Baron Fig

They make tools for thinkers to champion innovation.

How they started.

Joey Cofone co-founded and started Baron Fig in New York City. What started out as a project to redefine the notebook as a tool for creatives has turned into a company that flanks thinkers with tools, goods, and resources on their own journeys.

What was your motivation for creating Baron Fig?

Back when I was in art school I had an insight: My fellow design students used two tools — a laptop and a notebook — but the laptops were always MacBooks while the notebooks were different brands, sizes, and so on. I looked to my own shelf of sketchbooks and noticed that I, too, had all different types.

It was just a hunch at the time, but as I started exploring I realized that everyone had been on a journey to find the “perfect notebook.” One night, while discussing this with my now-cofounder Adam Kornfield, he stood up and said, “Why don’t we just do it ourselves?” I suppose the rest is history.

It’s been over four years since we first started working on the project. Today we focus on making products that people can love. We use our mission as a guiding light: to champion thinkers around the world through inspiration and imagination.

What was the impetus behind your commitment to the environment?

Great question. I’m not going to sit here and wax philosophical on the tremendous responsibility we all have to leave the earth better than we found it (though I could go on about it). The answer is simple: We make paper notebooks, so for every notebook we sell we plant a tree as a way to offset our impact. Simple.

Are your customers looking for ethically-driven solutions you provide — or do you find yourself educating them about the issue?

Every customer is different, so I can’t speak in blanket terms, but I can speak to our intentions. We hope to make clear the value and thrill of imagination, to create products that celebrate it, and to do it in an ethically-responsible manner. I’m not particularly outspoken about the ethical treatment of planet earth — it just seems obvious that it’s something we should all do.

We hope to make clear the value and thrill of imagination.

Joey Cofone, Baron Fig CEO

What's the best breakfast you've ever had? (Because we love breakfast.)

I make a mean grits breakfast. Imagine waking up on a bright, beautiful Saturday morning to a full bowl of golden grits with bacon sprinkled on top — plus a few secret ingredients. If I had to choose my last breakfast, that would most certainly be it.

What are you listening to right now?

I’ve been playing Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book album on repeat. When I'm designing? Playing Chance. Exercising? Playing Chance. Cleaning the house? Well — you get the idea.

What are you reading right now?

I always have two books going: one for entertainment and one for education. My entertainment right now is Death Note, a graphic novel, because I saw the Netflix movie and needed to know more. My education is The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman; I highly recommend it. Josh is also a phenomenal human being.

If you could change one thing in the world right now, what would it be?

There are so many answers to this. Sometimes when I’m designing my fiancé looks at what I’ve done and says, “That’s something every designer would do.” And I always say, “That’s probably because it’s the right answer.”

Right answers aren’t always exciting or sexy — they’re usually simple. So to answer your question, if I could change one thing I’d rid the world of greed.

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