I’ve always loved leather journals for as long as I can remember so discovering the Italian leather journals recently from Epica was exciting. I came across them during my research on high quality leather journals. There must be a ton of leather journals out there however you may be thinking, so what makes Epica stand out from the rest?
First and foremost, Epica is all about a quality and personalization, the latter of which is so unique in their level of detail, that this winning combo is one of the things that truly sets them apart.
When the folks at Epica said they’d us some products to test out which we could customize ourselves, I became a kid again, at least in the process. In other words, it was oh so fun!
Here’s how our experience went, from the initial selection process to customization and shipping.
Epica Leather Journals
Epica offers a variety of Italian Leather Journals, from more traditional books to wrap leather journals featuring handmade Amalfi pages (above), which they offer in four different colors: bordeaux, espresso, tan and black.
Their Medievale Collection of wrapped journals takes you back in time — imagine leather journals that look like a scholar of yesterday might have in their bag.
Dedicated to crafting one-of-a-kind leather journals, Epica is all about unique and personal offerings every step of the way. And yup, the beautiful leather comes from and is handstitched in Italy, one of my favorite countries.
This collection uses hand distressed leather binding, and is perfect for writers, artists and philosopher types who still love to get their creative ideas out in their own handwriting.
They also offer Refillable Handmade Leather Wrap Journals, which are smaller notebooks sized at 6 x 9, which is great for travelers who wish to carry something lighter with them at all times.
And, they’re simply beautiful and come in a lovely array of colors (below).
The leather is soft and supple and the cover is bound by a rustic cord that will make you feel like a writer from ancient times who wrote a novel in a classic European café. You can select your paper options as well – some that I looked at came in 22 pound acid free archival writing stock but others had 36 pound stock and beyond. In other words, it’s your customization experience depending on your preference and budget.
For those of you glued to your laptops and cell phones and are thinking: “I never write anything by hand anymore. An old fashioned leather journal – who uses them anymore?”
The truth is that leather journals are very handy for taking notes and for inspiration when you can‘t get connected or when it’s less than desirable to do so. Even if you have a long battery life, do you really want your laptop out in nature when you‘re overlooking a gorgeous lake somewhere in Canada or Switzerland?
C’mon – you won‘t feel the same inspiration as you would when ideas can flow through your fingers from pen to paper. There’s still something magical about handwriting that flows more authentically and creatively than when you type. I say this as someone who has filled dozens of old fashioned paper and leather journals over the years but have also written more than 15,000 articles on the web.
I’m far from a luddite and yet am a huge believer in the power of old fashioned notebooks and leather journals for capturing ideas, recording dreams and letting streams of consciousness flow freely.
Personalize Your Epica Leather Journals
We love the fact that you can personalize nearly everything with Epica leather journals. Imagine being able to personalize what you want the journal to say on the front, or having your initials in one of the corners. Or, a combination?
What else is cool is that you can select the font color as well as the font style. If you want a more modern style, then select Block or if you want the style to reflect an antique look and feel, then they have a couple of script options available.
They’re very granular with their options at Epica. How beautiful is it that black and white isn’t the only option? You can select from copper, rose gold, gold and silver as well as burgundy, ivory, black and real gold leaf.
If you want an oh so luxe gift that will blow a loved one away, then luxury leather journals with complete customization is an excellent choice. Epica does this in spades and does it well!
Imagine high quality handmade leather journals and scrapbooks that are handstitched, with elegantly distressed soft leather and a raised spine to give it that museum quality look and feel.
The leather journals which offer Amalfi pages have texture, color and artisan watermarks that add to a really memorable writing experience.
Note below the font color options so you can get an idea of how each one would present itself against a leather background. Simply gorgeous!
You can also add Custom Title Pages, which is perfect for sending a loved one a personalized message or inspirational note to family members.
Most of Epica’s albums and journals can have a custom title page inside. This is an especially nice way to personalize items which have elaborate cover designs that cannot be embossed or decorated with a name plate.
