Pre Release: Journal Cover
Posted by
Joined Nov 8, '15 

Here’s a project I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but didn’t have it ready so I spent quite a bit of design time on it. I happen to own a Rubicoil spiral binding system (basically, the heavy duty punch that punches the closely spaced holes for a spiral coil). I wanted to make wooden covers for a blank journal.

You would not believe how many iterations I went through in Illustrator before I got the holes of the right size and spaced correctly. I used the blend tool in Illustrator between two equal sized circles to generate the circles in between but kept getting the count and spacing wrong. The final result is still not absolutely perfect if you superimpose it on a punched sheet but it worked well enough with the plastic spirals.

I got the graphic from Print Shop 3 (consumer level graphics program); it was in color so I converted it to grayscale and changed some of the layering of colors to give it more contrast. It’s not a very high contrast image because I wanted it to be more in the background. But you will notice some of the leaves are darker than others and that reflects the levels of gray in the original image. I chose the medium engrave setting for this image.

The text was created in Illustrator using the Anna Clara font (licensed from I converted it to outlines, filled with no stroke, and exported. Engraved with dark settings.

Final result:


Here’s the specs:

Material: 1/8" Proofgrade Maple plywood
Front: background graphic engraved on medium setting; phrase engraved on dark setting
Back: engraved on medium setting

I will upload the blank journal svg to the Free Laser Designs so you can try it if you have a spiral coil punch.

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