

square photo album trifold

Or perhaps you're interested in a completely custom guest book. Whatever you choose, we think a great guest book is a wonderful memento.