This essential Michigan-made Grey Paper Notebook was created in one of America’s oldest manufacturing towns: Detroit. And Shinola did not overlook a single detail in the design. The journals are made with the best paper, which has a great hand-feel. This high-quality acid-free paper is sourced from sustainably managed North American forests. And the covers come in amazing colors: not too bright, not too subdued, just right.Read the brand story
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- Two journals per package
- 9" L x 7" W
- Contains 72 pages per notebook
- Acid-free paper
- Unlined pages
- Gray journal holds plain paper
- 60 lb paper weight
Made in the U.S.A.
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The Shinola Story
Founded in 2012, Shinola is based in Detroit. Creative Director Daniel Caudill tells us, “We picked Detroit for Shinola because of its history in manufacturing. It started with manufacturing…and it grew to us wanting to be there because it’s exciting.” Detroit may not seem like an obvious choice, but the city has plenty to offer. “There’s a huge opportunity, so people are really creative. It’s not as expensive as it is in L.A. or New York or Chicago, so people are able to do cool things.” This innovative thinking is central to the brand, as is evident in the open work space: “Everyone sits together, from the president to customer service. Shinola is a collaborative environment…this is one team.”
Everyone sits together, from the president to customer service. Shinola is a collaborative environment…this is one team.
Shinola is also drawing on young talent and creative thinking. It sponsors classes at the College for Creative Studies to help students gain an understanding of manufacturing. “We’re applying creativity to manufacturing,” Daniel says.
Shinola takes our everyday things and elevates them. In addition to the journals we carry on Zady, they create everything from bikes to…wait for it…watches. Yes, you read that correctly. “Made in the USA” watches.
When designing, the creative team first asks, “How can we make it feel a little more natural, a little more organic?” and then, “How can we improve on its function?” This starts with sourcing materials, which means perfecting the basic elements. For the journal, important factors include “quality of the paper, ink bleeding construction, details from the elastic.” We asked what good paper feels like: “If it’s denser and heavier, it just has less bleed and is easier to write on.” As for manufacturing, Shinola goes back to the roots of American production. All of the raw materials come from the United States. And color is key. “I see and live in color,” Daniel says. In the end, it is all about quality: “How it’s made, what it’s made from and that it has integrity behind it. I care about all of those things. So does everyone involved. I push the product to a modern place…classic roots but modern place.”
Detroit is growing, and Shinola was not the first to catch on. Historically a manufacturing city, Detroit has not lost its unique character. But it is now filled with creatives, innovators and foodies. Here’s the vibe (according to Daniel): “There’s art, really good food, there’s just a lot happening. It feels a little bit like Berlin. Lower East Side in the late ’70s…It’s full of artists and music and kids.” The food scene is booming, with more farm-to-table restaurants taking advantage of the incredible Michigan produce. Daniel pointed us in the direction of St. Ceces, a restaurant that does a popup food night every Tuesday with a different chef. But be sure to walk around downtown, look at the architecture and grab a coffee at Astro.
You might be wondering what, exactly, Shinola means. “It means so many things, and it means different things to different people. For me,” Daniel tells us, “Shinola is about people. And you go into the factory in Detroit and you talk to the people who are building watches for the first time in decades…It’s a state-of-the-art watch factory. And you talk to them about what they’re creating, and they’re going to have product on shelves, and that’s amazing. It’s all of these people coming to make this product.”