Magma Books Bring Creative Thinking to Life

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By Jonathan Simcoe / Published by Jonathan Simcoe
Look inside some brilliant sketchbooks from Magma that carve out a creative niche for themselves.

I first came across Magma's series of sketchbooks through Hand-Eye Supply, a little design-centric gear shop near where I work in downtown Portland, Oregon.

The folks at Laurence King, who work in conjunction with Magma to publish these little sketchbooks, were kind enough to send me a couple books at my request to test out and review.

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Magma Books Bring Creative Thinking to Life - Photo 1 of 3 - The Idea Generation book has some guided ways to start thinking creatively, followed by pages and pages of empty space to fill up.

The Idea Generation book has some guided ways to start thinking creatively, followed by pages and pages of empty space to fill up.

What I like most about the Magma books are their focused perspective. They are very opionated, and that is a good thing. The Idea Generation book is very much geared toward slowing down, and approaching a creative problem with different thoughtful exercises. It really worked!

As I approached some new mobile UI paradigms I was faced with, I found that the Idea Generation book not only helped me slow my thinking down but it took me down a path I wouldn't have arrived on by my own.

This created value I wouldn't have expected and was a welcome way to approach a new project with fresh perspective.

Magma Books Bring Creative Thinking to Life - Photo 2 of 3 - The back of each book if filled with useful, not-easy-to-find information related to the book's given subject.

The back of each book if filled with useful, not-easy-to-find information related to the book's given subject.

I chose the Architecture book because of the gridded pages (both squared and isometric) as well as the blank pages.

Along for the ride came rulers, and a guide to architectural history and notable features that relate to building design. I am fascinated with buildings and physical architecture, it is one of the reasons I enjoy Dwell so much.

That being said, each Magma book has a wealth of insider information pertaining to the given subject matter.

These helpful bits further cement the Magma books at carving out a very unique and indispensable niche to respond to any creative need.

Magma Books Bring Creative Thinking to Life - Photo 3 of 3 - Magma's thick, creamy paper creates a satisfyingly rich writing surface.

Magma's thick, creamy paper creates a satisfyingly rich writing surface.

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Whatever your creative pursuit, I would highly recommend you check out Magma books and give them a go for yourself. You might find yourself somewhere you didn't expect, but that is how great ideas come to life.

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