How It's Made
Materials and making are at the very heart of everything we do.
Mark+Fold was born of passion for paper and all the magical things you can do with it. From sourcing sustainably-made papers, to geeking out about the finer details with our specialist book-binders, every detail matters.
We proudly share every step of our production process. We work exclusively with specialist printers and book-binders who share our perfectionism and attention to detail.
We are privileged to have built a great network of suppliers and craftspeople — the best of the best in the UK, and Europe. We're proud to have built loyal partnerships with specialists who have so much to teach us and help realise our expectations. We collaborate closely to understand how to get the best out of a material or process, and to fine-tune the details until they're right.
Supporting craftsmanship and local makersSadly, during the time since we started Mark+Fold in 2015, we've seen great paper mills close and endless high street stationery brands continuing to produce their products as cheaply as possible, which threatens smaller family-run book-binders in the UK and Europe with valuable specialist skills and craftsmanship honed over many years. We are proud to push firmly against this movement, and support the exceptional craft skills and perfectionist attitude that we feel simply must survive into the future.
Specialist layflat binding
It's vitally important that a notebook lays open flat for a comfortable writing experience, so we worked tirelessly to get this detail right. We've worked with the same team of specialist Dutch book-binders on every single batch of notebooks and planners since then. Using a special technique combining thread-sewing with the use of cold glue, achieves a book that is as robust as it is flexible. Unlike hotmelt glues (commonly used to make cheaper notebooks as it is far quicker and cheaper), our cold glue won't make the notebook spine stiff so that it needs to be cracked or forced to open.
Our bindery in Belgium is at the heart of a region with a long history of printing and book-binding. Students there can specialise in printing from the age of twelve, and almost everyone you meet had family working in the industry. The quality of craftsmanship, passed through the generations, results in a quality of finish that we have not seen elsewhere. Our partnership began in 2015, and we have worked together on all Mark+Fold notebooks and diaries since then.
Selecting the best notebook paper
A good notebook is all about the paper. We select our papers through a rigorous testing process, devised in 2015 when we created our first notebooks (and before that by our founder Amy during her MA in Design).
We use a 120gsm smooth cream paper in our notebooks and diaries, chosen it for its excellent opacity, with little to no feathering or bleed through. It has a beautifully smooth surface, making it great for fountain pen as well as a wide range of writing and drawing instruments - in fact, our testing group included writers, architects, illustrators and fountain pen users. It has a rich creamy tone, which oozes quality and makes for a delightful writing experience.
It is made sustainably at one of Europe's leading sustainable mills.
We personally visit our paper mills to learn about the various ways they are contributing to sustainable supply chains and striving to have a positive impact on their local environment.
Nothing goes to waste
We use initiatives like pre-orders and seconds sales to avoid over-production and ensure that nothing is wasted. The same goes for our suppliers who work hard to recycle even the dust particles of paper. Our paper mill has a responsible water management policy to ensure it returns clean water to the local river. Working closely the the Environment Agency to keep it safe enough for the local population of fresh-water crayfish.
Plastic Free since 2015
Our paper-based packaging is designed to be re-used, and then recycled. Our glassine envelopes and hand-wrapped bible paper replace single-use plastics.