DataGraphic Notebook With a Secret

If you’re a designer, chances are you’ve built up quite a collection of notebooks from attending industry events over the years. Though the paper quality and finishing do vary, the one thing these pieces seldom do is surprise. Not so these intriguing tomes that pack a dramatic secret…but only if you know where – and how – to look!

Searching for a way to not only demonstrate that they “get” designers, but also to raffle off fun prizes at our recent PaperSpecs Live event in New York, our good friends at DataGraphic married the quality of traditional finishing techniques with one of the lesser known “super powers” of modern digital printing. Even before you know their “secret” – which I’ll get to shortly – these notebooks are pretty impressive on their own.

Designed by Alex Chirivas at DataGraphic [projects / website], the 30 interior sheets of 100 lb. Neenah Classic Crest Smooth Text [PaperSpecs PRO Members: Get Free Swatchbook!] are digitally imprinted CMYK with lines, FSC info and the DataGraphic.

These pages were then glued together at the spine – think of it as a glue-padded text block. Not only does this make the pages easy to remove, but it also enables the notebook itself to lay open flat – a super-helpful feature for any doodler or notetaker.

This block was then Swiss bound into the cover, which is actually made from 2 sheets of 100 lb. Neenah Classic Crest Bare White Eggshell Cover duplex laminated together to create a smooth and satisfyingly chunky covering for your notes. (Remember that Swiss binding consists of mounting the text block to the inside back cover.)

On the inside front cover are the production details, as well as information about DataGraphic’s specialties.

A handy volume, certainly, but what’s the “secret” I referred to earlier? Let’s take another look at that cover to discover a special “easter egg”…or 3!

While all the notebooks feature the same wave pattern on the front cover, shining a black light on them instantly reveals one of 3 different illustrations hiding on the surface! This was accomplished by digitally overprinting the covers with HP Indigo’s Invisible Ink in the press’ 5th ink station. When exposed to the Ultraviolet frequency of a black light – yes, the same type used on those psychedelic posters from the ‘60s – the art work is revealed.

While often used for security reasons – such as creating secret watermarks to verify a concert ticket’s authenticity, for example – this invisible ink is also a fantastic way to promote engagement with recipients, too. And in a nod to DataGraphic’s own century-long history, one of the hidden illustrations on the notebook covers is of their Heidelberg KSB Cylinder Press, cleverly pairing printing’s past with today’s technology.

As you can imagine, designers at our New York event went wild for these notebooks, taking turns to see what secrets their own copies held…and if they had won a special prize from DataGraphic, too.

With its handy lay-flat binding, substantial feel, and adventurous use of invisible ink, this piece is the perfect response to those who feel there’s “nothing new under the sun” when it comes to notebook design these days. After all, who needs the sun when you have a black light?! 😉

Project Details

Title DataGraphic Notebook With a Secret Client Self Date May 2023 Design DataGraphic (Alex Chirivas)
Print DataGraphic
Paper Neenah Classic Crest Bare White Eggshell 100 lb. Cover;
Neenah Classic Crest Smooth 100 lb. Text

Production Details

Dimensions 9.5” x 6.75” Page Count 30 + Cover Print Quantity 300+ Production Time 5-10 days Printing Method Front cover: Digital CMYK+HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Ink;
Interior Pages: Digital CMYK
Finishing and Binding Swiss binding, Die score cover, Glue interior pages, Trim

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