Commitment to Craft



That delivers paper of the utmost appeal,
Removing every last excess
To ensure products of the highest standard

Leonardo da Vinci once said that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

One might be tempted to think that by removing all decoration and refining something to its simplest essence, one removes that which makes it unique.

However, when one simplifies something to its essence, it means that those elements are utilized to their fullest extent.

By pursuing the utmost simplicity as our highest standard, we unlock an object’s true uniqueness.

The cover of the MD Notebook is different from standard notebooks.

Where standard notebooks have endpaper under the cover,
the MD Notebook’s endpaper is the cover.
This is because the additional paper or cover on a standard notebook makes it harder for the notebook to stay open.

A particularly iconic element of the MD Notebook’s minimalist design is the cheesecloth on the spine.

Many notebooks have cheesecloth on the spine to reinforce it, but it is usually hidden under the cover. On the MD Notebook, it is left exposed.
This crisp, gridded mesh is a beautiful accent that shapes the appearance of the MD Notebook, while giving it the outstanding flexibility necessary to open fully.

Da Vinci’s words have had a profound impact upon the beauty and functionality of the MD Notebook. To further illustrate this, we would like to share with you the process through which our notebooks are made, showing the various innovations that lie beneath its unassuming appearance in the hopes that it will help you further enjoy our product.

The manufacturing process can be roughly divided into 9 parts.

First is folding. Stacks of MD PAPER are sent through a machine leaf by leaf and folded into units known in bookbinding as “quires”.

These quires are then put through a threading machine, one by one. Our threaded binding is another special feature of an MD Notebook. As the name implies, quires are bound together with thread, a labor-intensive process that is mostly used for notebooks and journals. We use this process because it makes the bindings incredibly durable and allows the notebooks to be opened a full 180 degrees.

Next, the sewn MD PAPER is bound to the spine and this structure is further tightened by passing it through a glue roller in groups of 11 quires positioned with the spine on the bottom.

The amount of glue is very important to this process.

If there is too much glue, the notebook becomes difficult to open; but insufficient glue means the spine will be too weak. A machine that faithfully reproduces delicate hand-brushed application is used to ensure that these subtle adjustments are made accurately.

Heat is used to dry the bond, after which excess thread is removed.

Normally, the next step would be to apply a super, but this alone would not provide sufficient strength for the MD Notebook. Instead, a strip of washi tape is attached to the inside of the flyleaf (inside of the front) to connect the back of the front pages to the pages inside.

Inserts engraved with the MD PAPER logo are then affixed to the front. As there is no front cover, these inserts do not extend the whole way around the notebook, but are instead only inserted in the pages.

This means that our notebook is formed from only three simple elements: glue, washi paper and the cheesecloth to be applied after.

Though it may seem somewhat inconsequential, the five or six seconds after the glue is applied are extremely important because this is when the glue gains its adhesive strength.

As a final step, any excess is cut from the three edges of the notebook, and a colorful string, another hallmark of the MD Notebook, is added. Final quality checks are made before the notebooks are wrapped in paraffin paper to conclude the process.

Starting with the water refining process used to ensure the pulp has the proper paste-like consistency, the construction of the MD Notebook is like a living thing made up of many processes, people and machines all working in harmony.

Any living thing must rest to gain the strength to work. The MD Notebook is given time to rest between pressing and other processes described above. First, after being folded, a leveling process is applied. The quires are laid on their sides with weights applied, stitched, and then the spine is immediately pressed. Pressing after stitching is the most important part of all these processes and given the highest priority no matter how busy the factory is.

Pressing occurs again after the fly leaf and inserts are attached. After the string is attached, the product is rested for at least a week before inspection.

Some elements simply have to be removed in order to ensure the perfect combination of beauty and functionality. But each stage of the manufacturing process must be completed carefully and diligently to ensure stable product quality.

Other than inspections, basic manufacturing is carried out by machines.

Their pace is rhythmic and quick, progressing as only machines can.

But amongst their clanking and whirring, it is our highly skilled craftspeople who control the machines and ensure the quality of our products.

The MD Notebook is designed for simplicity, so the smallest amount of dirt or a single scratch really stands out. Our craftspeople inspect each product, making fine adjustments such as adding trace amounts of water to the glue to ensure the perfect consistency despite minor environmental fluctuations.

The colorful string added at the end of the process is also sometimes reattached by human hands because it is too delicate to be applied perfectly straight by a machine every time. These steps ensure each product is finished beautifully.

The environment in which we craft the MD Notebook changes slightly every day, and our craftspeople use all of their senses and extensive experience to fine tune the machines, optimizing them to ensure outstanding product quality w ion.


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