When the folks at Tangible Stationery Co, Ltd. approached me about reviewing their new line of notebooks, I admit I was a little skeptical. At first glance, the A5 soft touch notebooks look quite a bit like many other notebooks on the market. Sure, they are available in the coveted dot grid so that certainly sweetened the pot. Then they offered to customise (with an “S” because they are Scottish) the cover with their very own foil stamping machine and add my initials, name or (because I begged) my blog name. So, I decided to give it a go.
Look at that! I’m feeling quite well-appointed indeed. (I waited to desecrate the cover with stickers until after I finished this review.) This is the Forbes Classic Notebook F24 dotted in blue (£10.79) with silver foil. I pushed the absolute limits with the number of characters they could do… so if you are wanting to get a customised cover, try to keep it a few characters shorter. You also run the risk of running under the elastic.
Inside the cover is some very entertaining text about notebook ownership and when you started and finished your book.
Here’s a close-up. You can also see the elastic pen loop in matching color, large enough to hold my Sailor ProGear Slim Sakura.
There is a matching satin ribbon bookmark (with finished ends, thank you very much!) and inside is soft white paper and a medium grey dot set at 5mm. At the top of each page is a space for the date.
In the back is the requisite gusseted pocket for loose ephemera.
And finally, what we’ve all been waiting for – the writing samples. Lo and behold, this paper withstands fountain pens gloriously. Now, I didn’t beat it up with super duper broad pens but it withstood fine and mediums and even som fine italics with a bit of flex. That was enough to satisfy me. I even hit it with a brush pen and then dropped the proverbial mic. Try that with THAT other notebook.
When I flipped it over to see the other side of the paper, I could see the brush marker and the dark 1.1mm Lamy writing on the other side but little of the other writing. It’s a paper miracle!!! Even the flex writing, there’s a bit of showthrough in a couple spots but nothing terrible.
Even when I really started to goof off, there’s no feathering or bad showthrough. And once there was writing on the paper, the dots faded into the background.
I even tried some colored pencil on the paper with good success making this a good notebook for work notes, quick thumbnails and doodles. I wouldn’t use it as a sketchbook per se but as a book for meeting notes, bullet journaling or day-to-day writing, I think it would be perfect.
The soft touch cover feels great and the personalization adds a lot to the notebook. If dots aren’t your thing, the Forbes is also available in lined and grid. My hopes are that they will one day also offer a blank notebook too. While dots are fun, I still love blank best. In the meantime, I will cherish this electric blue beauty.
- Paper: Forbes Classic Notebook Dotted (£10.79)
- Pens: Jinhao Shark Pens (via Ebay), Sailor ProGearSlim Sakura Pink (via Rakuten)
- Ink: Colorverse Inks (via Vanness Pens and Pen Chalet). PenBBS (via Vanness Pens)