There’s dirty clothes on my bathroom floor. It’s Tuesday and the cupboards are bare having been over a week since I’ve done any grocery shopping. I have dating profiles on half a dozen sites getting zero hits and there are expensive pieces of maple and walnut in the garage waiting for me to turn them into a guitar. To add further insult to injury, in the span of five months I have spent $602.21 to create two Vari-Dot notebooks.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the failures, but the truth is that those two notebooks represent some success and maybe even hope for the future.
Nine book blocks sewed and glued for 5 x 7 inch books, unlikely to be used.
While waiting for screens to dry and such, I’ve been working away on this Vari-Dot book. Here’s what I’m looking to make now.
(If you’re just here for the Bullet Journal Giveaway, you have to keep scrolling a bit)
Diagram 1: Dimensions of the proposed Vari-Dot Layout book
I want a big book. Almost a sketchbook, but with more order. This is a plan for a 9 x 12 inch book with perforated pages and double wire-o binding. Not shown at this scale is the new Vari-Dot graphic that I’ve been testing. Continue reading →
If I’m serious about the possibility of making a dot grid notebook, I had to check out some others with some notebook research. These aren’t full on reviews. I don’t need to do a pen test because I’m going to have to choose paper from the ground up. What I do have to evaluate is the construction, dimensions, and general usability. For my test I chose notebooks from Leuchtturm, Miliko, Muji, and Northbooks.
Top to bottom: Miliko, Northbooks, Leuchtturm1917, Muji. Digital caliper is ready for some serious notebook research.
Leuchtturm 1917: A5/Ivory-ish; the darkest paper of the group
Miliko: A5/Ivory-ish; second darkest
Muji: A5/Off white; lightest in the group
Northbooks: 5 x 8 inches/Off white, between Miliko and Muji in color
All but the Northbooks are A5, though they do make A5 versions. Honestly I didn’t realize how non-white some of the pages were until I set them all down next to a stark white college ruled notebook. Personally I kind of like notebooks/sketchbooks/etc. to be just a little bit off white. I think on a subconscious level most people do. Have you ever painted the walls of a room with white ceiling paint? Even in printmaking if I can find white cover stock that is around 96 brightness instead of 98, that’s what I prefer to use.
Today I’m going to share the details (and download) of my latest idea, the Variable Size Dot Grid Notebook.
I’ve always liked stationery and office supplies. With this particular idea, I asked myself if I were going to have a store and offer just one line of notebooks, what would be the best notebook line to carry? There’s lots of great notebooks out there, but eventually it led to me designing what would be the best notebook for me.
Now everyone has different needs and wants from a notebook, so there is no one perfect model or brand. One size does not fit all. Still, I’m pretty pleased with the idea I’ve come up with.
First, I like a dot grid layout. As near as I can tell it was first introduced by Rhodia in 2010. In hindsight it seems like such an obvious innovation that it’s difficult to believe it has been around for just seven years. Still, I feel like there’s room for improvement within the dot grid. Here’s what I came up with.
The Variable Size Dot Grid Explained
Zoomed in example of a Variable Size Dot Grid layout.
The Primary Dot: It measures 0.4mm in diameter, which is a bit smaller than many others notebooks. The Primary Dot composes the standard grid on most dot grid notebooks. Continue reading →