Z is for…Zequenz


Another exciting collection of notebooks to share with you for the final letter of the challenge.

The “ZEQUENZ” Story

“Each sequence in life is a memory worthy to keep.”

– Mrs. Sinee Dumrongkitkarn Founder, Zenith Enterprise, 1989

The ZEQUENZ brand of unique and innovative office and personal stationery products was established in 2008 by the Zenith Enterprise, a leader in specialized paper making since 1989. Driven by the inspiration of creative design, the integrity of material used, and the necessity of quality construction, ZEQUENZ produced its first line of personal journals in the iconic and signature 360° collection.

True to the dedication of providing the best products for the unique lifestyle, ZEQUENZ continues to develop and produce premium writing and personal office products for the likes of writers and journalists, business individuals, artists, architects, designers, and any passionate individual. ZEQUENZ: Memory Lasts

Find out more at Zequenz.com

Y is for… Yard O Led


Y is for… Yard O Led.

The Yard-O-Led Pencil Company was founded in London in 1934 by a Mr Brenner to produce his patent propelling pencils which contained twelve three inch leads (that is to say, 36 inches or a yard of lead). After the second world war the company merged with Sampson Mordan Ltd whose founder had patented the first mechanical pencil in 1822. They built a new factory in Birmingham and took over Edward Baker Ltd, another pencil maker.

The company is now part of the Letts Filofax Group and produces expensive fountain pens as well as pencils; most of which are made from hallmarked stirling silver.

Wikipedia.org – Yard-O-Led.

To have a closer look at their beautiful collection of pens – check out the Filofax website.

X is for… X17


X is for X17. X17 is a German “ring notebook” and is more like a personal organiser (and while I have not used on of these it appears similar to a Midori Travellers Notebook or ringbinder organiser such as a Filofax). Their website copy just builds up your hunger for a new notebook…

X17 Notebook: Your notebook for everything.

Each X17 Notebook can hold two to four insert booklets. We currently have 15 different types of insert booklets for each format size and are continually adding more insert booklets to our selection.
That’s why an X17 Notebook can be used for anything! For example, you can use it as a:

  1. Personal Planner
  2. Notebook
  3. Diary
  4. Idea Notebook
  5. Appointment Planner
  6. Time Planner
  7. Calendar
  8. Household Notebook
  9. Teacher’s Calendar
  10. Address Book
  11. Hiking/Backpacking Journal
  12. Pilgrimage Journal
  13. Traveling Journal
  14. Personal Organizer
  15. And much, much more.

X17 uses a book-by-book system, which means that we use bounded insert booklets rather than loose-leaf insert pages. Strong and flexible rubber band rings hold these insert booklets perfectly in place along the binding of your X17 Notebook. The idea is so simple that one asks oneself, why didn’t anyone come across this idea earlier?

One Idea – Four Uses

At the very beginning, our goal was to develop an alternative to the “traditional ring notebook”. We wanted to design a notebook that wasn’t so bulky, that wasn’t so thick, and that would allow you to freely and easily write on the left-hand side of the page. And that’s how our X17 Notebook came into being, initially planned as a personal organizer with a calendar.

Then the idea took off and developed a whole new set of dynamics. More and more ideas began to surface for other ways to use this new notebook technology. New applications for the notebook were added to the design plan, for example, a concept for a teachers’ planner and a pilgrimage journal. We are currently developing our newest concept for a family calendar and industry customers are working on their own concepts as well.

  1. X17 Notebook: Includes 2,3 or 4 insert booklets.
  2. X17-Notes: Notebook with exactly one insert booklet.
  3. X-Cards: Notebook = Postcard with one insert booklet.
  4. X-Cards: Art Gallery – Customizable Notebook

The X17 Family Of Notebooks Has Many Outstanding Features. X17 Notebooks Are…

  • .. Slimmer than a metal ring notebook.
  • .. Slimmer than most notebook calendars.
  • .. Slimmer than most notebooks.
  • .. Adaptable – you can remove and reinsert many different kinds of insert booklets – whatever you need to fit your needs.
  • .. Ecological – our notebook covers can last a lifetime. (This holds true for our leather, leather fiber materials and polypropylene covers.)
  • .. Practical – even the left-hand side of the page is easy and comfortable to write on, without any cumbersome metal ring notebook mechanism to get in your way.
  • .. Made to have more writable area than a traditional ring notebook.
  • .. Available in 7 different cover materials!
  • .. A German innovation, patented and trademarked.
  • .. Purely made in Germany!

