Side Project: Hand Altered and Screen Printed MUJI Notebooks

Muji A6 Notebook with updated cover

Muji A6 Notebook with updated cover

The thing with doing art is it requires a good amount of focus. It’s easy to get sucked into side projects and I have been trying to get away from ┬áhaving too many things going on at once. Sometimes it is unavoidable. In the case of the motorcycle print I simply don’t have the tools and ink on hand to do the whole job right now. I could write an update about the fine tuning of pixels in Photoshop, but there really isn’t much to see. So over the weekend I set to work on a quick prototyping of a custom MUJI A6 Blank Notebook.

I’m only recently learning about MUJI. In addition to notebooks, they offer a wide variety of products. Their current marketing campaign is “MUJI is Enough”. When I read the What is Muji? section on their website it really resonated with me. We don’t have many companies like that in the US and the ones that exist do not offer such a wide range of products.

Three Muji A6 Blank Notebooks

Three Muji A6 Blank Notebooks

So why notebooks? I’ve been thinking about what else I could offer in terms of art products. Writing in notebooks and journals is one of those habits of highly successful people. Moleskine books are nice, but can be a little bulky and expensive. Sometimes if a thing costs too much I’m afraid to use it. The MUJI notebooks are overall a good value, but I have some other contenders to try out in the future.

My eventual goal would be to rig up a jig and print directly onto notebooks or alternatively to print the covers for my own handmade journals and notebooks. For the purposes of this experiment I simply glued two cover halves to the front and back.

Covers glued onto MUJI notebook

Front and back covers glued onto MUJI Notebook with sticker replaced

Overall it turned out okay, but not okay enough that I would sell this version to someone else. This has become my daily record keeper. The covers are from a test print featuring some screens from the Silo and a screen from my recent experimental piece.

For kicks I replaced the iconic MUJI sticker. I almost feel like I’ve done their beautiful product a disservice as my aesthetic is antithetical to their design practices, but this won’t be in any hands other than mine.

Notebook after one day in pocket

Breaking in the notebook

And here it is after spending one evening in my back pocket. It’s breaking in nicely. It’s nice being unafraid to use a nice thing and break it in.

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