Very rarely do we review physical products created by or for designers. Most of the time we’re writing about apps and web services, not bags, cases, and accessories for our collective myriad of devices (although there are a few exceptions). Dotgrid.co is one of those exceptions, not only because it makes great products, but also because the two creative people behind it fully understand the need for high-quality, physical design materials.
Dotgrid.co was created by Callum Chapman, a fellow designer, and his uncle, Steve Vince, a professional printer in London. They felt there was a need for dot-grid books made specifically in the UK, instead of paying the exorbitant shipping costs for the same, sometimes lesser-quality products sold stateside.
It seems like they’ve been able to reach that goal, since the books themselves are simply beautiful. With spiral-bound, high-grade paper subtly printed with light gray dots, and durable, finished cardboard covers, you can clearly see how much thought has gone into the whole manufacturing process, from start to finish.
So, why would you buy one of these books? If you’re a designer, the answer is simple. Many designers (myself included) start on paper, whether they’re designing for screens or for print. Just take a look at the amount of Dribbble shots tagged ‘sketch’!
The books from Dotgrid.co are especially helpful since their grid form makes it easy to convert your designs to pixels. Having all of your sketches available in a bound form that lies flat on a desk is also a big plus. Even developers can benefit from using paper and pencils in their workflow, either when conceptualizing the flow of data, or simply explaining a more complicated idea to a designer (an occurrence I’m sure we’re all familiar with).
If you’re interested in purchasing one or more dot grid books, Dotgrid.co has got you covered, especially if you live in Europe. They’re available in A4 and A5 sizes, for £14 and £10, respectively (that converts to about $21 and $15 plus shipping for those of us in the U.S.). I highly recommend you order one of these books, as it will increase your productivity not only onscreen, but off.