Anyone who’s ever diligently used a notebook will tell you – the classic combo of pen and paper still can’t be beat.
Zequenz’s line of notebooks are a love-letter to traditional note-takers, the artists with coffee-stained sketchbooks and the bullet journalists. They might just be your new favourite partner-in-crime for its reasonable price point, high quality paper and delightful flexibility (we’ll get to this in a bit!).
Decades in the Paper Business
Zequenz didn’t start making stylish notebooks out of nowhere. They first began as the venerable Zenith Paper Co., a Thai family enterprise that has been specialising in the ancient art of mulberry paper-making since 1989.
In this age of touchscreens and digital ‘pencils’, there’s something magical and intimate about using a notebook – as you pen on its pages, you paint it with your character and uniqueness. And as you fill its final few pages – that entire book becomes a volume of your thoughts and ideas.
Understanding the permanence of paper, Zequenz poured their focus on making the intimate experience of using a notebook one of the best you can have. Drawing upon their heritage, they’ve thoughtfully designed and hand-crafted notebooks that they themselves would use.
What’s So Good About It?
Mulberry paper-making is a unique procedure that converts the inner bark of mulberry trees into fibres through a lengthy process of soaking, boiling and beating. Impurities are separated and the remaining fibres are smoothed onto a flat drying board with a brush then left out in the sun to dry. This also causes a natural bleaching effect! Finally, this practice produces one of the strongest natural papers to exist.
Zequenz produces such paper ranging between 70 to 100 grams per square metre (gsm). For sketching, note-taking and regular practice, the 70gsm can withstand mediums such as pencil, charcoal, pastel, etc. However, if you intend on experimenting with ink, marker or other heavier washes, the 100gsm will prevent bleeding and buckling.
You can also choose between having a grid, line or no line to serve its user’s needs. However, a notebook shouldn’t restrict your creativity – be a rebel and draw between the lines!
Agile Like a Monkey
Most people don’t think about how a notebook is constructed. But once you’ve handled a Zequenz notebook, you’ll understand its importance. You wouldn’t want your ‘ideas pad’ to start falling apart after months of use. Neither do you want it to be unwieldy or fragile when inspiration strikes.
First of all, these books are made to take a beating, with softened leather covers that go with the flow. That means you could throw it into your bag and it’ll make it out alive, crease-free. As we say, the best notebook is the one you have with you – and Zequenz has made their books the one you’ll always want to have by your side.
Secondly, Zequenz notebooks can flip a full 360º backwards without breaking anything. You’re probably thinking it’s a novelty feature – but when you’re breaking into a new bound notebook, and the first quarter usually struggles to stay flat for you to work on? Yep. That’s where a 360ºs of fold-back flexibility comes in! The experience of opening a book is just as important as the quality of its paper – and Zequenz has perfected this experience.
Zequenz’s Signature 360 series is made possible with their very own soft curvature binding system. Each notebook is manually assembled and hand-sanded to create its round edges.
Just think about it: looking at the way the book is bound, you’ll soon realise that every single sheet is a slightly different size, just so that it can form that special and functional curved spine.
Setting the Tone
Zequenz’s books are designed to get out of the way of your ideas, so you can note, draw and write freely. And yet, the notebook itself can inspire it all too. It’s difficult to explain, but when something just feels nice to use, you become inclined to want to use it more and more. And that means more opportunities to let your thoughts flow.
Traditional notebooks have the upper hand over digital ones when it comes to the satisfyingly tactile experience of art-making. Nothing compares to the authentic experience of ink on paper or a stroke of a brush. Besides, you’ll never have to be afraid they’d run low on battery.
Coming from a digital business, we love how Zequenz has made us fall in love with the pen and paper all over again. We hope that by bringing their nifty books out to the world, more people can appreciating the notebook experience again.