I’m sure I am not the only one out there with more blank books than ideas to fill them and I thought it would be fun to share a few acquired while I was in Seoul about a year ago now. If you are not familiar with Korean stationery you are missing out. It is among the most creative I have seen available anywhere else in the world, aside from Japan perhaps which also has its fare share of wonderful blanks and the best pens around. I see design blogs post images of clever blank books sometimes and I can not help but but wonder if the rest of the world will ever really catch up to the brilliant offerings I have seen from South Korea. Only problem I suppose is that its near impossible to find these wonderful items for sale anywhere else. A couple of the books pictured below I have not used simply because it seems like a crime to defile such lovely books with my tiny handwriting but I’m sure with time these pages will find their way under my pen.
Although not pictured here in this post my favorite Korean stationery is easily that made by a company called MMMG (Millimeter Milligram) which makes a never ending evolution of creative stationary using simple geometric shapes and figures with just a hint of simplified english statements and ideas thrown in which are dripping with cleverness and charm. They have an amazing Café in Seoul (Don’t even get me started on the amazing coffee shop culture in Seoul heh) that doubles as their offices and shop but currently do not ship overseas but it seems they could one day expand to include international orders. I can only hope. You can see their products on their site at mmmg.net.
Anyways, I figured I would pull out a few of my favorite blank books and casually snap a few images to share with everyone. I would offer up a couple as desktops if I had the time but I figured I would gauge the interest first, otherwise click through the read more link to see the lovely books.
The cover reads “I’m walking through the layers in my mind” which alludes to the beautiful semi transparent vellum pages found inside. As you can see below, there is an included cardboard insert with lines on one side and is blank on the other allowing you to place it under the page you are currently writing on but as the book gets used you are left with a beautiful, chaotic representation of the words and ideas recoded inside.
While this one was printed in Japan I believe, it was sold in an amazing shop with more wonderful stationery and gifts than I knew existed in this world. The pages are simple square grid on one side and blank on the other which is a nice variation to books with grid only and its size is long and thin which is kinda handy I think.
One of my favorites because of its unique simplicity. One of the best things about the blank books I discovered in Korea was their creative use of space and breaking up that space for use in creative ways. The pages of this book are split into eight smaller areas with thin blue lines along with the thicker red boxes allowing for any number of creative idea sketching or thought layout. I like that pages differ from the normal layouts giving you a number of wonderful options for your own personal creative vision. The backside of each page is a gorgeous yellow with a subtle white grid.
This is a touch feminine for my personal taste but I love it anyway for its simplicity. I usually really dislike blank books with heavy graphic elements on the pages like leaves inside the paper but this one handles itself gracefully with thin leaves printed close to the spine leaving plenty of room for writing. Even better is the fact that the pages are not all printed with the same leaves and vary throughout the book.
Another one of my favorites and one that I look at almost more as an illustrated zine than a blank book. The pages are all different and contain various outlined shapes and objects as if a map through an abstract landscape. Another example of a creative yet minimal writing space conducive to creative uses.
Probably the most functional of the books I have from this collection and one that I bought two or three copies of. I love grid paper but sometimes it’s nice to have the luxury of blank space for sketching as well and this handy little book contains the best of both worlds with a grid in the bottom corner of each page along with plenty of white space on each page for notes and additional sketches.
I love this book for its creativity. I can not remember what the text reads but I will find out and update this when I do. The book comes with a couple of these cards that pop up with the same simple tree illustration as it has on the cover of the book. The tree on the cover rests on a subtly embossed circle resembling a moon. My favorite detail is that it is sold with a small pad of green ink to press your fingertip into so you are able to use your own fingerprint as the leaves on the tree giving it a wonderful personal touch making your book truly your own. A wonderful idea that made for a beautiful book.
UPDATE: As per many, many requests I have compiled a bunch of the above images into a wallpaper pack. While I did not have time to convert all of them I did my best and ported over ones I thought worked best. Still a ton of them though. At the time of this writing I want to at least get the zip up here and will add direct links for iOS users if I have time but hopefully most of you are resourceful enough to sync these to your device. I do the best I can to make everyone happy and I greatly appreciate everyones patience at times. Anyways, enjoy the images!