Monday, October 20, 2008
The large Cartesio is the same size as a large Moleskine. (Note: the Barnes & Noble Red Moleskines have fewer pages than the regular black ones.)
Cartesio has a ribbon bookmark.
Available in orange or black. Textured and ecological bonded leather.
From The Journal Shop "The notebooks have cream ruled paper (which is acid-free archival quality stock that takes fountain pen and ink beautifully) and are available in pocket 9x14cm and large 13x21cm sizes."
Rounded cover, rounded pages. Rounded elastic band. Rounded edges allow for less damage to the book from repeatedly pulling it in and out of a purse or backpack.
Cover is grooved, and the elastic band holds the book tightly closed with less chance of it slipping off in my bag like my Moleskine often does.
A small raised emblem on the front cover designates the brand.
Rear stamped logo "Tempo"
Cover is a stiff recycled leather - and though not a hardcover, it's stiff enough that I can use it to write with it propped on my knee.
There is not a strong odor of leather with this cover.
The book lies "flat enough" for me, but not as dead flat as the Moleskines's do. Mid-weight pages are a creamy ivory. Signatures are sewn, not glued.
Odd rear pocket. It's connected on the left, but it's left free to slide up and down the elastic on the right. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of that. Perhaps by being able to life the pocket away from the book, it's easier to get into?
Multiple fountain pen inks tested in various pens with various nib widths. No feathering, spreading, showthrough or bleeding at all.(See additional comments about this below - other people have had varying results.)
I did notice, that inks do not dry ultra quickly on this paper. It's not a shiny paper, and it actually has a small bit of tooth, (in a good way)
In the large Cartesio journal, the lines are ruled wider than in the large Moleskine. Cartesio lines are 8mm wide, versus Moleskines 6mm. 26 lines to the page versus Moleskines 30, but the Cartesio doesn't have the wide ruled top margin like the Moleskine.
I'm not crazy about the wide ruling, but because of all the other great features surrounding this journal, I think I'd be willing to overlook it.
Yes, you are seeing correctly. NO BLEEDING from ANY fountain inks. (Once again, see additional comments below.)
Cartesio tested with various markers - as usual, Sharpie & Staedtler bled, but not as bad as in other journals. (I'm not even sure why I keep testing them, because journal paper is never thick enough for them)
I was surprised that the Japanese brush pen didn't bleed at all, because it's a highly pigmented pen that usually bleeds.
Artist grade watercolor test came out pretty darn well. Paints went down well on the paper, blended well, and didn't buckle the paper too badly.
In all, the Cartesio is by far, one of the best journals I've yet to encounter. I wish it had a harder cover and that the lines were ruled smaller, but I can definitely say that YES, I would buy these and I do recommend it.
Unfortunately, it's availability in the US is severely limited. I could find no US retailers carrying it - so if you know of one, please let me know.
In the UK, I found The Journal Shop and though their inventory on the Cartesio's looks a little thin right now, I just received an e-mail from Alex at the Journal Shop that states, "After a very long wait indeed, we have now confirmed that our delivery is on its way to us from Italy and will be here in 7-10 days or so. We've ordered plenty..."
***11/29/08 Edited to add: Someone just contacted me that bought the Cartesio. She showed me pictures of how hers feathered pretty badly and also bled. I had written on about 7 pages of that book with no bleeding. I just whipped out my wettest three: .07 CI (Midnight Blues) M Sapporo (Imperial Purple) and .05 CI (Noodler's Red-Black) and wrote a few lines on that 7th page. Still no bleeding, there were only two small dots where the Midnight Blues tried to push through, but checking with a magnifying glass, I'm seeing at least a small amount of feathering with all three, the Midnight Blues in the .07 CI being the worst.
*** 11/26/10 Edited to add: Just heard word from someone else who is having bad feathering issues with fountain pen inks on this paper. (See the comments section below) I would suggest purchasing at your own risk.
See a previous review for the Cartesio on the Black Cover blog.