Category Archives: Stationery

Stationery Reviews – here you will find all of my reviews on fountain pen friendly paper products. Stationery reviews include notebook specs, a handwritten review, bleed through and show through performance, feel of the paper and several enlargeable pictures to show texture.

Field Notes “Workshop Companion” – Summer 2015 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Summer 2015 Colors Edition
“Workshop Companion”

Field Notes Workshop Companion-11Specs From Field Notes:

“This 27th limited COLORS edition is a set of six books, boxed in a sturdy 60-pt custom slipcase with a sheet of crack-and-peel decals. Each of the books focuses on one DIY discipline — Wood Working, Automotive, Gardening, Painting, Plumbing, and Electrical — each containing tips, reference materials and the usual Field Notes wise-cracking.

Field Notes Workshop Companion-4The six covers are color-coded to compliment six tones of 100-lb cover stock from the French Paper Company’s terrific new “Kraft-Tone” paper, their first new grade in five years. The 70-lb text Kraft-Tone “Standard White Kraft” body pages feature our dot-grid, and are bound with tough brass staples. Anyone fixing a switch, planting a bush, or painting a door jamb will find these books make a nice addition to their workbench, junk drawer or toolbox.Field Notes Workshop Companion-2

Notes:

This is going to be like my coverage on the other COLORS editions by Field Notes – more of an overview than a full review. If you’re unaware, Field Notes puts out a quarterly limited edition, usually themed, with some cool details involved. This set of 6 books is packaged in a cardboard slip cover and they’re themed to help you get work done. Each book represents a sect of handiwork, from electrical to plumbing. The covers are heavy 100 lb. stock that feels like it will stand up to being tossed in a toolbox or back pocket.

Field Notes Workshop Companion-10I particularly like the brass staples. They’re subtle, but I think that’s why I like them. The 70 lb. paper inside is quite toothy, but does a decent job holding up to fountain pen ink. I’ve been more into pencils lately, and the toothy paper feels great with some nice graphite. There’s a bit of feathering and some minor bleed through, but Field Notes haven’t ever been the greatest for fountain pens. Gel ink, ballpoint pens and even some markers work well with the paper, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

I’m a fan of the edition, and as with all COLORS editions, these are limited. Head over to FIELD NOTES to grab a pack (or two, like I did…) before they’re gone forever!

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Code & Quill “Origin” Notebook Review

Code & Quill “Origin”
Notebook Review

Code and Quill Notebook Review-5

Specs:

  • 5.5×7.7″ size
  • Dot grid and indentation ruling on each page spread
  • 100GSM off-white paper
  • Stingray leatherette cover
  • Lay flat binding

Code and Quill Notebook Review-2

Notes:

Code & Quill offered up a sample notebook for review, I was immediately intrigued by the unique ruling inside. The right sheet is printed with their proprietary “indentation” rule (a hybrid line + graph) and the left sheet is printed with a 5mm dot grid.

Code and Quill Notebook Review-3The grey leatherette cover is nicely textured, it reminded me of stingray leather’s pattern. There’s minimal branding, but I like how it is done. Code & Quill have sewn on a fabric patch with their logo on the front of each book. The ruling inside pretty much has all of the bases covered for anything you want to write or sketch – thanks to the lines, grid, and dots. I can definitely see the layout being useful. The paper inside reminds me of that which is found in the Rhodia Webnotebook. It’s slightly heavier at 100GSM, but retains a similar off-white color.

Code and Quill Notebook Review-4 The paper is slightly more absorbent than Rhodia and lacks the slick “coated” feel, but it’s a pleasure to write on. The paper easily holds up to fountain pen, gel, rollerball, and pencil without bleeding through. There was a slight bit of show through, but nothing to the point where the page wouldn’t be usable on both sides.

Code and Quill Notebook Review-6I was informed by the company that they have further improved the paper for the final production version, which I would definitely like to see.  The size, shape, and ruling are ideal for everyday use. It’s a great looking book that brings something new to the table. The Origin is competitively priced at $20, coming in slightly cheaper than other books with similar specs. I’m definitely a fan of the notebook and I’d like to see where the new brand goes in the future. Thanks again to Code & Quill for sending over the book!

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Field Notes “Two Rivers” – Spring 2015 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Spring 2015 Colors Edition
“Two Rivers”

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook ReviewSpecs From Field Notes:

“French Paper supplied four cover stocks for these books: Pop-Tone 100#C “Lemon Drop” and “Sno Cone,” Speckletone 100#C “True White,” and Dur-O-Tone 80#C “Packing Brown Wrap.” We hand-set several designs using Hamilton’s collection of vintage type and ornaments. Hamilton then printed our designs in two random colors on a 1961 Heidelberg GT 13″×18″ windmill press. Randomizing the designs, papers, and colors resulted in thousands of variations. Further variations were introduced thanks to the nature of wood type, letterpress printing, and the music playing in the print shop during the 200+ hours on press.

Back in Chicago, our logo and specifications were added with a hit of “Broadside Blue-Black” ink. Then the books were bound with 48 pages of Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T featuring our “Double Knee Duck Canvas” graph grid. Three copper staples hold ’em together. As always, they’re all-U.S.A.-made, with a lot of love from the shores of Lake Michigan.”

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook Review

Notes:

This is less of a formal review and more of a “GO GET THESE BEFORE THEY’RE GONE!”. Field Notes are some of my favorite notebooks in terms of design, especially the COLORS editions. This one is no exception. I’m a sucker for all things screen printed, and these being a mix of wood block and letterpress immediately grabbed my attention. The books are all unique, in that they are all a random assembly of designs and text. Even cooler is that each one is hand-set, making the creation of the covers less of a set-and-forget and more of a hands-on process.

