MEET YOUR FELLOW PIGGYBACKER: Designer Journals

Designer Journals—

Custom Journals, NYC.

"I think that no matter how much we embrace technology, 
and increasingly use it to perform the functions of our 
jobs and passions, that all human beings benefit from 
the simple exercise of writing and drawing by hand. It 
touches another part of us inside, slows down the 
pace of life momentarily, and allows us to access 
feelings and thoughts important to developing our 
creative selves and true uniqueness. It is this 
documentation of our thoughts, ideas, dreams and 
visions that have created history itself. It is a 
process that can help guide us toward our best 
personal and collective futures." -Karl Heine

BEHIND THE JOURNAL WITH KARL HEINE


It was my Grandmother who inspired me to create 
DesignerJournals. She was a consummate adventurer 
and documented all of her experiences. I found 
this out simply by being a passenger on her travels — 
not a passenger by any particular means — but as a 
guest on her adventures in the filtering light of 
my youth. 

When I was young — my grandmother invited me 
on journeys to what I consider some of the most 
interesting and exciting places in the world — 
all of them in Manhattan. We went to places like 
the Empire State Building, the circus, the Museum 
of Natural History, a television game show, and 
the premiere of the film The Yellow Submarine.

When we returned to her home after each adventure, 
she would take out her journal and write about the 
day's events. One evening, I noticed a box filled 
with envelopes and a collection of letters, journals, 
and small photo albums — my curiosity was piqued! We 
spent the next several hours discussing family history. 
She gave me a few envelopes from the 1920s plus a nickel 
letter opener with my late grandfather's initials, 
shaped like the key of Bremen with a hand-cut heart. 
My fascination led me to be the collector and keeper 
of our family's history, and to document all of my 
new adventures. 


Later in life, when working toward my design degree at 
the University of Bridgeport, we were asked to keep a 
journal to develop our ideas. I kept my journal with me 
and whenever the mood would strike, I'd write and draw. 
I filled many books. Then, after a considerable hiatus, 
I returned to journaling to sketch out my new office 
environment, and to concept a line of art lighting I 
launched in 2000. 

Over the course of my extensive travels as a guest 
lecturer at some of the country's top art and design 
schools, I noticed that many students were obsessively 
writing and drawing in all kinds of notebooks — not to 
take lecture notes — but out of the necessity and passion
of keeping a record of ideas, sketches, and doodles. In 
early 2008, after researching and experimenting with the 
best eco-friendly materials I could find, I began 
distributing complimentary DesignerJournal™ prototypes 
to students, faculty and design professionals to test 
the concept. They were a smash hit with design students 
and creative professionals at all levels. So, I decided 
to produce bigger batches of Designer Journals™ and make 
them available to the world at large. 


I think that no matter how much we embrace technology, 
and increasingly use it to perform the functions of our 
jobs and passions, that all human beings benefit from the 
simple exercise of writing and drawing by hand. It touches 
another part of us inside, slows down the pace of life 
momentarily, and allows us to access feelings and thoughts 
important to developing our creative selves and true uniqueness. 
It is this documentation of our thoughts, ideas, dreams and 
visions that have created history itself. It is a process that 
can help guide us toward our best personal and collective futures.

Thanks to my true love kHyal, for an explosion of creativity and 
the support and encouragement to make Designer Journals happen.

Designer Journals—Custom Journals, NYC.
http://designerjournals.com

 

 

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