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.
Notes: This little book has been my go-to spot for doodles and notes. It’s small in size, I love the ruling, and it looks cool. The paper tends to feather a tiny bit with fountain pens, but I don’t mind it. The notebook is sturdy and the wire-o-binding has held up to being thrown in a bag and bounced around. I’ve gone through three full Doane Flap Jotters, so I figured I’d give this format a try. The paper inside this book isn’t quite as friendly to fountain pens as that in the Flap Jotter, but it’s not bad. If you’ve been looking to try out Doane Paper, definitely consider this capable little notebook.
Starbucks Roastery Edition
3 – pack
Line, Graph, and Dot Grid ruling
#50T bright white paper with grey ruling
Map and coffee facts for each region on the back
For any of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I enjoy coffee a little bit… Field Notes and Starbucks have teamed up again for some exclusive books – this time it’s a three pack of books, one for each of the coffee growing regions of the world. They’re very similar to the Unexposed Colors Edition in feel and looks. Admittedly, I bought these primarily to take coffee notes in, not to use them as an everyday pocket notebook. They’ll live in my cabinet with the rest of my coffee gear and come out when I get new beans in or to take roasting notes.
The #50T paper inside should hold up to ballpoint, gel, and maybe a finer rollerball alright, but don’t expect it to be the friendliest to fountain pens. I like that the pack includes a lined, graph, and dot grid book, it’s a nice touch. I thought I was seeing things, but upon further inspection, the staples are actually white. Another cool detail!
It’s rare that I pay more than retail for a Field Notes (I’m not THAT hardcore of a collector), but these were definitely worth adding to my collection. Since they’re only available at the physical Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, they have to be purchased second market online. Currently, the going rate is around $30 – not bad for something that crosses over into two of my hobbies as well as these books do!
Summer 2015 Colors Edition
Specs 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.
The 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.“
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.
I 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!
Dot grid and indentation ruling on each page spread
100GSM off-white paper
Stingray leatherette cover
Lay flat binding
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.
The 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.
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.
I 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!
“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.”
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.
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.
The 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!