Finally got these in from the Elemental Notebooks Kickstarter. I actually dove into these first rather than the core notebooks as since they were stretch goals, they were the notebooks I knew the least about. Also, I have plenty more regular notebooks than pocket notebooks that I currently need to get to.
Here are some quick thoughts on the notebook so far:
- The cover is a thicker paper than the internals. It has a coating that while not glossy gives the notebook a little bit of external shine and adds a soft, tacky feeling. Fingerprints aren’t really visible, but due to the softness creases from contact will be amplified.
- The Unobtanium logo on the front as well as the Elemental logo on the back are both inset and holographic, sparkling as you move the notebook around. The holographic material itself looks like cheap anodized aluminum, and while I enjoy the resulting sparkle I’m not a fan of the print itself.
- The corners have been cut to be rounded, but the round cut is rather crude and not symmetrical on both ends.
- The cover itself has green holographic flecks scattered throughout. They’re very tiny and dispersed,
- The stitching doesn’t run the full height of the notebook, with about a centimeter to spare on both ends. The stitching itself is clean and regular except for at the very bottom.
- The binding is not naturally lay-flat, but it responds very well to manual folding and flattening.
- The inner covers are green paper, with a design in the front (the green image above) and a branded, plain green in the back. I’m not the biggest fan of this emerald green color, but I can appreciate that it is a good green.
- The paper is dotted graph, with medium gray dots of small-ish size.
- The dots are printed at a slight angle, so as you progress throughout the notebook the dots slowly approach the top of the right side of the notebook.
- The paper doesn’t appear to be coated and instead matte and absorbent, similar to Leuchtturm or possibly even Field Notes,
- My Platinum 3776 M filled with Organics Studio Nitrogen writes with no issues. The paper absorbs the ink quickly enough to avoid smudging (important for a pocket notebook), but not enough to produce any noticeable feathing or bleed-through. Ghosting is present but not distracting.
- My TWSBI Eco M filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-Yake fares slighty worse–while no feathering is really present, the ink definitely expands on the paper and the edges of the writing are slightly soft. There are very slight flecks of bleed-through on the other side of the page, no more than three dots for the writing sample above.
- Note though that I have pretty sweaty hands, which often means that the bottom of pages in notebooks perform worse than the tops (my hands have been sitting on top of them and adversely affecting the pages). Even Rhodia is not free from the curse of my hands :)
Overall this notebook functions plenty well as a pocket notebook, and the paper strikes the right balance between being fountain pen friendly while also not taking three years to dry like Tomoe River or even Rhodia pocket notebooks tend to. They’re certainly worth the 10 USD additional fee on the Kickstarer, but we’ll have to see what price they retail for when Elemental Notebook’s webstore finally opens.