Forget Black Friday, if you are reading this, it is now time for the Spaces for Ideas Cyber Monday Sale! Well at least in my timezone it is (+8 GMT).

A few days ago, I found out that:

Cyber Monday, for the unfamiliar, is the Monday after Black Friday and a day where online retailers offer steep discounts—essentially their version of Black Friday. Via: Lifehacker

Therefore (drum roll please…) in the next 24 hours I will be giving away (that’s right I’m literally GIVING away) 1 FREE Expandable Sketchbook for every USD $13 Expandable Sketchbook purchased.

Don’t ask me why I’m doing this, but you will likely never see the Expandable Sketchbook going so cheap AGAIN! Well maybe the Cyber Monday sale next year…

All right here are some more details:

1) Go ahead, buy one, buy 10 or even 20! When the drop down menu asks “How many Sketchbooks you would like?”, selected 1 for USD$19 (USD$13 + $6 Shipping). After that, there should be an option to enter the quantity you want. Upon receiving your order, I will include 1 free Sketchbook for every Sketchbook you purchase before sending it to you by the end of the week.

2) There is no additional shipping charge. I’m really digging deep for this 24 hour sale. I’m even looking for spare change under my sofa’s cushions, just kidding!

3) This offer is only valid for purchases made on my online store within this 24 hour duration in my time zone (+8 GMT). I will have a grace period of a few hours if an order falls outside this period, do contact me if you are unsure if you qualify for this unbelievable sale.

What are you waiting for? Go to the Spaces for Ideas Expandable Sketchbook page and get your pair of Sketchbooks for the price of one today!!!

Edit: Sorry folks, Cyber Monday is over. However we are currently running a Christmas Special (From Nov 09 to 25th Dec) where we will give away 1 free Expandable Sketchbook for every 5 sketchbooks purchased.

It has been far too long since I have written an update on this project. I have been so caught up in setting up and running Design Sojourn Consulting that my own produced (brand managed) products got neglected.

About 2 weeks ago I suddenly realized, with much frustration, that I have missed the window to get my products into the retail shops for Christmas. Fortunately I still have a chance for some holiday season sales with my online store. So despite a delay it’s still full steam ahead. I should have the final prototypes in a week, but meanwhile here is an update of the product development.

Before you check out the images in this update, do have a look at the first two posts for more background information on the second Spaces for Ideas Collection.

1) Spaces for Ideas: New Additions to the Family

2) Spaces for Ideas: The New Prototypes are In!

Story Book

I’ve actually spent more time with the Story Book that the Iteration Book (below). In fact, the Design had gone through another round of prototypes since I introduced them to you in the last blog post. You would probably recognized the Exhibit A as the first prototype end-to-end accordion sketchbook with the thumb gap.

As concluded in the last blog post, the thumb gap with the square corners created a possibility of bended edges on the cover, therefore that design iteration was a failure. I relooked at the product and redesigned it to what you see in the photo as Exhibit B. In Exhibit B the covers are linked as a normal book would instead of the original Exhibit A where the chipboard covers are stuck end to end of the accordion pages.

However, as I wanted 4 rounded corners (and the cool “v” detail on the accordion pages), I asked the bookmaker to try punching the rounded edges on the spine. As the rounding is a shearing process, and this prototype is 30 pages x 140gsm thick, it does not cut the round edge clean and actually tears the paper. Ideally I would have to die cut each individual page as well as the cover, but with such a long parchment it would have been a really expensive process.

The next prototype, Exhibit C, kept the spine intact but only rounded the outer edges. I actually like how tight and finished the spine now looks but did not really like having every other page with a rounded corner or “v” detail.

Even without the spine getting in the way, the rounding tool still does not do a good job cutting corners on a book this thick. As you can see from the detail, the pages look bent and tortured. I decided that the final prototype was to be a tight square corner. A good thing anyway as it works with the design language setup by the Expandable Sketchbook design.

Check out the details on the inside! Unlike the Expandable Book, the insides are lined with the Sketch paper. (100% recyclable). I personally like how the crisp joint detail between the two covers turned out, simple yet elegant. Furthermore, unlike competing accordion fold products, I designed the paper stack to sit on the cover and unfold out towards you and in any direction you like. This gives you plenty of space to develop your ideas or build a concept sketch “life-stream” which makes the name Story Book pretty apt don’t you think?

