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Custom Notebooks Hand Crafted by imakenotebooks.com


New Yankee Stadium Photographed from Inside Old Yankee Stadium on the Last Regular Season Game

We were recently contacted by Marcela from imakenotebooks.com to see if we wanted to take a look at her hand made notebooks with custom covers made from any pictures we wanted.  Only a fool would turn down that offer, so I jumped at the chance to review these.  Above is my original picture sent to Marcela for  one of the notebook covers.  It’s a picture from when I was inside the old Yankee Stadium during the last home game, and in background you can see the completed New Yankee Stadium.


The Back Side of the imakenotebooks.com Wrapper

Before we look at the notebook itself, the packaging deserves a little bit of attention.  I was particularly amused with the imakenotebooks.com handmade notebook when I flipped it over to see the back of the label where it reads:

“not made in china – produced one by one while listening to good music”

There is something much more charming and appealing about the small boutique type product, especially with something as personal as a notebook.  I couldn’t help but check with Marcela on her musical influences so for those of you who want to know what music might be playing while your new notebook is being brought to life here is what she had to say.  She listed a few very soothing and relaxing artists such as Bon Iver, Cinematic Orchestra, Regina Spektor, and Olafur Arnalds.  She also listed some more upbeat artists such as Kevin Johansen and Lisandro Aristimuño.  Admittedly they are almost all new to me, but after perusing YouTube for these artists I was very pleasantly surprised, and am happy to have some new additions to my play list.   I would definitely recommend you take a listen to see for yourself though.  Lets get back to the notebooks though, shall we?


imakenotebooks Large Notebook Front and Back Cove

As you can see, here is the final product using the above image as the cover for my new notebook, and personally I think it looks amazing.  The image is nicely centered and wraps around both the front and back of the hard cover notebook.  This particular hard cover version measures 4.25 inches by 6.75 inches.  All of the notebooks are hand made with 90gsm recycled paper, which we will take a MUCH closer look at in a moment.  When you look closely at the notebook you can see the craftsman…err, craftswomanship if thats a word.  This isn’t the super clean cut, perfectly edged notebook from a global manufacturer, its an obviously hand crafted item, but one thats been hand crafted with love and a passion for producing a great looking product.  These notebooks all seem to have a personality of their own, instead of being a generic carbon copy like so many others that are mass produced using questionable methods over in China and similar places.


Close up of the imakenotebooks recycled paper – here is some of that personality I was just talking about.

The custom made notebooks are actually hand made and have an amazing industrial yet crafty look and feel to them.  Above is a random speck of what looks like newspaper or magazine print that I found on one of the pages of my notebooks.  This was the only spot like this that I found in my notebook, so its not something you see all over.  I do like it though, I think that it shows this is obviously some recycled paper but also gives it a very raw and earthy feel.  To me this just adds a ton of personality to a an already custom and handmade product.  Besides that one small speck you also see some other random bits of pulp and such in the pages, but none of it is raised so it wont impact your writing.  They are just a nice visual accent on the pages here and there.


imakenotebooks.com Medium and Small Notebooks

Two other custom notebooks that Marcela crafted for me were made with our website logo on the front, and also the url in small unassuming text on the back cover.  The medium size softer cover notebook on the left measures 4.125 inches by 6.75 inches while its smaller counterpart is 3.5 inches by 5.25 inches.


The imakenotebooks twine binding

Another nice touch on these custom notebooks is the twine binding that runs through the spine on the pocket versions.  You can really only see it when the notebook is opened, as it is completely covered on the outside of the spine.  Again, this is a nice plus to me that gives the notebook some character.  Oh, and a quick side note, each of the hard cover notebooks take Marcela about 45 minutes to make, while the smaller soft cover pocket versions take about 25 minutes.


The imakenotebooks Writing Sample

By now you are probably wondering what the writing experience is like inside of these custom notebooks.  I have to tell you I was incredibly hesitant to write in them because they just look so fantastic and are one of a kind items that commemorate some things that are near and dear to me such as this blog and Yankee Stadium.  I finally broke down to do some writing in one of them and the results were definitely better than I had anticipated.

I tested the paper using a fountain pen, Sharpie Pen, bybrid ink pen, and a mechanical pencil and its eraser.  The paper held up very nicely to all of these writing implements and also didn’t erode or show wear when I erased the three different intensities of pencil shading.  None of the ink showed characteristic of feathering or bleeding on this paper, and the show-through from each was pretty minimal.  Any show-through was also subtly and nicely camouflaged by some of the aforementioned imperfections in the paper.  One characteristic to be aware of with this paper though is that it is a little bit rough when writing with a fountain pen, so if you like paper that is toothy, that is what you are getting here.  Personally I enjoy a smoother paper, but this is honestly a nice change of pace.


Some more colorful custom notebooks from imakenotebooks.com – borrowed from their Instagram page

Bottom line is that these are really awesome notebooks that would make a great gift for you or someone else, and also would be great for marketing your own business.  Besides the fact that they are so personalized because of your ability to select your favorite image, they are also just a well crafted product.  Its not often that you can get a product that is custom made for you, and the fact that it performs this well and is such a pleasure to use is just icing on the cake.  You can order your own custom notebooks by contacting Marcella from imakenotebooks.com via email which is in the image on the website if you click that link.  It would be bad anti-spammer etiquette to publish the full email in text here, but its a gmail address that has the name of the company before the @gmail. simple-smile-8027550  You can also connect with them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

©2015, Brian Greene. All rights reserved.


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