Read more details of the available covers and notebooks direct on their website or if you are already sold just go direct to their online shop.

V is for… Visconti


V is a shockingly difficult letter to find a stationery brand/company for. I am of course running behind schedule – but I would like to complete the challenge in full even if I have ended up running late.

For V I have chosen to share more information about Visconti. Another fabulous Italian company that produces beautiful pens.

Till 1988 Visconti, the firm that brought writing back to Florence after a period of oblivion lasting over thirty years, has turned Florentine craftsmanship into a icon of its output accompanying its fundamental values of passion, art and technology.

For over twenty five years the name ‘Visconti’ has been synonymous of extraordinarily elegant writing instruments coming from very intense historical and technological researches, fountain pens, rollers and ball-pens. Visconti offers a broad assortment of high quality items all showing strong characters and features.

find out more on their website at Visconti.it.

U is for Uniball


I struggled to think of a notebook brand or company for u. Therefore I have chose the brand Uniball. Uniball is owned by Mitsubishi Pencil Co U.K. Limited.

one of the biggest players in the UK Rollerball Pen market.  uni-ball consistently holds the number one position of the branded rollerball sales charts by volume

Established in Tokyo in 1887 Mitsubishi Pencils uni brand derives its name from the word unique. Our exclusive product variety is indicative of our desire to create products that uniquely match the needs of the individual user.

Today company headquarters, R&D and production facilities are based in Tokyo, Japan, with the European head office being based in Milton Keynes, U.K. The company has subsidiaries and distributors world-wide.

Uniball pens can be sourced from most stationery stores and supermarkets.

T is for… teNeues


teNeues Notebooks from teNeues publishing are simple practical notebooks. All the notebooks that I have purchased from teNeues I have used cover to cover. So lets find out more about this publishing company:

For more than 50 years now the teNeues brand has been synonymous with the publication of finely produced illustrated calendars. From this original core business has grown an internationally established publishing group that annually markets approximately 500 illustrated calendars on a wide variety of themes. At the same time, teNeues’s book publishing arm, with its illustrated books on photography, design, lifestyle and travel as well as high-end stationery such as blank books, journals, post cards and greeting cards, has become one of the leading international book publishers.

With over 130 employees, and overseas offices in London, Paris and New York, and the teNeues stores in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, as well as an important business presence in more than 70 countries, the company is a worldwide player represented in all important markets across the globe.

It’s fascinating to trace the evolution of this international publishing powerhouse. In 1931 when Dr. Heinz teNeues, grandfather of the current managing partners, Hendrik and Sebastian founded the teNeues offset printers in Krefeld, nobody could have guessed the direction the firm would take. Destroyed in the war, the printing plant was rebuilt 12km away in Kempen by Dr. teNeues and his son Manfred. It was from here that in 1958 the first teNeues art calendar–and towards the end of the sixties–the first greeting cards were produced. Under the far-sighted guidance of Dr. Manfred teNeues the firm prospered. In 1977 the teNeues publishing division was separated from the printing plant. It was at this stage that the basis for international expansion was set: in 1982 Dr. Manfred’s eldest son Hendrik set up the teNeues Publishing Company in New York. Other subsidiaries quickly followed in London and Paris.

Nowadays the first foreign office in the “Big Apple” employs 10, having expanded from cards, posters and blank books into the area of art publications. In 1995 the teNeues book line (with an emphasis on photography) was founded. In this same year the first book title “Studio 54: The Legend” hit the stores. 1995 was also the year Sebastian teNeues (youngest son of Dr. Manfred teNeues) joined the company.

Today the two brothers Hendrik and Sebastian teNeues jointly manage the company. They’re supported by an active board that counts among its members Dr. Manfred teNeues and Werner Klatten (managing director of the German Sports Council) as well as other experienced members of the business community. The family continues to play a significant role in the company. “Certain standards are crucial when the firm carries your family name. That’s certainly an opportunity–but it’s also a responsibility–and a challenge as well” emphasizes Hendrik teNeues. Side by side the two brothers strive to continue the successful legacy of the teNeues publishing group.

Read the full story on their website


S is for… Smythson


If you want luxury stationery products – why not try Smythson.

In 1887, Frank Smythson had a pioneering vision to create the extraordinary. An enthusiast of meticulous craftsmanship and exceptional quality, he established a brand with an aspiration to make the beautiful functional and the luxurious timeless.

