The folks at Knock Knock recently launched a new line of paper products called Plumb Goods. These are a collection of notebooks designed by artists to help inspire creativity. Every book in the collection includes a full-color card with information on the artist.
The products were each so different that this is a super image-heavy post. Every book deserved a full view so this is really a review of FIVE notebooks, not just one.
I’ll start with the smallest and work up to the largest book. First up is the 3 Little Notebooks set ($10 per set of three). They are a bit smaller than a Field Notes at 3.25″ x 4.75″. Each book has a cardstock paper cover and a sewn spine in coordinating thread and is filled with 64-pages of paper.
Each book has matching tinted pages and features a different grid, from a large grid in the blue to quadrille in the orange to a tiny grid in the green book.
In writing samples, the paper performed admirably for a pocket-sized, portable notebooks. There was no splining or feathering of the writing, even with my stub italic nibs.
On the back side of the paper, there was a little show-through but its quite acceptable, especially at the price point.
Next up is the Explorer Notebook ($16). Its a 5 x 7″ (approx. A5) hardcover notebook with sturdy kraft board covers and blue binding tape on the spine. Printed in black foil is an illustration of binoculars and a red elastic for closure. Inside is bright blue end papers with a printed line pattern on the reverse. The back cover is a red paper pocket to catch ephemera.
There are 128 natural white pages, die cut into tabs. Half the paper is printed with pale blue lines and a red margin line and the last half is blank with a red margin at the top for a title.
The paper performed admirably. None of the pens I tested feathered or splined on the paper.
From the reverse, you can see some darker colors and stub nibs show through a little but did actually bleed through. I don’t think I would use this as a dedicated fountain pen notebook as there was a little softness on some of the writing but, for everyday writing, I think this would be a fun alternative. The tabs provide a great way to organize projects.
When I first started to describe the Dot Notebook, I thought “Wow, these colors don’t sound at all good together.” But in reality, it actually looks really cool. Its an A5-ish size (5.75 x 8.25″) with coated, textural, flexible paper and printed with a burgundy color with foil-stamped sky blue dots. Its a pleasing jumble of colors, like garden flowers.
The edges are painted a contrasty orange color and the book is filled with warm white paper until the last third of the book when it turns sunny yellow.
What a treat to have the pop of color! Every page of this 160-page book is perforated for easy removal.
The paper on the Dot Notebook seemed to call for some bolder tools so I pulled out some brush pens to see if this would be a good book for sketching, collage or lettering and it handled the extra juicy tools with a-Plumb!
The yellow paper showed only a hint of show through with the Sai Outline Brushpen and a tiny hint of some of the other inks but overall, it worked well.
On the warm white stock, some of the wetter tools showed through more clearly and just a little bit of bleed through.
The Tangle Notebook ($18) is a flexible, grey bookcloth cover book. At 7.5 x 9.75″, it reminds me of the size of those marbled composition notebooks. But the grey bookcloth with purple foil-stamped scribble gives it a post-modern cool. I think the grey cloth is darker than the material used on the Baron Fig notebook so it seems less likely to show dirt.
Inside, the end papers are a vivid series of watercolor stripes. The paper has been cut into five tabs for easy access.
The paper is lined lightly in a red with a vertical line in down the middle so the larger sheets can be treated as two columns like a steno pad.
The paper felt pretty sturdy in the Tangle notebook so I pulled out some brush pens as well as some standard gel, fountain and rollerballs. There was no bleeding or splining on the paper and the natural white paper did not change any ink colors.
The reverse of the stock showed no serious show through or bleeding. To use both sides of the paper, I recommend using fine- to medium-nibbed tools for least show through. Overall though, I was quite pleased with this book and it may be my favorite of the lot.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention the the Tangle notebook also has blank pages (no horizontal lines) with the red vertical dividing line in the last two tabbed sections.
The largest book I got was aptly called the Titanic Sketchbook ($24). It’s 8.25″x10.5″ and features a very impressionistic sketch of the grand ship that it is named for. The covers are matte coated, flexible, card stock. The coating makes it feel durable like a soft cover coffee table book.
Between the covers is the real treat. The book is filled with red, yellow and blue paper. The paper has the weight like good quality construction paper.
Some pages are perforated horizontally through the center as well as along the spine.
