Book binding

5 ideas to make your book uniquely yours

Lately I’ve been thinking about what can I do to make my books “uniquely mine” – ie, how can I make them stand out vs looking like just another leather journal?

Here are a few ideas that I’ve found others adopt. I’m still looking for a way to make my journals stand out, but hopefully these will spark some ideas for you:

  1. Use vintage materials that tell a story: I think Peg & Awl has done this brilliantly (I think it’s probably clear to everyone by now that I’m a huge fan of theirs! 🙂 ). They use only vintage leather and linen when binding their books, and this adds a lot of character and depth to their books. Not only do their journals look great, they feel “richer” just because of the material that they use. Imagine using a journal that’s been bound in leather from a purse from the 1920s – would you like that?
Peg & Awl uses vintage leather and lining

2. Create theme based journals: Instead of creating just a regular blank journal, can you add a theme to it? A very typical example of this is of course the gratitude journal. Can you find a theme of your own that’s uniquely yours?

3. Add a motif or a unique decorative element to your journal – this almost works like branding your journal in some way. Taking the example of Peg & Awl again, they’ve done some interesting things to make their journals stand out. For example – an inner lining that’s hard to find in other journals, or a vintage embellishment attached to the cover of each journal.

Cover embellishment

4. Stretch the limits of what constitutes a typical journal – who says a journal has to look and feel a certain way or has to have a certain size? What if you made it really big or really small? I think Nerdforge is a good example of this – for example – they’ve made this gigantic leather tome that I’m pretty sure is impossible to carry around and definitely not easy to write in 🙂 But it looks cool and is definitely unique!

Giant leather tome by Nerdforge

5. Use materials that one might not typically find in journals – does your book have to be covered with the typical leather / cloth / book board? Or can you really experiment with the cover? What if you covered it with glass? Or wood? Or stone? As long as you can find a way to bind it, it could look pretty awesome! 🙂 Check out this Wikipedia article on Treasure binding.

Gem encrusted book

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