On my recent hunt for a new A5 notebook, a friend recommended the Palomino Blackwing Luxury notebook. It was one of the notebooks on my epic grid so I figured it was worth a shot. I chose the lined version over the blank of grid paper option. The book is 5×8.25″ with a black ribbon bookmark. There is no pocket in the back of the notebook commonly found in notebooks like these.
Embossed on the cover is the Blackwing logo. The branding is a little heavy handed. I would have preferred a silhouette of the pencil that inspired the notebook embossed on the cover with its iconic flat eraser rather than the large branding.
The cover is a leatherette that looks similar to other notebooks at first glance but its much more flexible than other notebooks. Its not flimsy like a kraft cover but not stiff like a classic hardcover either. Its a nice compromise between the two.
The book includes a black satin ribbon bookmark. The end of the ribbon have not been treated so it may fray. I’d recommend dabbing a little clear craft glue (like Elmer’s or Alene’s) on the end or heat sealing it (hold a flame near enough to melt the ends) to keep it from fraying.
The lines are comparable to college ruled at about 6mm and the lines are very fine gray color which I don’t suspect would interfere with most ink colors or pencil writing for legibility. The paper is not a yellowy cream like Moleskines but its not bright white either. In the paper industry, its called soft white or warm white. Its a pleasing shade and very similar to the color of the Piccadilly notebook I’ve been using.
In writing samples, everything seemed to write smoothly. The only issue was the Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku in my TWSBI Mini EF. In the Nemosine Singularity 0.6mm, the same ink was fine but the wet ink in the wet pen caused a little feathering and squishiness in the lines. The only show through was the 1.1mm Lamy with blue black ink and it was minor enough I’d be comfortable using both sides of the paper in most instances. Its a vast improvement over a Moleskine in regards to paper quality as you would have guessed.
Overall, its a good notebook. The more flexible covers make it a bit different than other books which might be a make or break feature for some people. The absence of a pocket in the back is a bit of a bummer for me but I have enough paper skills that I think I could make one. The Blackwing Luxury notebook does not have any kind of closure on the book like an elastic which may also be a deciding factor for some people. The paper quality more than makes up for the absence of features I may or may not need but have grown accustomed to having.
(via Jet Pens)
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Great review! I keep dancing around taking the plunge for the orange Palomino version with the case that holds pencils and a sharpener. Thank you for commenting on the cover; I didn’t realize it was flexible (which I kinda like). 🙂
The orange cover is quite appealing. Does it have the embossed logo on the cover too?
I think so. Plus they have this pretty fella to put it all together: http://www.pencils.com/journals-sketchbooks/luxury-sketchbooks/palomino-luxury-sketchbook-folio-cover
Great review thanks. At this point I have about three A5’s on my list to try and I need to start writing more as I’ll be a year to catch up. I agree with you the billboard on the front of this one is a bit over the top. I am curious on the cover flex. I’m currently in the midst of a TWSBI and if it had the Rhodia style stiff cover it would be perfect. BUT then when I think about it there really isn’t anything wrong with the TWSBI cover and after about 2 months of daily use it has held up well. Decisions Decisions. And yes the grid was truly EPIC !