Nakamura Printing is a family business started in 1938. Being in a declining industry, Nakamura Printing has been trying out different ways to create new notebooks. In 2014, they came up with a new way of notebook binding to allow every page of the notebook to open flat. Normally, to achieve opening completely flat, notebooks are made with multiples of tiny bundles of paper, which are also known as signatures. A standard signature represents large sheets of paper sewn together in 4, 8 or 16 sheets, folded in half as a bundle, and bound together to make a notebook. Multiple signatures make up a notebook, which is also why you see notebooks with page numbers in multiples of 8, 16 or 32 (176 pages for MD notebook, 224 pages for Yoseka Notebook, 368 pages for Stalogy Editor’s). By using only two types of glue, without sewing, Flat Notes is made with a signature of 2 sheets of paper (just 1 large sheet folded in half). It’s the smallest bundle possible! The video shows a flip through without any smoothing down of the pages, but with just a gentle press down, all the pages lie completely flat. Note that they are not sewn together, so the glued pages can be torn out perfectly.
Although this new way of binding notebooks was patented by Nakamura in 2014, the notebooks were lacking sales for a few years. In 2016, an employee gave some notebooks to his grandkid thinking it was better to have them be used than staying in storage. The grandkid took the notebook to class and shared on Twitter, and that’s when Nakamura started getting recognition for this style of binding. As a result, the notebook received its nickname Grandpa’s Note (“おじいちゃんのノート”).
This collaboration is between Kleid, Life Stationery and Nakamura. The paper is Okfools paper featuring Kleid’s 2mm grid with Nakamura’s special binding.
- Size: A5
- 2mm Grid
- 50 sheets
- Opens completely flat
- Okfools paper
Kleid means "fashion" or "dress" in German, and the company's goal is to manufacture stationery products that combine technical functionality with fashion design. By design products with fashion culture in mind, Kleid has been able to create visually pleasing and sophisticated products not bound by the usual stationery brand norms.