Posts Tagged ‘journal’

h1

Dragon Art, Paper Trends, Inky Links And More

01/26/2012

There should be something for everyone in this lot…

h1

A 2012 Moleskine Planner And That Paper Issue

12/11/2011

Last week the European Paper Company sent a Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner 2011-2012 that I won in a giveaway. How could I not give it a test spin for Inkophile readers?

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2011-2012

The planner comes with a supple, soft cover and two page layout. On the left side is a weekly calendar and on the right a lined page. There are lots of extras at the front of the notebook including a monthly calendar, schedule of international holidays, map of time zones, dialing codes, chart of measures and conversions, and more. The back has a pocket with a sheet of stickers. There is a ribbon bookmark and the whole package stays together with a neat elastic band. All to the good and fitting with the Moleskine brand and price.

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Interior Pages

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Interior Pages

As always Moleskine looks great and feels wonderful in the hand. The planner paper is thin which allows space for a huge number of sheets in a notebook a mere one centimeter thick. The good news is that the acid-free (pH neutral) paper feathers much less with fountain pen ink than the last time I tested a Moleskine. The bad news is that the paper shows significant bleed-through though less so with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan, Zhivago, and Red-Black inks. Since both sides of the paper are necessary for the diary’s format, this could be a deal-breaker for fountain pen users.

Moleskine Academic Planner - Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner – Written Sample

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 - Written Sample (Reverse)

Moleskine Academic Planner for 2012 – Written Sample (Reverse)

Other writing instruments worked better but still there was a little ghosting. With such thin paper, this is to be expected. Years ago I used a Parker ’51’ Aero Special with a fine nib and Noodler’s Black ink in a Moleskine journal with good results. Pendemonium‘s Noodler’s Legal Lapis worked well as did J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. I suspect all would be good with this planner as well.  The Sharpie Pen and the Zig Millennium 05 were well-suited to the narrow line-spacing. In fact due to its fine point, the Sharpie will be my first choice for the Moleskine when I don’t have the ’51’ with Zhivago to hand. When I need color the Millennium with Pure Violet ink will do.

One of these days I’d like to test a recently manufactured regular Moleskine journal to see if the bleeding is an issue. Writing on one side of the page would solve the problem though it would be a less than economical use of the journal. There have been enough remarks on Fountain Pen Network from people who have no issues with Moleskine to make me think there are pens and inks that suit the paper beautifully. If you have had that sort of experience, the Moleskine Weekly Planner should be just right. If not, then expect to test and experiment until you find a suitable match. If you love fat juicey pens, I wouldn'[t recommend the Moleskine. Switch your pen or find a different planner, one known for tolerating fountain pen ink.

Parker '51' With J. Herbin Vert Empire On Moleskine

Parker ’51’ With J. Herbin Vert Empire In An Old Moleskine

Some non-fountain pen ink tests from DIYSara.

h1

Fun, Edgy, Fanciful Notebooks From Daycraft

12/10/2011

With the end of the year approaching, it is time to consider new options for 2012. Have you heard of Daycraft? They make some of the best looking journals and diaries on the market. Whether edgy, fanciful, or twinged with humor, each design hits an aesthetic vibe. Something for everyone, no?

Daycraft Skinz Notebook

Daycraft Skinz Notebook

The company sent a few notebooks for review and I must say they are easily some of the most interesting looking journals I’ve seen anywhere. Unfortunately, they have yet to enter the U.S. market. Someone really ought to import this line even if only on a limited basis. The Cookie Bookie Notebooks are especially fun and received high marks for unique appeal and ingenuity from the group here. (See update below.)

Daycraft Cookie Bookie Notebook in the Cheese Cracker Version

Daycraft Cookie Bookie Notebook in the Cheese Cracker Version

The attention to detail in the presentation is amazing as you can see on the Daycraft website. But once you move past the packaging and the brilliantly designed covers, will the paper deliver an acceptable fountain pen experience?

Daycraft Illusions Notebook Written Sample

Daycraft Illusions Notebook Written Sample

The good news is that fountain pen ink works very well in the Illusions Notebook I used for testing purposes. The paper has a smooth but not coated feel so ink dried quickly. There was a tiny bit of feathering and a few indistinct edges with the most free-flowing nibs and inks. For a private journal this level of performance would not concern me but it could bother a perfectionist.

Daycraft Illusions Written Sample (back)

Daycraft Illusions Written Sample (back)

The bad news is that the ink showed on the back of the paper. Writing instruments other than fountain pens worked much better. I used mostly pens of the felt tip variety since they tend to misbehave more than rollerballs and ballpoints. Even the Sharpie Permanent Marker Ultra Fine Point performed with only the faintest ghosting. However, count on one-sided use with most fountain pens sporting nibs graded larger than fine with a few possible exceptions.

To my surprise Noodler’s Zhivago in a vintage Parker ’51’ Aero fine and Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan in a Levenger True Writer custom cursive italic did not even show on the reverse. Noodler’s Red-Black in a Sailor 1911 fine showed only very lightly. No other brand of ink fared so well. Individual colors may or may not bleed-through but success with three Noodler’s should mean others will provide a good experience, too. A wet writer or a wet ink will have problems but experimentation might reveal colors in other brands that can handle the paper.

Daycraft notebooks are so cool, I would use them regardless of any bleed-through. Yes, every once in a while, form takes precedence over function even for an inkophile.

