Love stationery? You deserve better. Say hello to PHANTOM.

Alex Wain
5 min readSep 2, 2021


PHANTOM NOTES — Limited edition stationery for unlimited minds.

Hi, I’m Alex the founder of stationery brand PHANTOM. Premium limited edition journals and notebooks, built on the simple belief that your next idea could change everything.

For me, when it comes to using your journal or notebook — the less white noise, prompts and distractions the better.

Your journal shouldn’t make you jump through hoops. It should be frictionless, so you can have complete focus and clarity around what you are writing down.

We’ve worked tirelessly to include all the features you expect in a premium journal — smooth high quality paper, a flexible dot grid system, tactile materials and a beautiful design.

Early beginnings

To explain how we got here, we’re going to have to step back in time momentarily — back to the 80s in fact.

I grew up in a remote rural town in the UK.

As a teenager you have two options to keep yourself amused. Either graffiti the local playground or do laps in your car around the centre of town at 10 miles per hour.

It was a place where you had to make your own entertainment. That’s when my friends and I started making mixtapes for each other, pirated from different radio stations. The old “Hit-play-and-record-at-the-same time” trick.

Music completely opened my mind to a world of new emotions and possibilities.

There was the rawness of Nirvana, the weird brilliance of Bjork, the volatile energy of RATM, the shifting sonics of Radiohead and the haunting melodies of Nine Inch Nails to name just a few.

You’d hear a song and echoes of it would ring true in your own life. That’s when you knew you’d become a fan.

Those artists (and many more) redefined the expectations of others, both musically and creatively. I still listen to them all today, because I’m still inspired by them as I was all those years ago.

From music to writing

I probably had a diary to go along with my angsty mixtapes to be fair. I’m sure we’ve all had experiences using journals, notepads, planners, diaries and pocket notebooks over the years.

No matter your age, writing your thoughts down makes them feel more tangible, more definitive. Far more than constantly shifting the cursor back and forth on a screen.

But when it comes to stationery in the present day — to say options are limited is an understatement. You have four options.

It’s time we changed that.

1. Stacked high, sold cheap

The first is some low quality, generic and unremarkable brand with the lowest price point.

Those are the spiral bound notepads you find lingering in stationary cupboards in offices around the country.

Thin scratchy paper, made it bulk and cheap as chips.

2. Colours gone wild

The second is a deluge of notebooks covered in cliched one liners, trending hashtags, glittery slogans and fluffy taglines.

It’s often set against a backdrop of garish colours, soft pastels and faded hues.

3. Flowers, flowers & more flowers

The third is a trend you’re most likely to see in stores.

Waves of floral illustrations and topped off with that generic handwriting font to give it that vague waft of authenticity.

Lots of leaves, lots of references to nature, lots of daily affirmations, lots of copy and paste going on.

4. Boring for the Boardroom

The fourth is reserved for that range of expensive corporate stationery that is bereft of character or charm.

Designed entirely for boardroom meetings and destined to remain unopened on desks worldwide.

Cheap leather covers, faux gold clasps holding it all together and pages filled with different timezones that you never reference.

It’s time for a new alternative

Where are the high quality notebooks for people who don’t want a hashtag on their cover, a bulky office book or a jungle themed journal?

Like music, you need both ends of the spectrum represented.

Where can you find a brand that champions the originals, the visionaries, the eccentrics, the unconventional, the proving them wrong types, the revolutionaries, the dreamers, the innovators, the wild ones, the outspoken, the marching to their own beat types?

You know, the people like you.

I couldn’t find one. So I decided to create it.

It’s called PHANTOM. This is what we’re all about.

In a world filled with those uninspired dream journals and generic notebooks — PHANTOM stands in the opposite corner. We’re here to support your creative journey, not distract from it.

Heretic — Premium Dot-Grid Journal (Doom Black / Warm Ember)

Unobtrusive in their simplicity, each journal and notebook is designed to streamline your thoughts, reduce distractions and sharpen your focus.

Inspired by the UK, but designed right here in Sydney, Australia — we’ve worked through dozens of prototypes to create a range of limited edition products that reflect your individuality — not force you to be part of the crowd.

Lunar — Pocket Notebook (Witcher Black / Phosphor Glow)

Like the bands that inspired me all those years ago, it’s that relentless belief in forging your own path that is the driving force behind PHANTOM.

I hope you join us and become part of our growing community. Take a look around our store and if you see something you like — jump on it. We’re already selling out.

Until then remember. Reject the ordinary.

— — — — — — — — — —

Join the community: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Web

Credits: Imagery by Matthew Syres, visual design by Ben Kocinski / Cottonbro, music by White Bat and print by Halo Print Co.