Valentine’s Day approaches. You can’t give them chocolates because they are on a diet. Flowers die so quickly. Tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway? Yeah, right! Why not try Grids & Guides (Red): A Notebook for Visual Thinkers instead? This type of gift says,”I know you are a creative, thoughtful person, who needs to express yourself. Write it down, then share it with me later over cavier and souffles.” Or something like that. Ideal for architects, designers, or anyone who likes to sketch, the 160-page, cloth-wrapped notebook includes eight repeating graph paper patterns (including some new grid designs) and a variety of useful charts covering knot-tying, logic expressions, perspective projection, a world map, and more. $16.95 from Princeton Architectural Press and other book sellers. Images courtesy Princeton Architectural Press.
Brooklyn-based Aminimal Studio is a collaboration between American-born John Briscella and Russian-born Svetlana Blum Briscella. According to the pair, “We research complex systems, phenomena in nature, and urban chaos as an approach to design jewelry, lighting, and products with the intention of influencing the architectonic spaces that our designs inhabit.” The Field Test jewelry collection was designed around the premise of structures found in magnetic fields. Showcased at last winter’s Gift Fair in New York City, the lightweight forms are created by rapid prototyping and simulate experiments with B-Field lines. Other pieces from the duo include laser-cut earrings and necklaces, and a notebook, cork board, and clock that explore the patterns of different city grids. At a moment when maps are increasingly digital, it’s a nice to see our city streets in solid form once again. Prices range from $25-$110 U.S. for the jewelry; Urban Gridded Notebook is $25.
Family-owned and operated since 1949, Michael Roger Press produces a large selection of journals, sketchbooks, and other stationery products that are mostly handmade in small quantities at their factory in Middlesex, New Jersey. If you are looking for something to help your favorite student stand out at school this year, you might like these 100% recycled Decomposition Books from the Press, a new take on the classic black and white marble composition book. The Honeycomb book features a hexagonal honeycomb pattern printed in black soy ink on raw orange board (I can see kids obsessively filling in the little honeycombs when they get bored in class). Other styles in the line include the minty-green Parsley, the brand new Topographical Map, Woodgrain, and Cherry Blossom. All of the notebooks are made in the U.S. from biogas-derived energy. If you were trying to impress your classmates (or teacher), which one would you choose?
Designers Trevor Coghill and Nathan Lee of the Vancouver-based design firm Contexture Design have introduced a new line of modern, eco-friendly products made of recycled and reclaimed materials. The new line includes the Pollen Nation mobile that is laser-cut from recycled paper and salvaged agriculture maps, a toy glider inspired by ’50s era balsa wood gliders, a “Mapbook” notebook, and Cutout Cards. Although it’s not brand new, one of my favorite items from the collection is the Coffee Cuff. This helpful little accessory can go from arm candy to coffee sleeve in an instant, and is handmade from reclaimed architectural veneer offcuts.
Designed and distributed by Ellen and Matt Dudley, a New York-based husband and wife book-production and design team, the RevolveR line is another little gem I found walking the aisles of last month’s BookExpo America show in New York City. This magical little multi-tasking journal features a patent-pending binding technique that allows you to literally turn it inside-out and back again by way of a floating spine. Besides being a great conversation starter (attention singles!) the notebook’s dual personality allows you to keep track of two projects — love poems, sketches at the museum, a list of things to do before you die — neatly inside the same book. The original RevolveR comes in two sizes and features a cover made of FSC-certified material (meaning the paper was produced sustainably) containing 64 lined and 64 blank pages printed on 100 percent recycled paper. It comes in several color combos, depending on the size. The new RevolveR Sketch edition features 80 blank pages of acid-free white paper that flips to 80 pages of a paper with a dotted …
I spotted these unassuming letter-pressed notebooks at last month’s BookExpo America show in New York City. Designed and manufactured by Art House Co-op in Brooklyn, New York, each piece in the Pocket Dept. notebook line features 35 pages of unlined, high-quality paper that is perfect-bound for durability. When it comes to petite notebooks, I’m a Moleskine addict myself, but I like the vintage, muted colors of this line and the handmade quality that makes whatever you are jotting down that much more classy. The line’s Name, Date, Place series includes the Back Pocket ($8.00), the Shirt Pocket ($10.00), the Backpack Pocket ($11.00), and the Messenger Bag Pocket ($12.00).