Monday, November 24, 2008

Review: Grande Multi Colored Ciak Journal

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Small, medium and large Ciak journals, shown with small and large Moleskines for a size comparison.

I received 3 sample Ciaks directly from Italy to review; a small ivory lined, a medium plain ivory, and a large multi-colored.

Ciak journals are handmade in Florence, Italy, under what seems to be the parent company of inTempo (so that makes them related to Mood & Cartesio) another site specifically dedicated to Ciak is found here

Ciak Specs:

Piccolo (small 9x13cm)

Ivory Lined: 110gr, gray ruling, 96 Sheets
Multi-Color: 90gr, gray ruling, 128 Sheets
Plain White: 110gr, 96 Sheets

Medio (medium 12x17cm)

Travel Journal: ivory paper, 110gm, gray ruling, 120 sheets
Layout: right page lined, left page blank

Ivory Lined Specs: 110gr, gray ruling, 120 Sheets
Multi-Color: 90gr, gray ruling, 144 Sheets
Ivory Squared: 110gr, gray ruling, 120 Sheets
Plain White: 110gr, 120 Sheets

Grande (large 15x21cm)

Ivory Lined Specs: 110gr, gray ruling, 120 Sheets
Multi-Color: 90gr, gray ruling, 120 Sheets
Plain White: 110gr, 120 Sheets

You will notice that there are no specs for the ivory unlined version, but I assure you, they do exist. To the best of my knowledge in speaking with the US importer, ( the plain ivory Ciak is not being sold/imported in the US. That's not to say that they couldn't possibly be special ordered, or that you couldn't maybe find them on Ebay.

The Journal Shop IS selling the plain cream versions in the UK.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Size comparison of the large Quo Vadis Habana, large Ciak, and a large Moleskine.

The large Ciak is almost identical in size to the Rhodia ePure and the large Pen & Ink Sketchbook.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

This large Ciak has all of the same features of the small yellow Ciak that I reviewed here, such as the recycled leather cover with rounded edges, horizontal elastic closure that fits nicely into a notched groove in the cover that can act as a pen holder, and a ribbon bookmark.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Small Ciak logo on the cover.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Orange was the first color paper in this journal with multi colored pages, and so it was the color I used to test my various fountain pens and inks.

7mm ruling in this large version.

No feathering, no spreading, no bleeding or see through with any of the inks tested. I did a small test of every color with the .07 CI and the Midnight Blues ink, which tends to be my most problematic combination. No problems with any color paper in the book.

I suppose that maybe you can see the Midnight Blues a little from the reverse of the page, but it's a super saturated ink written with a wide nib. I'm really quite picky and don't see it as a problem.

Grande Red Ciak Journal
The paper is smooth, but has the slightest feedback. (In a good way)

It's smoother, and a little shinier (maybe because of the printing process?) than the small yellow lined Ciak.

Ink takes a few moments to dry, you might want to use a blotter.

Signatures are securely stitched with 5 stitches.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

Like all Ciaks, the spine is an issue if you prefer your books to lie flat. Ciaks do not lie flat.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

If you press them down, they will open flat to some degree, but in this large version, I think you will always end up writing in/out of a hump.

Writing on my leg as I often do, the size/proportions of this book are of such that if I try and write on the left hand side of the page, the right hand pages start flopping over at me.

Grande Red Ciak Journal

I tried working the book back and forth at different points of the spine, and I eventually got it to somewhat open flat. I can only assume that the cover & binding will eventually loosen up. If you have filled a large Ciak, leave me a comment and let me know how it fared over time.

In conclusion, between the size of this book and the difficult cover, it really won't work for me. I'm also not sure I'd really care to write on colored pages. I'd want to skip all around as the mood would strike me, and the book would end up being all out of order. But maybe that would be a cool project to try out....

Where to find them in the US?

Kate's Paperie has ivory lined, small & medium, but colors are limited to orange & red.

Sam Flax has ivory lined Ciaks in all colors.

In the UK, The Journal Shop carries all things Ciak.

I'm pretty sure you can find the multi-colored Ciaks at Borders and Barnes & Noble.

Stay tuned for the last review in this trio - the medium unlined ivory Blue Ciak. So far, the small was too small, and the large too large. Will the medium finally prove to be just right? Will it fit comfortably on my knee in the old easy chair? And if it does...will I like the paper?

See a previous review of the Ciak on the Black Cover Blog


Ontheroad said...

Thanks, Biffybeans. I am eager to hear about the medium sized Ciak.

And, btw, has been carrying this version for awhile.

LizB said...

thank you so much for the multi coloured review!

I loved the blue pages, that is such an awesome shade. I have a multicoloured unlined book myself, but i've only ever used black pens in it. I've seen the ciak books on websites, but never open. Now I can see that they're for the most part, too pastel for my tastes.


Tahee said...

Really enjoyed the review. I just got a medium-sized Ciak Daily Diary and the paper is so thin and light, I can't write with my Montblanc(ef). I remember you mentioning at fountainpennetwork that not all ciak journals have the same quality paper and you were right.

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