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.