Tag Archives: fabriano

Review and Giveaway: Flexbook Notebooks

I was very excited when I saw this new brand in my local stationery store (NYC’s A. I. Friedman). I was immediately smitten with the design and intrigued that the notebooks were made in Greece– a new country to add to my collection. After getting in touch with the company, I was happy to receive a lovely assortment of samples to review. Let’s take a look!

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Flexbook notebooks are made in Greece, but sold by a French company called Prat Paris. Inside the notebooks, you get Italian Fabriano paper– talk about European unity!

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The simple design caught my eye– I’ve always liked the look of a cloth-taped spine, and the Flexbook is available in a few different color combinations. The cover itself is a fairly stiff cardboard– I would call this a “softcover” notebook, as it’s not a thick wrapped board, but it’s not floppy or flabby. There is an elastic closure, and subtle embossed branding on the front and back. On the back there is also a round holographic stamp. The label notes “All original Flexbook patented binding products carry the holographic label,” and I have to say I’d rather they’d chosen some other mark of authenticity, or located the holograph on the inside of the cover– I don’t love how shiny and blingy it is against the otherwise very classy and understated exterior.

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The pocket size notebook is almost the same size as a pocket Moleskine, just slightly smaller.

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Inside the notebook, you get plain black endpapers but no inside pocket or ribbon marker. At the front there is a page with branding info and a space to write your name and contact details.

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The binding is indeed very flexible. The notebook opens flat throughout, except on the very first page, which is glued to the endpapers pretty far in. And you can fold the covers all the way around without damaging the spine. However they’ve glued and reinforced the spine, it delivers as promised.

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The 85 GSM paper inside is a creamy white and very smooth. I found it a pleasure to write on and all my usual pens worked well. Fountain pens didn’t feather at all, though they took longer than usual to dry, as you’ll see from my smear tests, especially with the J. Herbin ink in the Lamy. The only pens that bled through were the Accu-Liner and the Super Sharpie. Show-through was about average.

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Blank and ruled versions are available in various sizes. In addition to side-opening notebooks, there are also top-opening pads with perforated paper. A sketchbook version with heavier paper (170 GSM) is also available in 2 larger sizes. Pricing on these is slightly less than Moleskine– list for the 3.5 x 5.5″ version is $12.55. You’re trading better paper for the ribbon marker and back pocket you’d get in a Moleskine, but I think many notebook users will be happy to make that swap. On Amazon, unfortunately, these are priced higher than list from a 3rd party seller. But you can get them at a 10% discount (at least at time of writing this post) at BLICK ART MATERIALS.

I will be giving away a sample Flexbook notebook to each of two lucky winners, who will be randomly selected from entries received in any or all of these ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “Flexbook Notebook @NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories

On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and post something containing the words “Flexbook” on the Notebook Stories page.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Flexbook Notebook” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday July 15, 2016 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner. Please allow a couple of weeks for me to check all the entries and determine the winners.

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Notebook Sightings

Some of the notebooks I’ve spotted on recent shopping trips, first these “Carnets de Poche” at a gift shop in Bethesda, MD. They’re a bit large to really fit in your poche, perhaps, but rather cute nonetheless, with a nice mix of papers inside:

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I was quite intrigued by these Mead planners I saw at Staples. They have an attractive Moleskine-ish look to them on the outside, but with a bit more design and branding to it. Inside, the pages offer a couple different planner layouts, either a notebook with some monthly calendar pages, or a 2 day per page planner. I love that they’ve used the Moleskine format and styling, though I find the inner pages to be a bit much with all that orange and grey. And I think these pocket-size planners were $15.95 each, which seemed a bit pricy, though not any worse than Moleskine. (The price is lower on their website, so perhaps what I saw was a mistake. $12.99-13.99 seems more in line.) These “At a Glance” planners have been around forever, or at least it seems that way, but they always used to look kind of cheesy and downmarket, so I guess someone at Mead decided to redesign them in line with current notebook trends. (The old-style flimsy-covered ones with a wire-o binding are still around too. Perhaps someone will re-introduce them as a retro-hip notebook style one of these days!)

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At Lee’s Art Supply in Manhattan, I spotted these nice cahier-style Fabriano EcoQua notebooks, in a colorful 4-pack:

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Lee’s also had a range of notebooks made with translucent vellum paper, including this pocket sized one:

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How about you? Have you spotted any new, unique or unusual notebooks lately?

Notebook Addict of the Week: D Murphy

This week’s addict contacted me by email to share this photo:

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I love this collection– the almost architectural way they’re stacked and shelved, the consistency of notebook types and date/subject labeling. And many of them have a nice worn in look– not totally beat up, but that slightly dingy and soft look that comes from frequent use. And the sheer massiveness of the collection! I think I counted 136 notebooks! I’d love to know more about what’s inside…

I’m guessing most of these (aside from the composition books) are Moleskines, but some also look like they could be Markings, Piccadilly or softcover Miquelrius notebooks. There are some two-packs in the still-wrapped pile at top left that I think could be Clairefontaine, or perhaps Fabriano.  It’s fun trying to detect the subtle differences in a collection like this! Thank you D Murphy for sharing your addiction!

Leigh Reyes on the Fabriano Quadrato Artist’s Journal

Leigh Reyes takes a look at a Fabriano artist’s journal with pages in 4 different neutral tones:

Her verdict? It’s great for watercolor, including the beautiful work below:

Read more at Fabriano Quadrato Artist’s Journal. | Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb..