The Notebooks

I am a collector of notebooks. Other than (cheap, usually disposable) fountain pens, they are my only indulgence, and it’s rare that I don’t come back from a journey away with a few choice notebook finds (hence my great love for Berlin, with its excellent stationers).

And so perhaps it was inevitable that, like a lover of good coffee who starts to roast his own beans, I have branched out to become a notebook maker.

The immediate stimuli were the loan of a wonderful collection of letterpress cuts from my friend Ian Scott and a snowy Sunday afternoon with Oliver and the promise that we’d “do a project together.”

So, with Oliver at my side, we combed through the cigar boxes of cuts and selected three to build notebooks around: a nice rendering of a John Deere tractor, an illustration of a young scout wearing cap and necktie, and a bold motorcar graphic with the words “This is the Law: PEI” contained within.

Yellow Car Notebook Cover Pink Scout Notebook Cover Green Tractor Notebook Cover
Driver Scout Tractor

For the cover stock I picked up a package of 65 lb. card stock in multiple neon-like colours:

Tractor Notebook Colours

Oliver and I spent the afternoon printing the covers – the graphics and “Notebook” on the front and “Printed in Charlottetown / The Reinvented Press” on the back – and then I came back last night once they had dried and took a stab at assembling them into notebooks, a process made much easier by (a) the bone folder I ordered this summer and (b) the amazing PaperPro stapler that Johnny gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

Just as I was finishing up some prototypes I got a reply to my Tweet with some photos – the “it’s the law” car in pink. 25 of them please. And so, after agreeing to terms, I spent an additional couple of hours cutting, folding and stapling notebooks; Oliver and I dropped off the order this morning and I have a cheque in hand for payment.

Concept to product to order to payment: 18 hours. Welcome to the new (old) economy.

Purple Tractor Notebook

You can order Tractor Notebooks from my Etsy shop right now; if you order this week and live in Charlottetown, I’ll drop them off at your house before Christmas.


Christine MacKinnon's picture
Christine MacKinnon on December 19, 2012 - 15:44 Permalink

Hi, I’d like to buy 3 tractor notebooks please. I’d rather pick them up and pay cash. 2 green ones and one orange please.

Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on December 19, 2012 - 15:46 Permalink

Peter, what a great story!

Oliver's picture
Oliver on February 22, 2013 - 00:25 Permalink

Hi, I’d like to buy two tractor notebooks and one driver note book.