A Creative Business: Graphic Design Alum Launches Nomad Notebooks

By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Visual Design

September 19, 2017

A 2015 Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design graduate from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division, LaMar Smith is part of a two-person team behind the launch of Nomad Notebooks, whose innovative, small notebooks feature different types of paper, colors, and textures.

Smith and his co-founder Ben Scott, both graphic designers, were inspired to create Nomad Notebooks after years of sketching ideas on sticky notes, napkins, and scrap pieces of paper. There was something about exploring their ideas on diverse surfaces and textures that they enjoyed, but using loose pieces of paper made it difficult to store and track their ideas. 

Yet, when they went on the hunt for notebooks containing mixed types of paper, there was nothing to be found on the market. Comparatively, always using the same paper to sketch or write on seemed boring. As artists, they wanted something more, something different that would stimulate and inspire their creativity. From that very goal arose the founding of Nomad Notebooks.

Their first product was called Repurposed, a pocket-sized notebook featuring six kinds of paper: kraft, graph, tracing, white, cream, and recycled newsprint. Since then, they’ve come up with ideas for three new types of notebooks:

● Graph: Contains six different types of graph paper, including hexagons, dots, triangles, a cross grid, squares, and hex dots.
● Planner: Features a month calendar, task lists, and “think space” pages for capturing your ideas or doodles. 
● Sea+Air+Space: Includes colored, dotted, and gridded paper, interspersed with maps, constellation charts, and even depth charts of the Chesapeake Bay.
Along with the notebooks, Scott and Smith have recently added three complementary products: a leather carrying case, a canvas utility roll, and Nomad Blackout pencils made of black wood, a black eraser, and black lead. To help with expanding their product line and reaching a broader audience, Nomad Notebooks has turned to crowdfunding, starting a Kickstarter campaign in August with a goal of $25,000.

“We saw that in order to take this to the next level, we would need help, and that is why we are at Kickstarter,” explains Smith.
So far, the company has received over $12,000 in backing, and, for a $10 pledge, supporters will receive a three-pack of Nomad Notebooks along with a thank you on the company’s website.

Scott and Smith have also decided to donate a portion of their sales to The Arbor Day Foundation. “We feel it is our responsibility to give back for what we take out of the environment,” Smith says. “For each pack of notebooks you purchase, we will donate to reforesting our planet.”

They also hope their products will be catalysts for increased creativity and adventure for everyone. “When you create, it’s contagious,” says Smith. “We want you to create and imagine and dream. Big things all start with an idea. Just like the idea for Nomad Notebooks.”

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By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Visual Design

September 19, 2017

graphic design graphic design program