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook Review I can definitely appreciate that. The subtle details like the dark blue inked “FIELD NOTES” logo on the front and the copper staples really stand out. I ordered three 3-packs and each book is different from the next. As far as performance, the Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T paper works well enough. I decided to use a book for doodling with my Lamy broad nib, and there’s a fair amount of bleed and feathering. The paper works great with ballpoint, gel, finer rollerballs and finer fountain pen nibs.

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook ReviewThe graph inside is pretty standard, the 4.5mm spacing nicely compliments the size of the book. I’ve been using one to keep track of what episodes of the X-Files I’ve watched, rating them as I go. The graph definitely proves helpful for making a checklist. The cool factor on this limited edition is through the roof, go pick some up before they’re gone forever!

Check out more info, an awesome video, and pick up a 3-pack from FIELD NOTES here!

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Nock Co. Dot Dash Pocket Notebook Review

Nock Co. Dot Dash
Pocket Notebook Review

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-13

Specs:

  • Top-Stapled binding
  • 3.50″ x 5.50″ pocket-friendly size
  • 48 pages (24 sheets) of 50lb. white paper stock
  • Dot-Dash ruling (4.25mm grid spacing)
  • Blinding yellow 80lb. paper cover
  • $9 for a 3-pack

Notes: Further expanding their popular line of pen cases, Nock Co. has released the Dot-Dash pocket notebooks. Blindingly yellow covers and a unique ruling make these stand out from the pack. The top staple binding is an interesting touch that I ended up liking more than I had initially thought. Big thanks to my buddies over at Nock for sending me a three pack to check out!

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-3The cover is very much yellow. This is well outside my comfort zone of muted, black, and grey, but I enjoy it. The 80lb. cover feels a bit thin to me for a pocket notebook. I don’t t know if it’s the coating, but it seems to get wrinkled much easier than others. It seems durable enough, so no real complaints. I like the subtle ‘n‘ branding on the front and the USA on the back.

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-5The fact that the notebook is top staple bound makes it quite versatile. I find myself doodling in both orientations and it’s nice to have the extra room. Mr. Dudek over at Clicky Post said the same thing in his review, check it out! It’s also nice to be able to fold the top over the back (huh?) for some extra support when writing on the go.

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-6The 50lb. paper inside does a reasonable job of holding up to ink. It’s nice and smooth, and I like how bright the white is. The ruling is in grey ink, making sure your writing is front and center, not the pre-printed lines. The paper holds up to gel, ballpoint and pencil with no problems, but rollerballs, fountain pens, and markers will bleed and feather a bit. I don’t mind this, as it means that the ink will dry faster. I wrote an entire article on what makes a pocket notebook fountain pen friendly, and I think it’s more of a pro than a con to have a quick dry time with a bit of bleed through.

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-10 Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-11You can see that the back side would be a bit annoying to write on, but that really depends on the pen, nib, and ink you’re using. If you absolutely must use a fountain pen, an extra fine nib and a low-feather ink should be more than sufficient.

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-7The Dot Dash ruling is very unique. It’s not quite as intrusive as a graph, but gives you all of the benefits. The light grey is easy on the eyes, yet dark enough to see clearly. 4.25mm spacing is ideal for the 3.5×5.5″ book size, not too big and not too small. It’s a pet peeve of mine when the ruling is not proportionate to the size of the notebook.

Nock Co Dot Dash Notbeook Review-12Overall, the Nock Co. Dot Dash book is good to quite good. The top binding is useful and allows you to use the book in a different way than most pocket notebooks on the market. The paper isn’t Rhodia in terms of ink resistance, but it will get you by. I’d definitely say that I am a fan of the Nock Co. books. Once again, thanks for sending them over!

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Have you tried the Nock Co. Dot Dash notebook? Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!

Baron Fig Confidant – Notebook Review

Baron Fig Confidant Notebook Review

Baron Fig Notebook Review 2

Specs:

  • Opens flat
  • 7.75″ x 5.50″
  • 12 perforated back pages
  • Blank, ruled, or dot grid
  • $16 with free shipping

Baron Fig Notebook Review 5Notes: Thanks to the Baron Fig crew for sending out a notebook for review! I heard a lot about the book when they were successfully Kickstarted last year. The book comes nicely presented in a plum (fig?) – colored box that is loaded with a quite a bit of marketing fluff. I’m not entirely sure that a notebook is really that capable of inspiring me or making me more creative, but it’s a nicely constructed notebook full of quality paper.

Baron Fig Notebook Review 4The 7.75″ x 5.50″ size (they refer to it as “smart dimensions”) is actually pretty smart. It’s not too large, but theres more than enough room for notes. The acid-free paper holds up pretty well to fountain pen use and has the slightest bit of tooth it it, assuring the fact that you’re writing on paper. The small details are great, especially the perforation on the last 12 pages.

Baron Fig Confidant Notebook Review-3 I love carrying a notebook where I can remove pages without damaging the entire thing. Kudos to Baron Fig for the great idea. I opted for the dot grid ruling, and for my personal taste, the dots are just a little bit too large. They’re very light grey, but if they were a bit smaller in size, I think it would be perfect.

Baron Fig Notebook Review 3The construction of the book is nice, and the cloth cover is unique. The book also has a yellow ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding. I like the light grey / yellow colorway – understated with a pop of color. The book also lays nice and flat, probably one of the flatter notebooks I have used. With each notebook, the company donates a tree to be planted, so you can sleep easy at night knowing that the trees used to make your book are being replaced. Overall, it’s a nice looking book with a solid construction and good design. Grab one here!

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