Frank Smythson created the world’s first practical, portable diary. Known as ‘the Panama hat of books,’ the remarkable pliability of its hard-wearing binding allowed it to be squashed, folded or rolled up without becoming marked or misshapen. The epithet quickly caught on, and was adopted as the name of the diary as well as the leather in which it is bound – both of which remain virtually unchanged to this day. The Panama diary was the first to contain our iconic pale blue Featherweight paper, and was specifically designed to fit perfectly inside a gentleman’s breast pocket ‘without causing the least disfigurement’.

Read the full smythson story here

P is for… Paperblanks


Usually I choose a notebook for a functional purpose or because the are cheap (because I fill notebooks so quickly). Paperblank Notebooks are the exception to the rule. I buy them because a particular design catches my eye.


Paperblanks® are beautiful writing journals that celebrate human artistry and craft. From French textile design to Persian Safavid binding art, from Japanese Lacquer box patterns to the traditional embroidery from India’s Gujurat region, each Paperblanks® design honours the beauty of artistic creation. Our notebooks are a connection to the richness discovered within centuries of world art and culture.

At Paperblanks® we have been producing superb writing journals and everyday objects for over twenty years. At the heart of everything we create is our belief that art matters. Above all, we are people who love to create and who appreciate the rich artistic history of human culture. We are also committed to being responsible global citizens; by utilising acid-free, sustainable forest paper and 100% recycled binder boards we advocate for social and environmental responsibility and support organisations that do the same. Our global citizenry goes hand in hand with our exacting standards of quality and design. We take painstaking care with every detail of the creative process, from the individual product components to the well-being of the craftspeople who put them together.

Innovative design, careful handiwork and conscientious manufacturing practices all go into the creation of every Paperblanks® product, resulting in functional art objects that we can all feel good about using and owning. Whether recording your thoughts, ideas, stories, poems or memories, our product line offers a perfect marriage of imagination and art, always inspiring a unique experience.

Paperblanks Website

At the moment I am after this one because I love the design and of course their 10 year journal is also on my wishlist.

Quality/Paper, Cover Design or Function? What do you go for?

O is for… O-check


O-Check Design Graphics designed my current monthly notebook so I thought I deserve a mention for such a simple exercise book with a lovely owl sketch.

Established in 2000 in Seoul, Korea, O-Check Design Graphics produce a wide range of notebooks and stationery products. As well as their exercise books which are cheap and surprisingly sturdy for an exercise book (although mine has got a little dirty) they have a lovely practical range of planner products.


O-Check was established in 2000 in Seoul, Korea and quickly developed a reputation for stationery that is both beautiful and functional.

Derived from the Korean word gongcheck, which translates to a book with nothing inside, the name O-Check captures the essence of its notebooks – items which upon creation are empty, but come alive when filled with words, thoughts, feelings and drawings.

Telegram Paper Goods – O-Check Design Graphic Page

Other stockists include: Notemaker (AU) and Fox & Star (UK)

N is for… Noodoll


For N we have chosen to look at cute design brand Noodoll. This is a brand that I have not personally used but came across while looking for a suitable ‘N’ brand/company for today’s entry in the A to Z Challenge. That said. I am excited about finding this brand and their cute stationery items and their adorable fruit and veg stationery pack – looks fantastic. Find out more about the brand below:

Noodoll is a fun, bold, design-led brand. We design and produce toys, gadget holders, stationery, accessories (and lots more). We’re based in London but we send these goodies, with lots of love, to lucky recipients around the world.
At the heart of Noodoll are a cast of characters, both mischievous and friendly in equal measure. Made out of noodles and rice, these playful partners appeal to children and adults alike.

Our customers often tell us that they’ve fallen in love with the wonderful and unique world of Noodoll. We reckon that the potent combination of cheerful bright design, humour, honest quality, affordability and responsible manufacturing has this effect. What’s not to love?

Noodoll was created by designer and author YiYing Wang (王怡穎) as part of her MA in communication design at the Central Saint Martins, London.

In addition to bringing the wonderful world of Noodoll to life, YiYing has written six successful books, penned articles for a number of publications continues to create ranges of characters for other publishers and brands.

Here’s a sneaky peek of YiYing and the Noodoll Studio,courtesy of Life.Style.etc.

Noodoll.com – About us