Thursday
Aug152013

Creating a Custom Mitchell Leather Briefcase

FOR A LONG YEAR, I worked on my first book, The Sketchnote Handbook.

I spent 3 months writing my proposal and negotiating the contract, 7 months writing, sketching, illustrating, scripting and shooting the book and video. It was the hardest, most demanding project I've ever done.

When it was complete, I wanted to get something special for myself as a reward and a reminder — I chose a beautifully hand-crafted custom leather briefcase from Mitchell Leather in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

Mitchell Leather Compact Classic: Front View

A few weeks ago I picked up my completed compact briefcase, and am thrilled with the quality, the detail and of course the wonderful leather scent!

Specs & Construction

For the majority of the briefcase, I chose Horween leathers: Cognac Dublin, a medium brown leather that's tough, yet supple and classy, and for the darker highlight, Horween Brown Chromexel (CXL), also tough and beautiful. For the internal liner I chose a lighter weight tan leather, and the finishing touch — nickel-plated brass hardware for contrast.

Custom Mitchell Briefcase: Completed Parts & Pieces 8/5

Construction took about 7 months — David Mitchell's skills are so in demand, he's running a backlog for these briefcases and other leather items. You can read about David and his shop, or watch this excellent short video about him, created by my friend, Brian Artka:


The Selection & Building Process

The process began with my order. I spent time with David, selecting my leathers and hardware and telling him how I would be using the case. This case would become my daily carry-all, with enough room for my main items and that's all. I have a tendency to carry more than I need, so this was a way to limit my daily items. I have a Timbuktu backpack for heavy loads when needed.

Daily items included: a 13" MacBook Pro (or Air), power supply, a full-size iPad, one large Moleskine notebook, one or two pocket Moleskine Sketchbooks for sketchnoting events, pens and pencils, space for cords and adapters and enough room for a book, magazine or a folder of papers for projects.

The Mitchell Compact Briefcase was a perfect fit for all of the items I need to carry and nothing more.

Once I had the model, leathers, hardware choices and details settled, David took a deposit and put me on the waiting list.

Construction

In August, about 7 months later, I was curious, so I paid a visit to Mitchell Leather. David happened to be starting my case, so we went up to the factory and showed me the raw pieces, getting prepped for construction.

A week later, he sent more images as he finished the case. Here are David's photos of the case in progress:

Mitchell Compact Briefcase: Buckle Step 1

Mitchell Compact Briefcase: Buckle Step 2

Mitchell Compact Briefcase: Buckle Step 3

Mitchell Compact Briefcase: Buckle Step 4

Custom Mitchell Briefcase: Shoulder Strap Hinges

Custom Mitchell Briefcase: Completed front inside panel

Custom Mitchell Briefcase: Sewing on the pen and business card holders

Custom Mitchell Briefcase: Completed Parts & Pieces 8/5

Completion!

The final piece turned out great — colors, leather weight, and of course, that leather scent really sealed the deal.

Compact Classic Horween Cognac Dublin with Brown CXL 010 12in.jpg

Mitchell Leather Compact Classic: Interior View

If you'd like to see all of the photos from the construction process, check out the complete Mitchell Briefcase Flickr set.

Having the case for a few weeks now, I'm finding it's a perfect size for what I really need and nothing more. By getting the size just right, the case has kept my load light and manageable.

My challenge: to accept the normal wear, tear and markings on the leather that will give the case personality and character. Starting with a perfect case makes this hard, but as I see the case getting worked in, I'm loving it even more.

Wednesday
Jul242013

Window of Time

167466986125212827_471614.jpg

WE EACH HAVE A WINDOW OF TIME.

Most of the time I don't even think about the time I've spent or what's left of my life. Most days, I live in the moment.

Sometimes, when I'm having a great day, or my kids do amazing things, or I realize how much I love my wife, a fear sneaks in to ruin things. It's the fear that my window of life will close.

That sneaking, stinking fear, left unchecked, can lead to depressing thoughts. When it tries to ruin my day, I call it out.

Instead of focusing on endings, I appreciate the window of time I have left.

Instead of dwelling on mistakes, I remember what I've learned from them and how they make me better.

Instead of feeling flawed, I remember that everyone is flawed and there is beauty in imperfection.

Within my window of time I choose whether my impact on others will be positive or negative.

