Monday, December 2, 2013

How did you awesomize your D&D binder?

Back in the 70s and 80s, at the beginning of each school year (and occasionally in the middle) I would get a new three-ring binder. These were typically the plain, old-fashioned denim binders. Once I got a Trapper Keeper (bright red) and a few times I got binders with some picture or other (Star Wars, maybe?). Typically, though, it was plain binders full of college ruled paper.

Since I discovered D&D pretty early in my academic career, I would normally swap out some of the ruled paper for graph paper and spend as much time filling my notebooks with maps, characters, and game notes as math problems and essays. When I wasn't working on homework or gaming material, I would draw on the binders. Decorate. Awesomize!

I remember at various times having band names and logos copied from album covers, a D&D logo, TIE fighters, and such. I would painstakingly copy a design just to turn around and cover a bit of it with a random sketch while I was half dozing in math class. The inside was home for stickers and more doodles. Eventually the whole cover, inside and out would be covered with drawings and random stuff.

I know that I wasn't the only one doing this. I saw it every day in classes all day long. Unfortunately, I can't find any of these notebooks online. So I am turning to the hive mind. What did you put on your notebooks back in the day? How did you decorate them? And did you happen to take a picture?


  1. I didn't have a binder, but I did have a weird briefcase. I'm not sure where I got it from. A simple hard, leather case with a divided pocked in the back lid. I kept modules in the pockets, rule books in the main area and there was a little elastic pocket on the side where my dice went. That is if they weren't riding my my Crown Royal bag.

  2. You remember the St. Regis binders, notebooks, and portfolios? I had a handful of those back in the day, and hung on to them. When I pulled them out of the box, the binder I had was shot (rusty mechanism, the vinyl had torn), the edges of the portfolios were split and worn....but the art was still colorful and in good shape. So, I cut open the clear covering on the binder and pulled out the art, trimmed the portfolio's art down to about 9x11, and inserted the art into the the outside of some nice 3 ring binders I found on clearance at an office store. Instant retro binders.

    @Tim Shorts: LOL. Where I grew up, a lot of guys used to carry their D&D stuff in old brief cases. This was back in the early-mid 80s.

  3. I had one binder in college that I decorated with a bunch of pictures from a late 80s/early 90 White Dwarf magazine. Road warrior type stuff from about the time GW released "Dark Future" -- all black & white drawings, and I just photocopied them and rubber cemented them onto the binder.

    All my school binders were covered with drawings of heavy metal band logos and swords.