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Inspire Creativity and Change the World with Denik Journals

When it comes time to spark creativity or record thoughts and ideas, a journal can be your best friend. Whether you’re a writer, a visual artist or both, writing or sketching in a journal or notebook is a great way to tap into your subconscious mind and unleash some buried hidden gems.

Certainly, in a pinch, any old book or scrap of paper will do. But I would argue that it’s infinitely more inspiring to use a journal that looks great, feels nice, screams “artistic,” and even does its part to change the world for the better.

That’s what you get with a Denik journal (as seen in photo 1), whose mission is to change the world one book at a time. “We collaborate with independent artists from all over the world to design our journals and notebooks. With each book sold we donate $1 to the building of a school. This year, we will be building a middle school in Mali, Africa. Our belief is that art can change the world, a mission we wish to accomplish through the betterment of education.” explains Jake Frisby, Denik’s Director of Logistics.

The name “Denik” means “journal” in Czech. The company was started by a group of college students at Utah State who wanted to do something creative, use artwork to make a difference, and eliminate the stigma of “starving artist.” The core staff who work full time are Frisby, Founder and CEO Tyler Tolson, and Director of Analytics and Marketing Brent Crosby.

Beyond the artistic and social aspects, the quality of the journals is also impressive. The velvety-soft suede-like covers are rugged, durable, water- and UV-resistant, and the paper is acid free. They come with a ribbon bookmark and an elastic closure (as seen in photo 2). “People want their products to look cool, stand for something, and function great. Denik is the only journal product that incorporates all of these aspects,” Frisby says.

Journals and notebooks can be found at select arts festivals (as seen in photo 3) and upcoming retail locations, as well as purchased online at; artists can also submit their work for consideration at the site or by emailing their design to Once approved, designs appear in the gallery for public voting at

If a design receives 500 loves, it will be made into a journal (as seen in photo 4). Artists are welcome to tap into their social media contacts to make that happen. “User generated content in a voting system allows the community to say which designs they want printed on the books,” says Frisby. However, “if an artist submits work that the company feels fits our branding, we may choose to go ahead and print it as an option for our customers.”

The final products are available as perfect bound journals (as seen in photo 5) that retail for $10 to $18, or spiral-bound notebooks that sell for $7. The artist receives a 5% royalty on each book sold, and $1 always goes to the current year’s nonprofit school-building partner, such as the current Mali Rising Foundation.

To further help out the artists featured on the journals, Denik works daily to get the designs in front of as many consumers as possible. Inside the journal, the artist is also given a spot to explain their work and promote themselves however they see fit.

If you have a design you want made into a journal without going through the regular submission process, you can also have them custom produced at a wholesale cost. There is no MSRP so you can sell the books for whatever price you choose, and some artists sell limited-edition autographed copies at a premium.


Photos 1 and 3 © Heather Vale Goss, The Unwrapper LLC

All other photos courtesy Denik