Art can change the world! That's a swell slogan, and one that speaks to my heart. And Denik stands behind it, taking in art from artists of all types and experience levels and making notebooks, sketchbooks, and journals that they sell through their website. They then donate a portion of the proceeds to building schools around the world. Artists are paid for their work, we get cool notebooks, kids get schools... This is awesome. So far, 746,250 notebooks have been sold, raising enough money to build a school where 304 students are now being taught. Another school is about to begin construction, and yet another is a little over halfway funded. They're also dedicated to promoting the work of the artists whose designs they feature (which could be you! You can submit work through their site).
If that's not reason enough to pick up enough of these notebooks to build a fort out of them, I'm pleased to say that the notebooks themselves are quite nice.
The Layflat Softcover has a neat texture to it. It's smooth, but feels almost waxy and has a matte finish rather than the glossy coating found on most notebooks. Whatever this neato coating is, it's waterproof. So if you set your notebook down on a damp table, or if your water bottle condensates in your bag, or if you are ever in the presence of a toddler--that snazzy cover will be just fine.
The binding is glued. It doesn't appear to be sewn first, and though there's some pull-away right inside the cover (not much, just enough to see a hint of the glue), the pages throughout the book are very secure. The notebook did not lay flat easily on its own, but Denik does offer leather-bound or spiral-bound versions if that's something you need in a notebook.
The paper is 60# weight, nice and crisp white with just a hint of tooth to it. It's also 75% recycled, because Denik hearts are made of unicorns and jelly beans and all good things. The paper performed better than I had been expecting. There's a bit of feathering with medium-and-up fountain pens, and a bit of bleed-through with flex writing and very wet inks, but fine fountain pens, rollerballs, gel pens, ballpoints, and pencils did very well. The texture of the paper even kept graphite from smearing too much. Colored pencil was particularly dreamy on this paper. Alcohol marker went through it as if it wasn't even there, but that's not unexpected.
The notebook held up well to being lugged around for a while, showing just a little wear at the corners.
Overall, it's a very decent, practical notebook with a lovely mission behind it. New designs appear from time to time, so be sure to check in often and snag the ones you like. Make art! Support artists! Build schools! Change the world! It's a refreshing dose of positivity.
(Denik provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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