The Titanic book paper is definitely designed for art making-grade tools — brush pens, technical felt tips, pencils and the like. Some of the fountain pen inks resisted the paper. I suspect it has something to do with the way the paper is colored. However, the paper is thick and durable and I had no show through at all so it can definitely handle the more art or collage tools. For the price, I think this is a great opportunity to play with colored paper in a fun format.
Overall, I’m really impressed with the quality of these products. Everything is well made and the paper quality was a lot higher than I expected in more decorative notebooks. My favorites were … all of them. Each filled a different little niche. I think the first ones I’ll use are the Tangle Notebook for work and the 3 Mini Notebooks to tuck in my back for lists and reminders.
THE GIVEAWAY: The folks at Plumb Goods have offered readers the chance to win a $50 gift card to spend at Plumb Goods and/or Knock Knock. To enter, leave a comment and tell me which products you would purchase if you won. FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, July 18, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. US residents only please. Gift certificate can be used for merchandise and shipping.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Knock Knock/Plumb Goods for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
91 comments / Add your comment below
I would love to try the Titanic model.
They all look great. I like the Dot and the Tangle.
Man, spoiled for choice, but I’d probably go with the Tangle. It’s just pretty, and would be good for my research notes. And maybe the Mini Superhero because who doesn’t love tiny little books.
Ooooo The Titanic book = I work with three separate companies and trying to keep the notes separate is a task – I usually use three different ink colors, – cool twist – thee different paper colors in a book. Yah I like that,
I love the color scheme of the Explorer model. I wish there weren’t pre-cut tabs though.
The Dot and the Titanic please! I like the perforated pages, especially the horizontal perforations of the Titanic.
I’d buy the Explorer. Love the tabbed pages, don’t see a lot of notebooks with those. (The Tangle is awesome, too!). Thanks!
Ooh, notebooks! 🙂
I think I would get the Explorer.
I know I have more than enough notebooks at home, but I want all the notebooks!
Just gotta be the Titanic sketchbook ‘cos that’s how many personalities I’m trying to juggle (3) and a color for each would be most helpful. One third of me thanks you in advance!
The Day and Night Journals are most appealing.
Ooh, these look so sunny and fun! I would probably spring for either the explorer notebook since it’s such a handy size… or the titanic since it’s not!
Tangle, explorer and the three little notebooks all look unique and utilitarian.
The Titanic is something that I want to cop
I like the Tangle, the Titanic, and the Explorer.
The Tangle and Dot are my favorites. I love the idea of tabs!
I would get a Tangle, a Dot, an Explorer and the 3 Little Notebooks. More than $50.00? I’d pay the difference LOL.
Thanks for the opportunity – I love the tabs, and the fact that the paper is fountain pen friendly!
I love the Short Stack Notebook and the Personal Library Kit! Great company!!
Those three little notebooks look great!
This is easy… I’d buy them all! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. 🙂
I like them all as well, but if you make me pick, I’ll say the Explorer.
I really like the look of the green mini book. Would fit my needs very nicely thank you!
I would like the tangle notebook! love the dividers
I love the notebooks with tab-cut pages! Such a great idea, yet rarely seen in small notebooks.
I’d get the Explorer first…I love that blue spine!
The Explorer–I love the tabs and the back pocket. I have a tendency to collect small leaves, ticket stubs, etc., so that feature really appeals to me.
The Tangle really hits the post-modernist in me, but the 3 Little Notebooks set is so cute!
Wow, the titanic sketchbook looks awesome, I’d go for that.
The Tangle looks gorgeous. I’ve already decided to get one regardless of whether I win or not… the divided pages would make it perfect for keeping track of my German vocab!
The Explorer notebook would be a perfect travel journal for my upcoming trip to Italy!
Wow, thanks for the review. I would love to try the A5 dot book, or any really.
Definitely the dot notebook! Looks awesome!
The Tangle and the Sumi Starter Kit!!!
I’m a sucker for pocketable notebooks, but I may go with the A5 Dot because of the interesting combination of colors and papers
What an interesting collection of notebooks!
I like the grid pages in the Little Notebooks.
It’s a toss-up between the Tangle notebook and the Dot notebook. The Tangle seems to have some nice qualities, but the Dot has so many colors going on; that makes all the difference.
The Tangle notebook looks nice. I like the cloth cover and the tabs.
