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Vela began in Michigan in 2007 as a collaboration between lab scientists and a team of local print and bindery experts with the common goal of producing smarter, better lab notebooks made sustainably in the United States. It was clear that the lab notebooks on the market were poorly designed in meeting the needs of people working in labs every day—and we knew we could craft something superior and more easily customizable. 


"Better notebooks ensure better organization,
allowing more time for innovation and big ideas."


Through grants and the support of friends and Kickstarter backers, we produced our first small batch of notebooks. Years of refining later, we are now a major source of lab and field notebooks across the U.S and beyond with a consistently expanding range of products. Through rigorous field testing and feedback from customers like you, we’ll continue to improve our offerings to meet industry needs.



Every Vela product is manufactured right here in the United States. Local production not only gives us the chance to support local, fair wage tradespeople, but it also provides more consistent high-quality printing and binding and more efficient product distribution. We are always working to find the most sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques. Between American-sourced cloth, soy-based inks, 100% PCW book boards, FSC- and SFI-certified papers—we are committed to sustainable practices. For more details, see our materials guide or materials specifications on each product page. 



As former science students ourselves, we know the challenges and inequalities in the field. Through our discount and referral programs, we aim to make getting quality materials easier and more cost-effective so you can focus on doing good work. 

We also know that lab notebooks are a fundamental part of all lab work. Part of our mission is to make teaching and learning the standards of lab notebooks as easy as possible. To help in this process, we are generating a growing library of user guides and teaching aids, all free to use.