Here’s a neat little notebook that I picked up at the DIA Beacon shop, which was an interesting place to look for notebooks, as some of them seemed to be shelved in amongst all the art books, according to whatever artist made them.
In this case, the artist is Shepard Fairey, who is best known for his iconic Barack Obama poster. Oddly enough, Fairey’s name appears nowhere on the notebook– if I hadn’t seen it described on other museum store websites when I did a search for more info, I would never have know he designed the cover image.
The notebook has a small, pleasingly chunky shape to it. It’s a tiny bit shorter than a pocket size Moleskine, but quite a bit thicker. Unfortunately, there is more cover overhang, so the pages inside are smaller. The corners of the notebook are quite sharp and square, not rounded off at all. The binding doesn’t allow the notebook to lie totally flat.
I love the clothbound cover and the image on the front, which seems to be printed into the cloth itself rather than glued or stamped on. The endpapers are also very cool. There is no other branding on the notebook. It’s also quite stripped down in terms of not having a ribbon marker, elastic closure, or back pocket.
The paper inside is a bit rougher than most, with almost a lined texture to it. I thought it might feel a bit scratchy with some of my fine point pens, but it didn’t– all my pens wrote nicely on the paper, though there was some feathering and bleed-through with a few, and I would say show-through was worse than average.
The $12.95 retail price seems right in line with other notebooks of this quality, though some people might think it should include the usual ribbon, elastic, and pocket. Black and green versions are also available. I’ve seen them for sale at McNally Jackson bookstore in NYC, and various museum stores also seem to carry them.