At the end of December last year, we said that our StoryBook sketchbook product was going to be put on hold indefinitely. However, in our pillar article: 9 Lessons from a Design Entrepreneur, I shared that all I really needed was a two month break before I jumped right back into this self-funded project! Not settling for no, I decided that shipping and getting this product out into the market was the most important thing for my fledgling Spaces for Ideas brand.

The road getting here was not easy. Moving to a new supplier meant getting to know this new supplier’s strengths and weakness. As a result we spent a total of four months just tweaking the design with the supplier, two of which were spent just building samples (a total of 5 rounds of prototypes to be exact).

The StoryBook is an accordion fold sketchbook designed, in the spirit of the Spaces for Ideas brand, to provide as much of a limitless drawing experience as possible. Popular with artists, design sketchers and scrapbookers, the StoryBook’s accordion pages gives you enough space to seamlessly create your design story from the beginning to end of the sketchbook.

Here are some of the features.

1) All our StoryBooks sketchbooks, code name Nadali, are available in 3 limited edition beautiful textured cover colors. The covers are 280gsm and made from FSC certified environmentally friendly paper.

2) The StoryBook is designed to be a standard A6 size, and fits perfectly in your handbag or man-bag.

3) The accordion fold drawing paper, which provides for a long drawing space, is available in both Black (120gsm, 23 pages) and White (140gsm, 29 pages) paper. The paper made from FSC certified environmentally friendly paper.

4) The accordion pages are hand folded, to ensure the creases are soft and comfortable to draw over.

5) To prevent the pages from falling out, all StoryBooks come with a free Elastic Bookmark that can be also used in other A6 or A5 sketchbooks. The Elastic Bookmarks are made from the same material as the StoryBook covers.

6) Both the StoryBook and the Elastic Bookmark are lovingly handmade in Singapore, which means slight variations in folding and finishing is expected.

Inspired by how the Field Notes product cycle is managed, I’ve created the StoryBook product range in limited runs of different cover materials or designs. I hope to keep the product fresh by introducing a new range of StoryBooks, with different cover materials, at least once a quarter. As you can see, I’m looking to build Spaces for Ideas into a credible creative and innovative stationary brand.

The StoryBook currently retails at USD$12 each, and goes for $28.80 for a bundle pack of 3. However, to celebrate the launch of this product, the StoryBook sketchbooks will be on Sale at USD$10 each, and USD$24 for a 3 StoryBook bundle. Please note additional shipping costs do apply and will be included at checkout. Our launch sale ends on the 30th of September.

As we have limited stock, I would not wait and get it at our online store now! For more shipping information and images of our StoryBook sketchbooks, check out out official product page. What do you think about our new StoryBook? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please do not hesitate to leave a comment below?


Click on the image for a bigger view

How cool is that? Our own Spaces for Ideas brand has been featured today in a newspaper article on products designed and made in Singapore.

This article is pretty apt seeing that it is our National day on the 9th of August. If you look at the back of the image above, you can catch a glimpse of our new product, the Story Book. The Story Book will be launched later this month, so do stay tuned!

For more information on our current Spaces for Ideas products, check out our Expandable Sketchbook page or visit our sleek 

online store.

For more details on the newspaper article, click on this link for the full story in a hi-res pdf format (3.1mb). Unfortunately, the news article is in Chinese, but I will get the text translated into English and post it here as soon as soon as possible.

I like to say a big thank you to the kind people at Singapore Press Holdings and MyPaper for featuring my product.

Update: With just over a week to go before the end of our Birthday sale, I like to ramp up the celebrations with a new shop front and to announce that the free shipping offer now applies any amount of Expandable Sketchbooks you buy. Read more below. Sorry everyone, this deal is now over. A big thanks to those that supported me.

In a blink of an eye, Spaces for Ideas is now 1 year old. How unbelievably quick? Strangely, I don’t really remember the exact date when I came up with the idea or officially launched the expandable sketchbook, but I believe it was sometime in March or April last year. If that is the case, lets spend the rest of March and the entire month of April celebrating shall we?

Right. So from now until the end of April, you will enjoy free shipping for 5 (or more, 8, 15, even 100!) any amount of expandable sketchbooks you buy! That’s savings of at least the value of that can range from USD $6 to $25 or more.

As part of our 1st birthday celebrations, we are also introducing and trialing a new shop front system from the folks at Wazala. It still uses Paypal as a backbone for the funds transfer, but this new shop front provides a much better shopping experience for you and me. What is really awesome is that I can use the same shop front on this website, the soon to be relaunched www.spacesforideas.com, and best of all our Facebook fan page. All purchases and cart management will be centrally controlled by one master dashboard. What an awesome time saver!

So do click on the red tab at the top of this webpage and enjoy! If you would like more information, do head on over to the Expandable Sketchbook page for the details of our product.

Oh before I forget, as part of this celebration we are also launching a brand new dedicated Spaces for Ideas Newsletter to share with you the latest product news and launches for our Spaces of Ideas brand. Sign up right away to get special loyal subscriber deals or discount coupons, especially for our new range of innovative sketchbooks that will be launching soon. (Hint!)

Sign up for our dedicated Spaces for Ideas newsletter at this link or by the form below, to get the updates right to your Inbox!



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It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that I have decided to put the Spaces for Ideas Collection 2 on hold indefinitely.

After taking a hard look at the new prototypes, I am unable to get the design and marketing mix right. The cost to make the Story Book and Iteration Book is not economically viable in the volumes I can afford. Initial user feedback have also supported this by highlighting that the selling price vs. product offering is just not compelling enough.

The reality is that launching products into the market is a calculated risk. If I had the funds, and this is all self-funded, I would trust my gut and launch the product. But this time I don’t have the funds, so my gut says no.

This second collection is by no means killed. However this time I am going back to the drawing board for a complete rethink and redesign. I am planning to bring in some help to see where I can take the range. Often it takes a fresh set of eyes and perhaps a different angle to get the mix right.

I’ve spent so much time on this project that it is criminal. I could have gone on and on, but I’ve hit my self imposed dateline and it is time to pull the plug. I’m contented that I’ve covered almost every possible iteration and have the many mock-ups and prototypes to document my process. Mock-ups cost far less than a production run, and as they always say, fail often but fail early.

The Space for Ideas brand will continue with the Expandable Sketchbook being the brand’s only product for the time being. I have by no means exhausted all possible sales channels for the Expandable Sketchbook, and the awesome December sales figures tell me that demand for this product remains healthy.

Interestingly, as I’m about to publish this post, I feel strangely liberated. Closing this project has freed up much or my mental capacity and a weight off my shoulders. This also means I can focus on other aspects of Design Sojourn’s business such as consulting and training. If anything, this is the reason why I had to go through this whole convoluted but enjoyable process. You should try it sometime!

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