Notebooks are one of my quieter geek obsessions. There is something pleasing about a well-made notebook, especially if it has a gorgeous cover design. I’m the sort of person who has to take a wide berth around the Moleskine stand, in order not to empty the contents of my wallet.
As somebody who likes to pretend to be a writer (total number of published works = 0), I justify the purchasing of a new notebook as a place to record ideas. This means I have a lot of blank notebooks. Despite this, a pristine unused place to muse and record my thoughts never loses its allure.
Now Bookblock has come up with a way of making the outside of your notebook as personal as the inside. Or at least, less blank.
Bookblock originally specialized in customized notebooks for businesses, but has decided to offer up their expertise for individual orders with their Bookblock Original. You can now order a fully customized notebook, unique to you. Front cover, back cover, ribbon color, elastic color, and paper type, you can choose the lot.
Bookblock offers an artwork editor, in which you can really go to town with what you want to create. You can upload images, add text, shapes, colors, and filters, in order to design your ultimate notebook. There are almost too many options, such is the system’s flexibility, especially if you’re short on time or artistically challenged like me. Never fear though, because the Bookblock team is happy to help you create your perfect cover.
Artistic creativity is not my strong point, so I wanted to create my own notebook with the minimum of fuss. In an ideal world I may have had a vintage Star Wars poster, but clearly this brings us up against copyright issues. This is something you have to bear in mind when choosing your cover design.
In the end I went for something that was personal to me, something that you don’t normally find on a notebook—a periodic table. Not just an ordinary periodic table, but a cool blue hexagonal wireframe table that reminded me of the old version of the Elite computer game.
It’s not the wildest of designs, and looking at the vibrancy the images on the Bookblock website, I can’t help thinking I could have been a little more bold, but I’m very impressed with the resulting physical notebook.
First off it feels great (notebooks are a tactile experience, after all) with soft brushed gel cover with a matte finish. The ribbon and the elastic band match the blue of the periodic table giving the notebook a homogenized feel. The elastic is perhaps a little slack; I’m not sure what repeated use might do to it. The paper inside is blank (though you can have ruled) and is of good stock. There are 192 pages and the overall dimensions of the notebook are 6″ X 8″ (15cm X 21cm).
The Bookblock is a fine notebook at an impressive price of $18 (£12, €16). Postage for one notebook to the US is about $10, and within the UK, £3. You can easily pay that sort of price for an off the shelf notebook, but here you have the opportunity to go full bespoke.
Bookblock notebooks are perfect for artists who want to quietly showcase their work: “Hey that’s a cool notebook cover, where did you get it?”, “Well, actually I drew this myself.” Another great application would be as presents for family. Why have a personalized Christmas card when you can give notebooks to all? Or better yet, don’t be restricted by the dimensions of your fridge; take your children’s artwork everywhere you go by having it converted into a notebook.
Bookblock’s notebooks are a great product, and though I have my first, I’m sure it’s not going to be my last. After all, I still have years of unstarted writing projects in front of me. You can start your own Bookblock adventure, here.
Disclosure: Bookblock sent me my own notebook for free in order to review their product.