There's never a shortage of notebooks available on the market at any given moment, and that means that the choices are nearly endless. Interested in a minimal, no-frills notebook? Easy. Something rugged and suited to outdoor use? You have several options there as well. The one thing that they all have in common, though, is that there was significant thought put into the printing materials and method before the product ever existed. These design decisions sometimes get left out once the final product is completed, but some companies like to publish that information along with the stationery products they provide. Field Notes is a great example of this. The materials, machinery, print shop, and other meticulous details are documented in the back cover of each notebook. You know, in case you're interested in that.
In the case of Print Prologue, the assumption is that you're definitely interested in those details.
The front cover of the Foil Stamp limited edition notebooks contains the detailed specifications of the notebook, from paper, ink, size, machinery, binding, and more. Print Prologue are definitely serious fans of the printing process, and that enthusiasm is seen in every detail of these notebooks.
While you can't buy these notebooks anymore, this review will hopefully provide some awareness for the company and help you decide if you'd like to jump on the next limited edition notebook they release.
The Foil Stamp ed. 1 notebook features 48 pages of 5" x 7" 60# white paper. I'm not an aficionado when it comes to paper stock, but this sounds (and feels) very similar to the paper you find in the standard Field Notes. And, of course, there's a single black foil stamp on the front cover to commemorate the edition.
The edges are square, and the binding is "perfect binding," which means the spine is square and uses glue to bind the pages. The notebook is fairly easy to open and break in, meaning it lays open fairly easily when in use. But, this also means that the front cover will always be slightly ajar once you break it in.
The inside covers are blank, and the back cover features a few places to organize your notebook. There's a place to add a date range, and there's also a nifty "Thumb Index" built into the notebook. This allows you to categorize the notebook into the three areas.
Overall, I'm not a huge fan of the exterior aesthetic of this notebook. But, I can see how it would speak to others. It's classy and well-done.
As for the insides, the notebook has a great dot-grid system using a "light-black" ink. The grid spacing is 0.25" (no metric system here) and feels comfy when writing. As an added perk, the notebook comes with a 6-inch ruler inside.
While trying out different pens and inks with this paper, I came to the conclusion that I would only use this notebook with gel or ballpoint pens and pencils. Fountain pens and rollerball pens just bleed too much to be useful. Another thing I noticed when using fountain pens is that this particular paper stock has a lot of fibers in it that get caught between the tines. I've never had this experience with other notebooks, so this was fairly disappointing. For gel pens, ballpoints, and pencils, the paper works great. It's a smooth surface with minimal feedback.
This particular edition cost $16 per notebook when it came out. Each notebook came with a 6-inch ruler and one Print Prologue branded pencil. It certainly nails the aesthetic they're after, and I'm sure that it appeals to a wide range of people. For me, the Foil Stamp ed. 1 missed the mark both aesthetically and performance-wise. That said, it's still a well-executed notebook, and I'll be interested to see what Print Prologue come up with next.
(Print Prologue provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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