The Case for Custom Covers
Some time ago I bought a set of the SUCK UK A5 Tab Notebooks on a whim. I liked the idea, the tabs, the color-coding, and the threaded binding. But there were two problems with them:
FP performance was not an issue as I had made up my mind they would make a great gift for my mom (she prefers ballpoint), provided I could figure out a way to utilize them.
The most obvious answer would be a Midori-like solution, but I doubted that the end result would perform as hoped and that it would look at all presentable. Still, I could not shake the idea. So I left a comment with a pic of the Suck UK for @AllegoryGoods on a discussion board of one of their drops. Chad replied that they love custom projects like this, and so a few months, and many emails later, what you see in these photos was the outcome.
Now, what I paid for the cover is significantly more than what a typical A5 leather cover retails for. However, this is a one-off, made-to-order, custom cover; hand made in the USA. And I believe the cost was justified. Especially seeing how well Allegory made it work. It feels like a single solid piece, not a loose mess. The mounting setup works so well you'd think the notebooks were fused to the spine. All 'notetabs' open flat and writing on any page of any of them is as easy as on a conventional notebook.
- Fountain-pen performance was awful, and
- I couldn't figure out a meaningful way to use them?
Moreover, in an earlier post I lamented the lack of reasonable options for those interested in a B5 cover. And while I am very happy to see Massdrop and AllegoryGoods come through for us,
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/allegory-large-notebook-coverI needed one three months ago. Again my best option was to have some covers made to order, and since my wife is never wrong, I went shopping on (ehem) Etsy.
I ended up with a paper-on-fabric cover from Bulgaria for my Apica Premium CDs,
a fabric cover from Poland for my Stalogy,
And a leather cover from Ukraine for my Book of Ra.
All of them were made to order blindly on provided measurements alone. And yet, all of them fit nicely, though the leather cover is a bit on the snug side. Even more impressive than the fit, were the prices; the fabric covers were both under $30 and the Leather cover about $40. Prices include delivery to the States.
Though fabric has its advantages, the blue leather cover is my favorite. Nevertheless, I will still join the the B5 Allegory drop, despite the difference in price. Because, lets face it, I got lucky with the fit and I do want another leather cover for my Apicas.
Would you invest in a custom cover? Do you think it is worth the risk? Or the money?
I would argue, regardless whether you go the more expensive but safer route with local artisans, or a more affordable albeit riskier overseas option, that having a cover made to order is a more rewarding experience, and well worth the money, the risk or the time.
Have you had a cover made to order? Would you care to share your experience with us?