Sometimes “progress” can’t trump an experience. Listening to a vinyl record, waiting in anticipation for film to develop, the sound of a typewriter or flipping through the pages of an old book – these are just a few of the things that many still love despite advances in technology. And while more people may be doing their note taking on a digital tablet or smartphone, the guys behind Mirth & Co. believe you can’t replace a classic notebook and the notion of jotting down ideas by hand.
Started by John Bell and Shaun Fox, the brand hand-makes notebooks in Austin, Texas, by combining Shaun’s experience as a designer and John’s skills as a bookbinder. It is their level of craftsmanship – a keen eye for detail, a precision for quality and expertise with their hands – that sets Mirth & Co. apart from other notebooks. “Hand-sewing is my favorite part of the bookbinding process,” says John.
The notebooks, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are made with 100% recycled paper from French Paper Company. Not only has this family-owned American mill been around for 140 years, but they have also been using hydroelectric power since 1922. Mirth & Co. also tries to equip those who are hard on their work gear by providing a more durable notebook made of buckram.
Beyond the quality and the care put into their construction, it’s the understated simplicity in a Mirth & Co. notebook that makes it the ideal accessory. “We don’t think notebooks should interfere with the stuff you’re putting in them,” John explains. “Lots of notebooks compete with your marks by having some kind of brand agenda, a bunch of gimmicky tools and flashy design.”
The Mirth & Co. notebooks create a “beautiful blank slate” for us to create fresh ideas, develop new thoughts and capture the day. And while most of us aren’t aiming to be the next Hemingway, this is a tool that makes the average guy feel like we could be.