I hope you to fight against the fear too. Make a positive impact. Leave a beautiful life behind that inspires others to live lives fully, just as you did.

Embrace your window of time.

Monday
Jul152013

Sketchnote Typeface: MyFonts Sticker Promo

WE’RE AT NO. 40 on the Hot New Fonts List at MyFonts with The Sketchnote Typeface. Now we want to push it to the top of the list and we need your help.

To help us get there, Delve and I are offering a free Sketchnote Dingbats sticker sheet to the next 50 orders of The Sketchnote Typeface at MyFonts.com. Buyers get a little something fun and purchases can help push us to the top of the list.

Sketchnote Dingbats Sticker Sheet

The sticker sheets are UV resistant, vinyl stickers, produced by Sticker Mule. The 4x6 sheet of stickers features type tidbits as well as dingbats you can stick on your laptop, notebook, bicycle — wherever you like.

If you’ve already purchased The Sketchnote Typeface at MyFonts or directly from Delve Fonts, you also qualify for the free sticker sheet!

The Process & Rules

Here's the process and promotional rules to qualify for a free sticker sheet:

  • Purchase The Sketchnote Typeface at MyFonts.com starting July 15, 2013.
  • Any/all past Sketchnote Typeface purchasers will qualify.
  • Complete the Delve Fonts contact form (be sure to include your mailing address to qualify).
  • Indicate in the comments field where you purchased.
  • One sticker sheet per customer.
  • Sticker sheets will be mailed out via USPS in approximately two weeks.
  • Postage is included (no charge to you).

Request Your Sticker Sheet Today!

We’re very excited about getting these sticker sheets out to you, so pick up your copy of the Sketchnote Typeface at MyFonts and enter your info to claim your sticker sheet at the Delve contact form today!

Sketchnote Typeface Interview w/ Delve & Mike on CMD+Space #51

Delve and I were guests on Myke Hurley's 5by5 Network show, CMD+Space last week. We had an hour to talk about how we created the font, tools and processes we've used and to answer some questions for Myke and his listeners.

NewImage

CMD+Space #51: Creating a Typeface, with Mike Rohde & Delve Withrington

July 10, 2013 at 4:00pm • 53 minutes
This week Myke is joined by Mike Rohde and Delve Withrington. They discuss what it takes to build a typeface.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support — we really appreciate it!

Wednesday
Jul102013

World Domination Summit: 2013 Sketchnotes

Espresso at Case Study Coffee at WDS2013

THIS WEEKEND I was in Portland, Oregon, enjoying my first World Domination Summit, sketchnoting the event for my friend and organizer Chris Guillebeau.

I spent the weekend capturing my experience around the event as well as the event's speakers as a visual record of WDS from my own perspective, that I could share with my fellow attendees.

You'll hopefully see the fun and inspiration of the experience and speakers. I felt a strong sense of community in this group, even though it was my first time with many of them. I had a fantastic experience.

The Complete Sketchnote Set

UPDATE: I've now gathered all 42 pages of my sketchnotes into a letter-sized PDF file for your enjoyment. Grab a copy and view my sketchnotes on an iPad, iPhone, Android or other device that can read PDF files:

Download: WDS SKetchnotes (3.6 MB PDF)

Also, all 42 pages of my sketchnotes have posted below. See more images my WDS2013 Flickr set including a few photos. Enjoy!

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-01-02

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-03-04

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-05-06

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-07-08

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-09-10

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-11-12

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-13-14

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-15-16

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-17-18

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-19-20

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-21-22

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-23-24

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-25-26

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-27-28

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-29-30

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-31-32

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-33-34

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-35-36

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-37-38

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-39-40

WDS2013-Sketchnotes-41-42

Thursday
Jul042013

Sketchnoting World Domination Summit 2013

ON FRIDAY I will leave very early in the morning for Portland, Oregon and my friend Chris Guillebeau's World Domination Summit. I've heard about Chris' amazing event for years — now I'll have a chance to experience it for myself.

I'll of course be sketchnoting the talks at the event, but I'm going to push my sketchnoting farther, capturing the travel and overall experience of being at the event — like I did for SXSW 2010:

SXSW Interactive 2010: On the Plane / In Austin

I'll be posting my sketchnotes to Flickr, Instagram and Twitter with my iPhone camera during the weekend, so follow me there to see those as they go up.

If you happen to be attending WDS 2013 in Portland this weekend — say hello!

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