This is tough!! I think I’d get the Three Little Notebooks and Explorer notebook 🙂
The Titanic, Tangle and 3 Little Notebooks all look great! I love stitched spines on pocket notebooks.
I really like the covers of the Tangle notebook and the Titanic sketchbook. The perforations in the sketchbook would make the book pretty flexible for artists and art-journalists, too, I would think.
I would buy some of the smaller notebooks
The Explorer Notebook and the Sumi Art Box are my favorites. There are also many Knock Knock products I’d like to buy as well. The Tabbed Index Cards are interesting…
All of them, but if I have to pic, then the Explorer notebook.
I would definitely start with the Titanic notebook, then move on to the Tangle, but truth is I’d likely have all of them in my shopping cart before I was through! No bad choices in that bunch!!
It’s the Tangle for me.
I think I would go for the tangle.
So tough to pick. I’m thinking I’d need to start with Dot, Explorer, 3 Little Notebooks, and Tangle. Lovely stuff.
Love the artwork and the thought that went into choosing color papers, sewn spine and tabs. Would love to have the Titanic, the explorer and 3 little notebooks. Great conversation pieces as well as useful.
I would choose the exploer, because I like outdoor adventure.
The Mini Superhero Notebook is too cute to resist!
The Titanic notebook is fantastic!
Titanic, I think!
The Tangle is a nice one…need to check this one out.
Amazing giveaway! Even more amazing review
If I won I would have to order 2 Titanic notebooks
I really like the 3 Little Notebooks. They look like a good alternative to Midori. Thanks for offering this.
I am going to jump on the me too camp and state that I would order the Tangle notebooks also, I like having the tabs to have various writing sections and would use one for Zentagles and the various forms and the other for writing prompts and themes.
the tangle notebook is so cool!
I like the tangle
I would purchase the Dot and Tangle notebooks. Thanks for the opportunity!
I would get the Titanic and the Tangle. $50 would cover both.
The Titanic notebook looks like the funnest to me!
Definitely A Collection of Paper Options and/or The Tangle notebooks. Very cool looking.
I like all of them, but my favorite is the Dot Notebook.
some colored notebooks
The titanic sketchbook. The colors!
One for me, one for a friend.
I would purchase the Titanic Notebook.
They all look like I would enjoy them each with a different purpose. However I like the Titanic the best
My first choice to purchase would be the 3 Little Notebooks. They would be so handy for jotting knitting notes and ideas. Thanks for such a great giveaway !
I would get the Titanic and the Tangle. Love the perforations, colours and the odd ruling! Love Knock Knock stuff. Their No. 2 line had some of my favourite note pads.
Explorer, Dot and Tangle
Thank you for the giveaway! I’d start with the Collection of Paper Options notebook
The Explorer looks just right for me. And the Tangle, too.
I love all of these, especially the tangle, but I think I would order A Collection of Paper Options. It looks so fun!
Awesome notebooks. I would love to get the titanic sketchbook
I’d pick the Titanic as I love the color pages…but really I’d take almost any one of them as they are all so unique. Thanks.
They look really neat.
I think that dot notebook is really snazzy. Like you said, doesn’t seem to work at first, but when it all comes together it just works. 🙂
I utilized 2 priorities: Select EXACTLY what I would like to have, and get the biggest bang for the buck. Or $50 bucks in this case. Based on the lifeimitatesdoodles review, I would trade your $50 for one (1) Tangle and two (2) Explorers. I’m organized and therefore, I love the tabs. There is always a notebook in my purse, bookbag, by my pillow, in the center thingy in the car and 1 or 2 on my desk. There is always room for more, love stretches. Then I went on your website and my decision blurred a bit, but I am sticking to my first choice. Thanks for putting out the giveaway for one lucky person.
Titanic Sketchbook and the 3 little notebooks. Very nice
If I win I will buy the Sumi Art Box with my gift card! Thanks for the giveaway!
The Explorer looks like a great book, and I’m so used to A6-ish books that it’d be nice to have the extra space.
Holy cow, that Tangle though. Definitely looking at that. Thanks for the giveaway!!
The Titanic for sure and probably the Dot notebook. They all are very, very tempting though . . . .
tangle & explorer notebooks!
I would buy a library kit, Explorer notebook, and a file box labeled “crap.”
The titanic notebook would be my main choice but I would also get the tangle notebook , simply for organisation and quick reference purposes ! They all look great!