You can opt for this choice to commemorate a special occasion with a few lines or a paragraph or two, done in calligraphic script to match the style of the book. Your inscription will be dry-mounted to the first page of the book. How cool is that?
Ideas include Happy Birthday, a spiritual message or passage, a dedication or personal love letter, a poem, or an inspirational quote. Your inscription will be professionally typeset and printed in a visually appealing font size, then mounted to the first page of your Journal/Album with your personally selected color-coordinated border. Yup, you can even select the color of the border you want for the title page — personalization at its best!
If that old world look isn’t your thing (from their Antico or Medievale collection), they also have leather journals and notebooks from their Classico collection, which is a little more traditional and have hard covers.
For example, their Classic Handmade Leather Journal is refillable, comes with 22 pound acid free archival paper and comes in 3 different sizes (5×7, 6×9 and 9×12).
Because the panels are hand pressed panels and their reinforced binding is super sturdy, it’s a great choice when you need something really durable, whether on the road, at work or for home use. You can also get this in lined or unlined pages, so it can be used as a writing journal or to let your inner artist shine. The nice thing about this piece is that embossed and customization is more flexible and everything works as there are no patterns or flaps to consider.
We thought giving the kids a customized journal would be a great and memorable gift for the holidays. While Epica has no shortage of high-end leather journals more suitable for adults, they have some fun designs that would make great gifts for kids as well. For example, take a look at their lovely Suede Leather notebooks, which would be great for a boy or a girl.
This notebook comes in a handcrafted, embossed Barocco pattern and is available in four fun colors, although our favorite is what they refer to as Celestial Blue.
They use Italian handmade suede leather covers and a leather strap slips into a stained wood knob closure. Its size is a great one for travel (around 6×9) and a satin bound-in bookmark matches creamy flyleaf color. The notebook offers 256 lined creamy white writing pages with 27 wide-ruled lines per page. It makes for a great gift as it ships in a gorgeous, plush velvet and satin pouch.
While you can’t do embossing with this design since it has a patterned suede cover, you can add a title page for inspiration, which we did.
The Old World Map Journal is one of our favorites, and should be no surprise given that I run and manage a travel site. What traveler wouldn’t love to carry one of these? They make great gifts for kids as well. And, the folks at Epica offer other accessories to match, which will look great in any office.
If you’ve ever been fascinated by the ancient art of mapmaking (we are!) then this is a great choice. It also comes in cream-colored pages and hand pressed panels for easy opening, with 144 sheets (288 writing pages) and is roughly one inch thick. Also great is that it comes in two sizes: 5×7 with unlined pages and 6×9 with lined pages and a lovely gift bag comes with it.
We also love the Allora Collection, which is nature-inspired and comes in four fun colors but they may not be offering these long-term, so be sure to check the website for availability. These Italian handmade leather journals and albums come with a unique laurel leaf cluster embedded within the cover of every hand crafted book. Think rustic elegance!.
Lastly, we want to make a call out to their photo albums and scrapbooks because it’s so timely for the holiday season.
Their wide albums are so so elegant – we love them! These gently distressed Italian leather looks like it came direct from the Renaissance. Each and every album comes with 40 pound photo stock, crisp rice paper interleaved, and hand pressed panels for ease-of-use.
There are several sizes to choose from which reflect how many mounting sheets you get, but any of these are terrific options for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays or the holiday season. And, of course there’s a lovely gift box included.
Epica also offers Digital Proofs (a great idea btw) for your leather journals, notebooks and albums, so you see exactly what your selected font/color and so on personalization will look like before they do the final customization on their end.
There are so many size and color options that you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect journal, journal or scrapbook for you.
Sizes include: 8×10, 6×9, 7×10, 11×15, 6×8, 5×7, 9×12, 15×20, 10×12 and 20×28 (not an exhaustive list). Colors include black, green, red, yellow, classic brown, espresso, Bordeaux, blue, camel, classic brown (stained wood) and various designs.
For more information on the Epica personalization process as well as all of their offerings, from leather journals and journals with flattering designs to scrapbook and other items, visit their website for more, including how to order your customized leather journals or scrapbooks.