The "aha" moment: At an event for the American Book Packagers Association in 2007, an editor challenged the audience to develop a bookbinding technique that had not been seen. That inspired Ellen Dudley, a book packager who was developing a book about the space-time continuum, to create a journal that could be turned inside out and back again, symbolizing the endlessness of time.

R&D: Dudley developed a prototype with cardboard and glue, using a Jacob's ladder toy as inspiration. She made several prototypes before hiring a Chinese manufacturer to produce 12,000 journals in four color schemes and two sizes in June 2009. To turn the journal inside out, you open it, fold it back, split the spine, and fold it back again to reveal a different-color cover and new pages.

Hitting the market: Since Dudley's New York City company debuted in August 2009, it has sold 6,000 Revolver Bound Journals, which cost $12 and $19, on its website, Revolverboundbooks.com; in online stores, including Vat19; and in bookstores and museum shops nationwide. What's next? The Revolver Sketch, a larger reversible journal geared toward art students and crafters.

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