Daycraft Slab Notebook in Gold

Daycraft Slab Notebook in Gold

Update: MOMA carries the Cookie Bookie Notebook! I just learned there is a USA distributor for whom I can provide contact information if you are a retailer interested in stocking the Daycraft line.

h1

A Six-Pack of Links With A Moleskine Chaser

07/25/2011

It’s been a very long Monday so a six-pack plus a new Moleskine release that plays well with fountain pens ought to set things right.

h1

Can Inkophile be 3 years old already?!

05/12/2011

It’s that time of year again. The Inkophile blog is now 3 years old as is Inkophile on Twitter. My participation at Fountain Pen Network will reach the five year milestone in a few days. Gosh, that sounds old at least on the Internet. Is there a comparable in dog years?

During this time the number of available ink colors has grown enormously which bodes well for people who love fountain pens. While some companies have retired colors that were peerless, others have come out with ones that are unique. The biggest loser is Montblanc who discontinued Racing Green. The biggest winner is Pilot with its Iroshizuku line. Sailor created the Kobe line but only for market in Japan so that’s a no gain. Platinum has released a line called Mix Free that is aimed at those who want to mix their own colors but it hasn’t reached the U.S. yet though it could arrive early summer. It may not be a game changer but it certainly will thrill those with a creative urge or want a one-of-a-kind color.

Virtually every ink manufacturer has at least a few new colors especially Diamine and Noodler’s. Then there are the recently released Pelikan Edelstein inks. The bottle is very attractive but the ink has yet to win over the pen community though amongst the samples sent by Pear Tree, Topaz and Ruby look promising.

Is the marketplace getting overcrowded? Perhaps. It may take a distinguishing characteristic or marketing campaign to become a standout product in future. Well, unless the ink is a standout on its own. That’s where Pilot made a breakthrough. With a premium ink that delivers in every respect including a beautiful bottle and handsome packaging, Iroshizuku has set the bar high for future luxury products.

There is less news at the economy end. Noodler’s remains the best value for money especially with colors that can tolerate a little dilution. The colorful and often amusing labels make up for the no-frills bottle that helps keep the cost of packaging down. Never at a loss for ink colors or colorful names, Nathan Tardiff continues to add to his line with no end in sight. All to the good for ink lovers.

There are so many new pens on the market you probably know more about them than I do. The only recent additions to my collection are a couple of Noodler’s pens that perform at a level commensurate with their prices. Not new but new to me was a pink Platinum Preppy, a gift from The Pear Tree Pen Company. At the price point, this steel nib is a steal.

Of course there are always new paper products. Rumor has it the revamped Quo Vadis Habana may prove to be the best new item for fountain pen users. The off-white color and narrow line spacing are similar to Moleskine but it has the paper quality necessary to control fountain pen ink. This sounds promising but I haven’t seen it myself.

Despite the economic challenges of the last few years, companies continue to provide pen people with new products. All to the good for a three-year-old inkophile.

A Few Inkophile Favorites

A Few Inkophile Favorites

Pictured are bottles of Rohrer & Klingner Solferino from PearTreePens.com, J. Herbin Vert Olive, and Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku, pads of G. Lalo and Rhodia paper, a 1970’s Montblanc 220 fountain pen with an OB nib, an Ebonite Dipless Dip Pen from AllWriteNow.com, and a pen wrap from HisNibs.com.
h1

Inky Links and Other Treats

02/03/2011

Need a little distraction? Some inky links should do the trick.

h1

Daycraft Planners and Notebooks

12/29/2010

Daycraft paper products are designed in Hong Kong and manufactured in Dongguan, China. With a corporate line as well as a broad appeal collection and a fine attention to detail, there is sure to be at least one form that any writer can love.

 

Daycraft 2010 Notebooks

Daycraft 2010 Notebooks

The company was kind enough to send a variety of products for review. Each has striking visual appeal and several even display a touch of whimsy. All arrived shrink wrapped so the pages and covers were pristine. Excellent quality is consistent amongst the books at hand. All save one have attached ribbon bookmarks which is a real plus for a planner. Pages are sewn in some notebooks but not in others. All have useful information pages like calendars, almanacs, even maps though the content varies from item to item. There are a few perforated memo pages in the back which is another plus.

Daycraft 2010 Planners and Notebooks

Daycraft 2010 Planners and Notebooks

On the back cover, notebooks list the paper weight along with other pertinent data while planners include information about the calendar design along with other assorted specs. All have an external drawing of the book’s page layout which is very convenient for selecting the most suitable model.

 

Daycraft Executive 2010 Diary Sample

Daycraft Executive 2010 Diary Sample

Now here is the caveat. The paper weight varies from style to style. Not that fountain pen ink doesn’t work but the show-through and bleed-through can be significant. Some journals have heavier paper so it really depends on the journal.

Unlike those of you who make commitments easily, I write in my planner with a mechanical pencil and at this, Daycraft paper excels. Dates and plans are forever shifting in my world thus fountain pens are less than ideal for my purposes. While all of the planners and journals will work beautifully with a pencil, it will require being a little selective to get the best paper for an uncompromising fountain pen user.

If this all sounds promising, Daycraft’s market penetration has yet to include North or South America but they hope to arrive soon. When they do, there are so many choices, I am certain there is a winner for everyone.

More at Unpostednrepose, Journaling Arts, Okami, Plannerisms, and Pencil Revolution.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,369 other followers

%d bloggers like this: