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.

layersThe 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.



take me out
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.



hereAnother 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.


fingerprint tree
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.

fingerprint tree

fingerprint tree

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!


  1. Fabiano - April 12, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I really love your work… Almost every image that you upload turn into my wallpaper, please upload those in HD… they are amazing :D

    I’ll be so happy.

  2. David - April 12, 2011 at 12:39 am

    I’m afraid looking at your shots can get tiring after a while, simply because you shoot EVERYTHING at a wide open aperture. Eventually my eyes tire of the strain of trying to focus on an image that is 90% bokeh. Just my two cents though, it’s still very nice work, just a bit boring after a while.

  3. David - April 12, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Oh, and I should also say I’m very jealous of the lenses you use. Were most of these shot with at f1.2 or f1.4? The DoF is very very shallow.

  4. john - April 12, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Haha, yeah I hear you. It’s not always the best way to shoot thats true. I shot these a few weeks ago and probably should have taken more time with them seeing as I was trying to show details that were buried because of that fact.

    The work I post here on this site/project is full of shallow images mostly because this approach lends itself to work well as a wallpaper because simplistic imagery and composition leave room for files and customization where busy images end up feeling a bit heavy for such use and because of this trend in my work here it has become a bad habit as much as anything.

    I am well aware of the shortcomings of shooting wide open but thanks for the opinion, its always appreciated. In the future I will try to be more mindful of this fact when shooting objects like this to share.

    I use one lens on my 5D, a 35mm f/1.4L for everything I shoot currently.

  5. john - April 12, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Speaking of frequent use of shallow DOF as a means to convey a feeling or compose a simple, gentle image: http://rhynemedia.com/People.aspx

    Lets make a deal.

    I would love to work on my heavy use of shallow DOF and start to push up my aperture beyond f/1.4-2.0 as I often resort to when creating images for this site, and if not here then at least with my photo making in general such as my film work and otherwise. I realize I have gravitated towards it with this side of my image creation and I agree, it is something I could work on as a photographer to expand my photographic language and skill.

    I will do this if you agree work on something as well within your own photography. When shooting try not to rely as heavily on post processing and heavily manipulating colors as a means to force a sense of nostalgia or warmth onto an image. Where shallow DOF in my imagery may seem to get old after a while so can this kind of reliance on post processing.

    Sound fair? :) Thanks again for the open critique, I greatly value others opinions and always take them to heart even when it shakes me up a bit. While its impossible to please everyone all of the time, I sure try my hardest ;)

  6. Vincent Reynolds - April 12, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I respectfully disagree with David. I think the shallow DoF does a beautiful job of drawing attention to the subject, and personally, I never tire of the technique. Keep up the good work.

  7. Jonny - April 12, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I like the shallow DOF, the pics and notebooks are awesome.

  8. Larry - April 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I don’t think it’s a question of whether or not it looks good, you can’t deny these shots look good. It comes down to the subject too, when photographing some textbooks, there’s only so much you can do with just the textbooks themselves. When you have people in the shot holding them for you, you can explore a bit more, but just books on a table.. It’s tougher.

    Overall I really like your photography, by simply using dof, you can turn everyday objects into amazing scenes. Particularly with macro, what was just a tiny object normally unnoticed, gets transformed into something otherworldly and almost alien.

    Keep up the good work, your blog inspired me to finally get my own started. I’ll be happy if it lasts half as long and is half as popular.

  9. Neil - April 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Please make some desktops out of these.

  10. David - April 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for your gracious reply, John. I feel quite ashamed of the way I worded my previous posts, they were a bit tactless — and you’re totally right, simplified (less “contrasty”) images are often optimal for desktop backgrounds. I use some of your photos for my own desktops because of this. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely (and frequently) use shallow DoF in my shots, I actually like it in many, many situations.

    However, I feel even more ashamed about picking on the more minor issues on some of your photos while I myself have some major issues in my portfolio. You’re fully correct, I really need to curb my tendency to post process a photo into kingdom come. Recently I’ve been retraining myself to minimize post processing, though my site has not been updated to reflect that yet (the site hasn’t been updated in several months). You can see on my Facebook page that I’ve gotten a bit better at NOT overediting my shots, but I still have more to learn: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=110208095702526&aid=31666

    I still love editing photos to look “retro”, but I need to see the value in a shot that isn’t muddied by too much editing.

    Again, I respect your work and admire the way you handled my (somewhat unfounded? :-P) criticism. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    P.S. That 35mm is a fantastic lens. I have a Sigma 30mm f1.4 and absolutely adore it, but unfortunately it is only for cropped-sensor bodies.

  11. John - April 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Nice post!

    I just came across a website with some awesome stationary and I thought you might like it.


  12. Jonathan - January 21, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Some really nice pictures here and I appreciate you putting them up in a zip for download. I especially like the colors. Wonderful beige paper against a perfect dark wood. If you ever zip up some of the others not included, let me know. Some of my favorites (like 4859) are missing in the higher resolutions.
    Thanks again for sharing these.

  13. Jonathan - January 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    If you ever get around to releasing another batch, I’ve made a note of what I would love to have include:
    MG 4872 + 4839 + 4857 + 4844 + 4859
    I rarely use superlavatives… but in this case, really, great job.

  14. GrettaBoreh - October 9, 2015 at 4:33 am

    I don’t care about this, now i’m earning around
    2000£ a month. There is tricky way i found on the internet.
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