Design, Products, Technology
June 20, 2010
For all the time and effort that people put into finding that perfect pen, it’s amazing that they will write on just any old paper. Maybe this was OK when you were in 1st grade learning how to spell your name without backwards letters, but if you are looking to upgrade your overall writing experience, take a look at some of the outstanding notebooks below.
Some of my favorite notebooks for everyday use are from the Black n’ Red brand. Nothing fancy here, however you can’t beat the combination of their simple visual appeal, impeccable quality, and great value. Sturdy covers, with good quality binding, and most importantly high quality paper that won’t have your writing bleed through. There are many options to choose from, but I like the coil bound version with polypropylene cover. $7 via Amazon
If making the decision between traditional ruled paper, and graph paper is just too hard for you, the notebooks from Doane Paper will make your day. The unique design of their notebooks give you graph paper and ruled paper all on one page by using a heavier horizontal line to make up the squares of the graph paper. Doane Paper notebooks are available as standard legal pads, pocket size journals, and hard-cover coil-bound versions. $4.50 to $11 via DoanePaper
Whitelines notebooks come in multiple formats including coil bound and book style binding, with your choice of ruled or graph paper style. The paper itself is a very light gray, while the lines are actually white. The logic behind this design is that the white lines will not distract or interfere with your writing or drawing. Also, when you scan or photocopy the paper, the lines become invisible. My personal favorite is the lined A5 with hard black cover and coil binding. $12 via Amazon
If you are a fountain pen user, or someone who hates when your writing shows through to the other side of the page, the Rhodia Web Notebook is the perfect option for you. These notebooks use a heavy 90 gauge paper that deals well with just about any ink and is also the smoothest paper you will ever write on. $20 via Amazon
For the most professional looking notebooks, you can’t go wrong with the Levenger’s Circa system. These notebooks are not cheap; however their unique disc binding system and high quality cloth or leather covers will make you stand out from the crowd in a meeting. The disc binding system allows you great flexibility in moving and organizing your notes. $49-$129 via Levenger
Illustrations by Jordan Awan
June 8, 2010
With Father’s Day and Graduation season here, I thought it would be fun to talk about a long-lasting gift. Having been the recipient (and admittedly the giver) of some bad gifts, I can tell you that a nice fountain pen will last someone a lifetime and become a prized possession that they either look forward to using every day, or that they cherish and use for special occasions. Here are a few fountain pen suggestions to help you pick just the right one:
First up is the Lamy Safari, which is a very simple and understated fountain pen, but one that is durable and well constructed. It has an all plastic body and stainless steel nib (the nib is the fancy term for the pointy part that you write with) that makes for a pen that is comfortable to write with and that also puts down a nice smooth and consistent line. The Lamy brand is known for its quality German engineering, and the Safari is a hugely popular pen. Great for everyday use, especially in an environment where it might take a bit of abuse. $25 via Amazon.
The Aurora Ipsilon Satin line of fountain pens represent a more stylish choice. Being that this fountain pen is made in Italy, the comparison to a fancy sports car is a hard temptation to resist, but no worries, this fountain pen won’t set you back six figures. Much like a nice Italian sports car, this pen comes in a limited range of colors. You can go with the classic blue or black, or the “hey look at me” bright orange. Regardless of the color, you will find yourself with a well made light-weight fountain pen that will be sure to make other people jealous while they toil away with their .99 cent ballpoint pens. $88 via Amazon.
Next up is the Pelikan M215 Tradition Series. This is a another pen from a highly respected German manufacturer. With its twist off cap, shiny black lacquer finish, and silver accents this fountain pen has a very clean, neat, and professional look. There are a few different bodies to choose from, with slightly different stylings on the silver accents, and even one with a hint of blue. They always say you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have, so consider this pen an extension of that wardrobe that will take your Dad or Grad to the next level. $120 via Goldspot Luxury Gifts.
Then there is the Visconti Homo Sapiens (pictured top). This fountain pen is forged from the volcanic lava of Mt. Etna in Sicily, Italy and is probably one of the most unique fountain pens you can buy right now. Using the lava as a base for the body of the pen makes it virtually unbreakable, able to withstand extreme temperatures, and also helps to absorb sweat from the hand while writing. I had the chance to write with one of these pens at the recent National Stationery Show at the Javitz Center in NYC, and that experience had me drooling over the thought of actually purchasing one for myself one day. The palladium nib gives it a bit of flexibility that lets the user drastically change the width of the line with slight amounts of pressure. Bottom line though is that this pen combines the cool factor with incredible writing performance. $595 via Goldspot Luxury Gifts.
Illustrations by Jordan Awan