News: (and Shameless Plug) Col-o-ring Oversize

Col-o-ring Oversize

We have finally released a new Col-o-ring product: the Col-o-ring Oversize ($15). This is our first fully bound notebook/sketchbook product. As always, this book came from the combined genius (and combined drunken logic) of Skylab Letterpress and The Well-Appointed Desk. We thought, “How could we make the best ink testing book even better?”

“OVERSIZE it!” And, of course, endless thanks to Stephen (our favorite Montblanc collector and auction caller) for the name.

Col-o-ring Oversize

We made the notebook 4”x 5.5” (A6-ish) with die cut rounded corners. It’s filled with 40 pages of the same great paper that you love from the Col-o-ring and Col-o-dex products (100lb/160gsm European paper from a 400-year-old mill), spiral bound with a durable, plastic spiral. The covers are made with the same thick chipboard and letterpress printed with our logo in black on the over and printing details on the back.

Col-o-ring Oversize

We have been testing the books with watercolor, brush pens, all sorts of inks (not just fountain pens!), pencils (colored and graphite) and so much more. The paper is thick enough to handle light washes of watercolor and show great color definition. Inks and brush pens look fantastic and, of course, no feathering or bleeding.

Col-o-ring Oversize

Col-o-ring Oversize

The two photos above are the front and back of the paper using a brush pen for lettering. The ink is Robert Oster Deep Purple and the pen is a Platinum Maki-E brush pen.

Col-o-ring Oversize

Colored pencils show lots of texture as a result of the tooth in the paper which I really like.

Col-o-ring Oversize

For the moment, the Oversize will be a limited edition. These books were especially made to test the waters with a new format. We hope folks like them and we are curious to get feedback about them.

DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this post were provided free of charge for the purpose of review (except for the ones we made). Please see the About page for more details.

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  1. I love the new size! I feel behind the 8-ball for only just now discovering it. I have a very special purpose in mind for those larger pages. I keep an Inked Pens Log of my own design in an A5 20-ring binder (from Currently, I’m using Maruman B7 loose leaf paper that has 9 holes and fits into that 20-ring binder. I can fit two slips to a page space, upper and lower. I divide my book into six sections where I group pens by brand name, alphabetically: Kaweco, Pelikan, Pilot, Sailor, Miscellaneous Asian-made pens and Miscellaneous non-Asian-made pens. These are my categories based on the pens I have; you could use any categories that suit your collection. In the sixth group I keep A5-size paper and use it for my “ink mix” formulas.

    On each slip of paper, I have four info categories: Pen, Nib, Ink, and Date. That gives me enough info on each pen to keep track of which pens have which inks, and how those inks perform in each pen. Problem is, the Maruman paper is a little too smooth and doesn’t really show off all the ink characteristics. It’s been OK up till now; very convenient because of its size and the holes that fit into my A5 binder. When I change the ink in a pen, I just rip out the old slip and put in a new one. I can arrange them however I want. But for a while now, I’ve been wishing for more ink-friendly paper for these little slips.

    When I discovered this Col-o-Ring Oversize paper, light bulbs went off in my brain. I’m going to take this paper out of the notebook and trim off the ragged edge. Then I’ll use my hole punch that is designed for the 20-ring binder system and punch the exact holes I need onto the new, clean edge. Bingo! Ink-friendly paper slips for my Inked Pens Log!

    Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to share my idea in case it might work for others. We’ve all been looking for the elusive, “Best” Inked Pens Log, right? Well, this is my version. Maybe something like it with your own ideas incorporated would work for you.

    I also have one question. Col-o-ring paper is new to me; what side of the paper am I supposed to use? The rougher side or the smoother side? Which side is the “front?” Does it matter? I’ve been testing inks on both sides and getting some slightly different results, but they’re inconsistent. I’m a beginner ink logger on this paper, so I’m not sure I’m doing it “right.” What side do you use, and why? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/feedback on this question or any other methods that work for you in the Col-o-ring system.

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