Making Our Notebooks Essential

To create our Essential Notebooks, we considered two major factors: safe, environmentally friendly practices and classic designs. So, first, we considered the process of making  notebooks and decided to find a manufacturer that could make ones efficiently with the lowest amount of waste product. Then, we thought of simple designs that kept a classic style while still making a man’s notebook look unique. 

In an age of email and computers, it’s hard to want to create more waste than necessary. This is why our notebooks are created from 100% recycled paper from and printed using vegetable ink. These are conscious decisions to help reduce the cost of manufacturing while helping keep our environment clean. 

While it’s easy to simple say 100% recycled paper, we wanted to know what that really meant, so we did a little investigation. There are three types of paper used for recycling: mill-broke, pre-consumer, and post-consumer paper. Mill-broke is paper scraps that have never left the mill, pre-consumer are papers that are discarded before consumer use (think a newspaper that isn’t distributed), and post-consumer is material discarded by consumers, consciously recycled (old magazine, boxes, etc). We use 100% post-consumer paper sourced from Badger Paper Mill in Wisconsin. Recycled paper is extremely helpful in saving wood from needed to be used for paper. 1 ton of newsprint paper can save 1 ton of wood while 1 ton of printer/copier paper can save 2 tons of wood. 

As for ink, vegetable-based ink is much better than petroleum-based inks, by far. It is much more environmentally friendly while creating brighter, more accurate colors. As well it’s easier to recycle the paper it’s printed on. Every color is hand-mixed to the unique specifications of our manufacturer at Great Western Ink in Portland, OR. 

To create the notebooks, every detail has been specifically created to reduce waste including the size of the books to the amount of pages used.  The manufacturer uses renewable energies provided by Portland General Electric. 


The notebooks designs are made using traditional off-set printing. We created three specific designs, one blue striped, one red striped, and one blue paisley by designer Jessica Viscius. The intention was to make three classic looking notebooks that are reminiscent of a suit tie. A simple stripe with a sharp angle shows style while sticking to a conservative feel. The paisley is an all-around classic pattern that deserves great respect while intriguing the eye. We wanted created these notebooks for quick notes, looking as good in a conference room as they do in a grocery store. We think we nailed it.