Considering all the advances in printing and finishing techniques over the years, it’s amazing just how few inspiring notebooks there are out there. If you’re not into whatever piece of pop culture Moleskine happens to be licensing at the moment, your options for cool-looking notebooks are pretty limited. One of the exceptions to this is the Czech Republic’s Deafmessanger (sic), which has been creating intriguing-looking notebooks for more than 10 years now.
Begun by artist Kucin as a notebook-making hobby in 2005, Deafmessanger now sells them, as well as postcards, planners and other items, in more than 50 shops around the world. While the custom-stencil covers alone easily make for intriguing pieces, it is the little bits and pieces you find inside that truly make them a paper-lover’s dream. Traveling throughout Europe and Asia, the artist has taken discarded magazines, brochures, photographs, playing cards and other ephemera and weaved them into the pages of Deafmessanger’s books:
Not only does this make for an exciting, never-know-what-you’re-going-to-get experience, it also makes for some of the most eco-friendly notebooks around as upcycling is the company’s watchword. Even more inspiring is the way they approach found photographs. “Thanks to flea markets, we have boxes full of memories of people we never met,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “And these photo memories are about to end up in our diaries and notebooks. We are simply sending them on one more journey :)”
The result of all this is a worldwide cult following for Deafmessanger notebooks and planners that occasionally even reaches Hollywood. Actress Noomi Rapace (who played the title character in the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” movies and the “Alien” prequel “Prometheus” among others) asked them to make 35 custom notebooks that she could give to people she became close to on the set of “Child 44,” including co-stars Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassel and others. (Deafmessanger notebooks can be ordered directly from the company.)
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