When we founded Vela Sciences in 2007, we saw the need for a well-designed notebook that could endure the challenging conditions of lab and field. We partnered with a local print shop to solve this problem, and the result was a high-caliber notebook that was highly sought after by other labs. Since then, we’ve listened to customer feedback, refined our design, and made our products available to people throughout the United States. Today, we are developing new concepts for integrating physical and digital notebooks in both the lab and field.
Vela products are manufactured exclusively in the United States, which imposes strict manufacturing guidelines. These restrictions ensure that Vela products are sustainably produced. Keeping production local also guarantees that Vela products are socially sustainable; our manufacturing facilities support fair wage workers and their families.
Vela sources 100 percent recycled book board, manufactured from 100 percent PCW in the United States. Our vellum book cloth contains 100 percent natural cotton fibers and is made in the USA, and our paper is both Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified and processed with elemental chlorine-free bleaching techniques.
As former science students, we understand how challenging it can be to learn the complex rules and standards for maintaining a laboratory notebook. When students don't understand how to properly document their work, the mistakes that often result are costly, both to a lab's operation, and to a student's academic career—even deterring them from pursuing the sciences. We at Vela are dedicated to eliminating the frustration of using lab notebooks. Our library of resources is informed by professionals in the classroom and lab, so the process of learning how to maintain a lab notebook is clear, concise, and accessible to all.
At Vela, we also take pride in our support of several local science education and non-profit research labs. By providing them with laboratory notebooks and stationery at no cost, we hope to further scientists’ passion for their work. In exchange, we get valuable feedback that allows us to make the highest quality products for our customers.
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Over the past few years, we’ve been perfecting a binding technique that allows pages to lay—and stay—flat as you write. The result of this work is OptiSewn binding—a proprietary binding technique that uses a register of 16 pages instead of the standard 32 to 48. As part of this process, we layer adhesives and papers on top of the lay-flat binding to maximize the flexibility and durability of the book. This process makes Vela notebooks a pleasure to use, and ensures that your work will remain permanently bound and secure for years to come.
It’s important to note that smaller-form notebooks and softcovers don’t lay as flat as our larger books; however, softcovers will lay flatter the more you open them. You can expedite this process without impacting the book’s integrity by applying pressure along the spine in several locations. If it’s crucial that your notebook lay flat as you work, we highly recommend our full-size, 9 x 11.7-inch hardcover option, which lays exceptionally flat--even while you are writing on the first few pages.
All Vela stationery provides exceptional surfaces for writing, made possible by specially made, 70-pound writing paper. This ultra-heavyweight paper far exceeds the industry standard of 50 pounds and affords additional opacity—95 percent—to prevent ink show through, especially when using archival pigment inks. Our acid- and elemental chlorine-free paper is also archival quality. The pages won’t yellow or become brittle with age, so you can be confident that your work will be preserved for years to come.
Vela heavyweight paper complements a wide array writing implements and is specially optimized for pens with archival pigment inks. Pigmented ink lays atop the paper, so in most cases, your work won’t show through on the next page. And because the paper is copic-resistant to prevent smearing or fading, your work will remain intact far into the future.
When you write in a Vela notebook, we recommend that you use a .2-point or .25-point (for heavier lines) Sakura Micron Pen. These archival pens are available in five tip sizes, with fine to broad tips, and come in 15 colors. They are low cost, available in many retail stores, and can be purchased in bulk on Amazon.