The Daycraft Signature 2013 Diary (English Version) is unusually comfortable in the hand and comes loaded with extras. There’s a whole lot to like but a caveat is in order.
The cover feels like soft leather and has no markings on the front. Only a tiny, embossed logo on the back gives away the manufacturer. The book sent for review by Daycraft is dark brown with red edged paper to match the interior cover and front sheet. The ribbon bookmark is red, too. Thea case bound pages and flexible cover give this diary the feeling of a much used, favorite book. In keeping with that, the book remains open without effort which makes it easy to write margin to margin. Eventually it should get even looser and more supple. This is one journal that could easily become an old friend as the year progresses.
The interior is packed with 28 pages of information including international holidays, international guides, international area codes, world times, size conversions, and health and nutrition data. The page per day format for weekdays and half page for weekends should be ample for most of us. The 6mm gray lines are unobtrusive and the A6 size (108mm x 149mm) is handy and comfortable. With 408 pages there is a lot to like in this Signature Diary. However, if A6 doesn’t suit you, it comes in other sizes and variations.
The paper is cream colored and at 60gsm relatively thin. All of the writing instruments tested worked well on the smooth paper but with mixed results for fountain pen ink. In this it was similar to the Slab Notebook with a tiny amount of feathering but much less than Moleskine. Just as with the Slab, there was mild to medium show-through and some bleed-through with FP inks. Since two-sided writing is necessary in a diary, mild show-through may be acceptable but bleed-through a frustration. A blotter sheet between pages will protect the following page and can be used to keep other types of ink like those used in gel pens and ball points from smearing.
If you use anything but a fountain pen, this is an excellent diary. If you must use a fountain pen, try a pale ink in a wider nib or a dry ink in a very fine nib like those from Japanese pen makers. Either could produce acceptable results but this is one of those”your mileage may vary” caveats. The nib and ink flow might be just right or might be just awful. My Levenger True Writer custom italic nib using Noodler’s Golden Brown worked well. It is a dry writing pen and that is what made the difference. For a change, its stingy flow was perfect. However, my True Writer with a stock fine nib and Diamine Chocolate Brown showed through on the reverse but did not bleed through at all. The Signature Diary is one product that proves matching pen to ink to paper can be worth the effort.
Daycraft makes some great journals but you’ll have to order them online if you live in the U.S. The Signature 2013 Diary (A6 English Version) is offered for $219 HKD or $29 USD at the current exchange rate. With free worldwide shipping, this might be just the thing to track your 2013. But order it now. You know how slow international shipping can be especially around the holidays.