Documenting Berlin with beautiful tools from 53

A few weeks ago I traveled to Berlin, Germany for the first time. I felt it was an incredible city with a unique marriage of history and culture, but also modernity, especially within the city's architecture. I brought with me my iPad installed with a brilliant app called paper, and took along my Pencil Stylus. 


My virtual sketchbooks in the Paper app from 53. Click to enlarge.

Paper - The tool I used on my iPad, Pencil - the incredibly intuitive stylus, and the final printed book from Moleskine. Click to enlarge.

I used an incredible app from 53 called Paper to document my visit. Paper brings traditional artistic tools like pens, paintbrushes and a mixing palette into the 21st century. The app lets you create artwork in a virtual Japanese folding book that's fun and elegant to use. The whole app is beautifully designed and simple to use which makes it even more pleasurable to work with. In an anti-skeopmorphic world where everything is now flat and 'shadowless'; I really appreciated the 3D designs of the virtual books and brushes. It gives the app a sense of charm and personality which is often missing in creative software. 

A sketch drawn when planing a photoshoot. Click to enlarge.

A quick sketch of the architecturaly brilliant Sony Centre in the heart of Berlin. Click to enlarge.

I also used a smart stylus (also form 53) called Pencil. Pencil connects to the app via bluetooth so can tell when you're drawing using the stylus, and when you want to smudge colours with your hands. It also automatically knows when you flip the stylus over to use the eraser tool on the top. This combined with palm rejection technology means you can draw and sketch freely as if working with a real pencil and paper.

Whilst walking around Berlin and when visiting galleries such as Bauhaus, I used Pencil and Paper on my iPad to draw quick observational sketches or sculptures, buildings and scenes. These incredible products from 53 have all the benefits of traditional tools but the convenience of digital storage, speed and portability. You can view some of my Sketches on the Art page. It was really fun using my iPad to record my visit as it's much more engaging than taking photos and videos. 

Looking at pages in my virtual sketchbook on my iPad. Click to enlarge.

Customising the book before it was sent off for print. Click to enlarge.

Selecting which pages to print is fun and easy. Click to enlarge.

53 has gone the extra mile by partnering with Print company MILK and quality notebook producer Moleskine; so after I got back from Berlin, with a few taps my artwork transformed from the digital world into a physical, tactile book. The actual book is handmade and exactly the same as the one I crafted on my iPad, It still folds like a Japanese folding book, and has the vibrancy and scale of my iPad's retina display.

Sketches of Museum Island and a piece in the Bauhaus gallery. Click to enlarge.

When my book arrived, it was wrapped in this neat packaging, and signed by the person who handmade it. Click to enlarge.

The book open on a sketch of an Art Gallery Exterior. Click to enlarge.

As the book is bound like a Japanese folding book so it is possible to see multiple pages at the same time. Click to enlarge.

I'm so pleased with the result and it makes a great souvenir that I designed my self, and instantly brings back memories. The whole experience 53 delivers is above and beyond excellent. The app is great fun to use, the stylus works so intuitively and the printed book has the quality Moleskine is renowned for. I will defiantly be using Paper and Pencil on a regular basis!

Learn more about Paper and Pencil at


2Adam Marsh