The best journal money can buy. Why you ask? Well, let's talk about how we got here.
The main event. 80 pound, Vellum, and the finest journal paper there is. Why is this is the best paper? I'm glad you asked.
Paper weight is defined by how much a ream (500 sheets) of 25"x38" paper weighs. This varies due to the thickness of the paper. Your standard printer paper is 50lb and goes up to 120lb. Too thick and it flips like a new deck of cards. Too thin and you are writing on tissue paper. 80lb paper gives you the best of both worlds.
Paper feel has three main groups, Ultra-Smooth, Smooth and Vellum. Ultra-Smooth is like glass and not very porous. This is the paper you write on and the ink just sits on the page for your hand to smudge a minute later. Smooth is your standard paper, it takes ink moderately well and feels like paper. It's the disappointment of ordinary. Then, you have Vellum. Vellum is rough like a farmers hands. It soaks up ink and has a tooth to it that feels like a well-worn beloved book. This is what we all want to write on.
Paper color is white, but just to make it complicated, there are all sorts of white. Ultra white blinds you when you try to write in direct sunlight, natural white is about yellow. We use a neutral white, not bright, not yellow. Appealing to the eye and easy on it.
We found Astrolite 80lb Vellum to be the ideal paper for a journal.
Astrolite is manufactured by the Monadnock Paper Company in a small town in southwestern New Hampshire. Monadnock is an eco-friendly mill and Astrolite is Forest Stewardship Council Certified and manufactured carbon neutral (VERs) using 100 percent renewable Green-e certified wind powered electricity (RECs) under a third-party certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Basically, paper done right.
Those little lines that guide your writing? Ever thought about them? We have.
For the ideal writing experience, we only print on the right-hand page leaving the left open for notes, bullets, drawings or anything you can imagine. Rather than stuff words on every side of every page, this allows your work to breathe. Giving space of notes and edits later on without cluttering the margins.
Our journals come in two varieties, ruled and dotted. For our ruled pages we wanted these guidelines to be distinct while you are writing, but not too bold where they interfere with reading. We print these lines in a Pantone Cool Gray 1 ink. It's a perfect balance.
For our dotted pages, with less ink on the page, we needed a darker ink. We found Pantone Cool Gray 8 to be a better option for the dot grid layout that allowed the dots to stand out on a blank page, but disappear while reading.
The pages are printed on a Heidelberg Offset Printer and cut and folded into the sheets you see in our books.
To create the perfect journal we wanted three things. It needed to lay flat from start to finish, bend like a journal and not stiff like a book and feel like that old book that you couldn't put down.
Over the last century, humans have created many ways to hold pages together into a book. Surprisingly, the best way is still with a needle and thread.
Our journals are Smyth Sewn. After printing, the larger sheets are cut into four smaller sheets and folded to create a signature. Ten signatures are then sewn together to make the inside of the book. This binding process is ideal for journals as it allows the book to lie flat at the natural breaks between signatures.
The signatures are then glued to the heavier cover stock that holds everything together. Generally, for clothbound books, the signatures are glued to the cloth board, but this creates a book with a stiff opening. Good for novels, not for journals.
Instead, we glue two cloth panels to the front and the back of the cover stock. This creates a nice cloth feel and gives the book some structure, but by exposing the spine, allows the book to lie flat at the beginning and the end.
The finished product is quite special.