iA / Notebook


The Notebook for Writers

Watermark lines guide your pen. As your words come into focus, the lines fade into the background. The iA Notebook has been a labor of love, spanning several years of trials and deeply engaging our designer team. We’re more than pleased to announce it is now ready for preorder.
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Fading Watermark Guidelines

We wanted guidelines in the notebook, serving as a temporary scaffold to support your writing without causing distraction. The design had to reflect the core spirit of iA Writer: simple, clean, uncluttered. The use of ink had to be exclusively reserved for the owner’s handwritten text. After exploring different approaches, the decision to adopt delicate watermark guidelines became clear, even though its implementation demands high technical expertise and attention to detail.
“It’s impossible” Watermark lines. They are noticeable when holding the paper against the light. After ten iterations, the Swiss paper makers and bookbinders stopped answering our emails.
“We have to try harder” Making waterlines work required a lot of testing and optimization. We went through over 100 prototypes and 20 test prints with our binder in Japan.
Before: When the light comes from above they are barely just noticeable. Ideal for guiding the pen.
After: As your words come into focus, the lines fade into the background.
The lines are here: On an empty page the lines are visible. This needed just the right amount of ink and the right line thickness, and the right paper. Design takes time.
The lines fade: The stronger contrast between ink and paper make the lines fade. It’s noticeable but less striking on a photograph, since the camera doesn’t act exactly like the human eye.
These watermark guidelines are subtle and unobtrusive, offering direction without overpowering the page. The high contrast between the discreet guidelines and the ink from your pen creates an optical illusion: the lines seem to vanish gradually as you write. Once your thoughts have taken shape on the page, the lines fade into the background, allowing your text to take center stage. It’s an optical illusion, based on the way our eyes work. We focus on the highest contrast. Since the ink is stronger than the watermark lines, the watermarks appear to be invisible.
Everything is made out of paper. (Okay we did use a mesh and some glue, too).
Logo on the backside: It’s not about us.
Our bookbinding partner, located in Tokyo not far from our office, was chosen for the excellence of their past work and their genuine interest in product design. What sets them apart is not just their role as a supplier but as a true partner, actively contributing ideas to enhance the collaborative process. Each notebook is handcrafted. Our bookbinder will deliver them in batches. We estimate the first batch will ship in July, 2024.
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To secure a copy from the second batch we suggest that you order soon. The first sold out within 24 hours.
iAノートブック, made with love in Japan