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A Guide to Printing a Journal

October 12, 2022 (Last Updated May 25, 2023)

Marcy G.

There are certain books that will simply never go out of style, and journals certainly fit into that category. Custom journals and bullet journals are steadily gaining popularity. A quick check of Pinterest reveals thousands of ideas, images, and tips.

Journals are for everyone and can be used by everyone; There’s no limit to the audiences looking to buy a new journal. For example, maybe you’re an entrepreneur who has recognized a gap in the journal market, so you need to work with a printing company who will be able to execute your design. Or maybe you’re a creative wanting to showcase your artwork on a journal cover to be used for other creatives to store their ideas. Printing custom journals can also be great for companies who want to give them as employee or client gifts, a workshop add-on for speakers/thought leaders, and various events – you get the gist! 

Bullet journals (BuJo) have especially increased in popularity, simply because of the design aesthetic associated with them. Bullet journaling is a planner, diary, and mindfulness tool all in one. Designed to improve productivity, help with organization and enable an outlet for creativity, bullet journals allow the user to customize the experience to fit their goals. Printing a BuJo would be a great way to break into the journal world.

48 Hour Books has the print options you need to print a custom journal or bullet journal, including spiral coil binding, custom tabs, and thick paper options for journaling. Here are some questions you should ask before printing your custom journal:


·      Who is my journal for?

·      What type of binding should I choose?

·      Do I want there to be sections?

·      What kind of paper should I choose?

·      What do I want my journal cover to look like?


We’ll go through these questions step-by step so you can feel confident when you go to print your custom journal.


Who is my journal for?

First you should determine your target audience for your journal. If you’re printing journals for a work function or for personal reasons, this will be easy to answer. If you’re looking to cash in on the boom in journal popularity, then you may need to narrow your focus to a specific age range. The 18-24 age group might be looking for a different design than journals targeted toward people aged 40-45. Once you determine your audience, it will help inform other aspect of your custom journal like binding type and cover design.


What type of binding should I choose?

Next you should decide the type of binding you want your journal to be.


Spiral coil binding: If you want your journal to lay flat, then spiral coil binding would be the best option. Our spiral binding is made from durable plastic coil that is auto punched. Plastic coil binding offers advantages over wire coil binding, as it won’t easily bend, and it comes in lots of coil color options to match your cover artwork. Spiral coil binding is also the only binding type that can be used with tabs. Reverting back to our list of questions, If you want your journal broken up into specific sections, then divider tabs would be a great way to customize sections of your custom journal.


Case Binding/Hardcover: Hardcover binding is also a great option for custom journals, especially if you’re going for a more classic, sleek look. Our case binding option can be customized with a variety of beautiful choices, from cover type to foil stamping and more. For a classic, high-quality look, we recommend selecting one of our special cover options, which we will dive more into later.


Perfect Binding/Paperback: For a cost-effective binding option, paperback binding is always a reliable choice. Paperback books are the most popular binding option for consumers, so you can’t go wrong. They are loved by readers for being light and portable, which is a good selling point for journals. People want to be able to take their journals with them when on the go.


What kind of paper should I choose?

Sine journals are intended to be written in, we recommend printing on uncoated stock. we recommend a thicker stock (70 lb. or 80 lb Uncoated.). Just make sure that the thicker stock won’t make your planner or journal too bulky. It needs to be portable, flexible, and practical for writing purposes. 48 Hour Books offers printed proofs, which we recommend adding to your order for planners and bullet journals. With a printed proof, you can see the finished product before your full run of books print. You can practice writing on the pages to ensure it will work exactly as planned. Learn more about our available paper types.


What do I want my cover to look like?

Lastly, let’s talk about book covers. Going back to your target audience, think about what kind of design aesthetic they might find appealing. If you’re printing a BuJo, these tend to be pretty stylized, using modern, colorful artwork to make a good first impression. If you’re appealing to an older demographic, then consider printing your journal with one of our special cover options, like cloth, leather, and leatherette, These special covers can be paired with foil-stamping to make your journal title and artwork shiny and sleek.

For a more cost-effective way to make your custom journal stand out, our Diamond 3D Printing pairs well with every cover option offered by 48 Hour Books. Diamond 3D Printing is a shiny, raised texture that accentuates the cover design underneath. Our expert designers can help determine which elements to highlight to give you the look you desire. We recommend checking out our YouTube Channel to see how brilliant this cover effect actually is, as pictures can’t do it justice!

Now that you understand your print options for printing a custom journal, you can start the process of making your vision come to life. 48 Hour Books is here to help with guidance, high-quality, timely printing, and a team of experts that will hold your hand through the process. Contact us today to get started!

Dream Journal - coil bound     make It Happen Journal - case bound     Reintroduce Myself Journal - coil bound w/ tabs

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


Charonda Renal November 18, 2023

Thank you for the resources.

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