A few days ago, I was catching up with my closest friend – Sachin Shah at his residence over lunch. As we were reminiscing over old hobbies (especially indoor ones, thanks to heavy rains), he treated me to the most brilliant visual journey of calligraphy. He had taken to this unique mix of art and typography during school days. The lack of sophisticated equipment and humble pocket money had no effect on the “awe” his output used to generate. It was a refreshing view of someone re-marrying to something that is far away from the high-tech noise and clutter of today.

As I eyed his creations with both envy and pride, he walked me through various experiments and “unknown” combinations he would attempt. Pens, nibs, brushes, paper textures, paper sizes, notebooks…

With whatever little words I could gather (still in awe), I tried hard to match his creations with my praise. As I held one notebook, he said it was an accidental, but now one of the most treasured possession in his calligraphy set.


He spoke passionately about the brand and the product, knowing perhaps that I would appreciate certain elements that make the most logical and UX-full statements.

whitelinesThe notebooks have the most unique concept of having the guiding lines (ruled or squared) in White color, with the paper being in a shade of light gray. As I was making a mental impulsive purchase of this book – to use as a sketchbook for my hobby and profession, Sachin made me aware of few functional points of this genius stationary.

Dark lines distract, Whitelines don’t.

As apparent by Whitelines‘ profound phrase, we recollected how traditional ruled or squared graph paper notebooks have dark lines (black or blue). Since we mostly write or draw with darker tones – black, blue, or dark gray, it seemed logical that while the impression on light gray background would still be strong, the intermediary guiding forces (white lines) would not obstruct as it might in traditional notebooks. The poor contrast of white lines over light gray background works in favor of the artist. In fact, his calligraphy really stood out on this notebook. I’m sure our circuit diagrams during our college days would have been clearer on this kind of stationary.

And then there was another gem – Sachin mentioned that since the grid lines are white in color, they do not appear when you scan, fax, or copy the sheets.

Really brilliant!

I can’t wait to get my hands (and wireframes) on Whitelines.


Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is a UX professional, hands-on designer and coder. He is a consultant to product companies in San Francisco Bay Area. He loves to play chess and design solutions in spare time. He ran a UX company, IDYeah Creations for six years in India. His expressions can be found on popular platforms like UX Booth, Technorati and SAP Community Network.

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