Art + Design

Art Deco Notebooks

Art Deco is a design style that first appeared in France in the 1920s. The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. About a year ago, a few of my colleagues and I got together to brainstorm ideas for things that we wanted to make. One of our production coordinators brought in a beautiful sheet of stationery that was of that era and style and we all instantly fell in love with the idea of making something that was over-the-top lavish and decadent and really embraced the ideals of that movement, which of course, in our minds, meant using FOIL, and lots of it, as much of it as we could afford! We looked into several different format ideas, but ultimately settled upon a set of three notebooks for our homage to this classic and visually stunning era.

As I often do when starting my design process, I pulled together inspiration boards to help identify design motifs that would help me create patterns that would feel of the period. I found so much beauty and inspiration in examples of the architecture and interior design, as well as fashion, jewelry, and packaging during that time. The tall and elegant lines, the curves that create a feeling of fluidity and grace, the radiating sunbursts and zigzags were all elements that I wanted to try and bring into the design of the notebooks.

After having identified the motifs I wanted to use, I began to sketch—lots and lots of sketches—starting off in pencil, later moving them into the computer to start playing with colors and how we might maximize our use of foil (i.e. the bling factor). Here are a few of the sketches I did.

Next, my editor and I sat down with the difficult task of having to narrow down all the ideas to three so that I could refine the chosen designs into a cohesive set. It was hard, but we did it. Here are the designs that we chose for the final set in all their foil glory!

We continued the designs (and the foil!!!) onto the backs of the notebooks so that they would feel lavish, decadent and deluxe.

I have to give a special thanks to my production coordinator and partner-in-foil-crime on this project, Ben, who was the one who brought in that beautiful sheet of stationery that inspired us and who was the one who fulfilled this designer’s dream of being able to use more foil than I ever thought would be possible. We hope that you enjoy the finished set as much as we do.

Kristen Hewitt
Design Director, Formats

Our Art Deco Notebooks will be available after August 13th and are available for pre-order here.

Subscribe to our monthly Art + Design Newsletter.

Kristen Hewitt

Kristen Hewitt

Design Director at Chronicle Books and an enthusiastic cheerleader for gift and stationery products (and pretty much anything with foil).
Kristen Hewitt



  • @AnnNyberg July 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Love these!!! Would you consider wholesaling these? I would love to have some in my boutique in Connecticut.


    • Kristen July 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Ann, Thanks so much for taking an interest in these notebooks! I just wanted to let you know that I sent your inquiry to our sales team with your url, so hopefully someone will contact you soon.

      Many thanks again! Kristen


  • Karen Duffy July 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    These are beautiful!!


  • Amy July 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    These are very well done. I can't wait until they are out. Thanks!


  • Kate Cheever July 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Kristen,

    Would you be interested in selling/sharing your designs for different media? I LOVE your designs!



  • Rosemary July 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    So glad to have a chance to find out who made these lovely notebooks. Came across them in a store in September and I have been IN LOVE!!! I am a huge fan of the Art Deco period. Oddly enough, these small objects are some of my favorite possessions. Thank you for your artistry. I hope you continue to make more beautiful pieces.


Leave a Comment