Finally I plan to increase the sketch paper’s weight to 170gsm (from 140gsm). The paper is now a little thicker, but not as thick as card. The heavier paper gives the accordion a studier structure that prevents accidental dog eared pages as well as an overall better writing experience.

Iteration Book

Strangely I though this would be a pretty straightforward design. However after studying the prototypes, something nagged at me but I could not quite figure out. So I decided to let it sit for a bit.

I have put my 148x148mm square book design (left) with an A5 sized book (right) for comparison. As I mentioned in the previous post, I went with a square format as it allows you to use the book in any way you want. Open left to right, right to left, top down or up, it is all up to you.

One issue I had to consider is that the open stitch bound detail you see in the picture (above) is not the best binding technique with tracing paper as the multiple holes may tear the tracing paper through prolong use. Therefore the final prototype will be stacked with single thread sewn along the spine. It will look similar to the saddle stitched A5 sketchbook sitting below my design.

The Iteration Book has 50 pages or smooth white 65gsm (environmentally friendly) tracing paper. It is the whitest finely textured tracing paper I can find and should not mess up your colors like traditional yellow tracing paper would.

After talking to a few designer friends, I finally figured out what was troubling me with this current prototype. The brown craft paper chipboard cover did not compliment the translucency of the tracing paper as well as being consistent with the spirit of the design. So I set out to find the thickest tracing paper I could find! Initially I was a little worried that this design might be killed if I could not find an appropriate material. I was even considering using sheets of polypropylene (PP), but binding that would be very tough. Luckily I manage to find a 230gsm parchment that worked beautifully (see above). What is really cool is after you fill up this Iteration Book, if you then hold it up into the light you could possibly see the shadows of your concepts right through the cover!

——–

I’ve intentionally kept the Elastic Bookmark out of the picture for the time being so that I can keep the discussion as simple as possible. So which Sketchbook would you consider buying? Would you even consider purchasing both? How would you plan to use these sketchbooks if you bought them? I would love to hear your feedback on these two designs, as it will help me improve them. Finally as I am self-funding the project (unlike the lucky people on Kickstarter), your feedback would help me mitigate my risks as much as possible. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and thank you in advance.


Image by Michael Verhoef

It certainly looks a lot like Christmas, my favorite time of the year! To celebrate this festive season, we have decided to do something special to get us all into the festive mood.

Throughout the month of November (starting from today) and all the way to Christmas, we are going to give you 1 free Spaces for Ideas Expandable Sketchbook for every Sketchbook bundle of 5 you buy!

So this means you get 6 Expandable Sketchbooks for the price of 4. That is approximately USD$8.70 per Expandable Sketchbook. Holy cow, what an amazing bargain! Even better, the shipping cost remains the same.

Why wait? Treat yourself or give a Spaces for Ideas Expandable Sketchbook bundle to your favorite creative person this Christmas. Buying your sketchbook bundle this week would mean you should get them by early December with plenty of gift-wrapping time to spare!

Edit: The Christmas Offer is now over! Thank you everyone for your support!


Just check out the size of that stack of Expandable Sketchbooks I have been packing!

Literally.

In the last few weeks, we have been having a number of online sales for The Spaces for Ideas Expandable Sketchbook. In terms of traffic, just last week alone we had 3,643 visitors to the Expandable Sketchbook sales page. (beat that bricks and mortar!) As a result I have been kept busy all this week packing and labeling, and finally shipping them all out today. So for those that made recent purchases, do expect to receive your Expandable Sketchbooks in a couple of weeks.

I would now like to thank the following websites that have graciously covered or reviewed the Expandable Sketchbook. I have no doubt they were responsible for sending some of their visitors over to my site (adding to that 3600+ visitor pool) as well as lending weight to the sketchbook’s credibility.

World Famous Design Junkies


Reviewed by Chris Burns, Art and Design style-meister at WFDJ. Thanks for the funky write up Chris!

NotCot.org


Thanks NotCot!

Notebookism


Reviewed by Armand B. Frasco, formally from Moleskinerie. Thanks Armand and do check out his new independent notebook blog: Notebookism. Nice name by the way.

Finally, we are also looking to do a restock at the Red Dot Museum Shop, as the supply there has almost run out. All in all, things are looking positive and I will be continuing to keep the momentum going with official launch of the next range of sketchbooks. Oh by the way, have you bought your Expandable Sketchbook today?

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