Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review: Ciak Travel Journal

Ciak Travel Journal

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

I am only aware of the Ciak Travel Journal being sold on the Journal Shop website in the UK.

Per the Journal Shop Website:

"CIAK introduces another great notebook to their range of quality notebooks - the CIAK Travel Notebook (or "Taccuino di Viaggio" in Italian). Measuring 12x17cm, the CIAK Travel journal features the usual high quality bonded Italian leather cover and Italian paper stock suitable for even fountain pens. The journal includes preprinted 'travel information' pages, such as a page for your travel itinerary, travel checklist and international sizes and unit measurements conversion.

The actual writing pages are a mix of plain and ruled paper. This is a great idea and allows for writing and sketching in the same notebook, or even use as a travel scrapbook using photographs accompanied by a written account of your travels.

The finishing touch on any CIAK notebook is of course the patented horizontal elastic band, which secures any pen tightly against your notebook. Like the rest of the CIAK range, the CIAK Travel journal is handmade in Italy, as proudly stated on the rear cover of the notebook. If you're looking for a leather travel journal/notebook, the CIAK Travel is a perfect choice."

Ciak Travel Journal

Ciak Travel Journal shown in front of a large Moleskine for size comparison.

Ciak Travel Journal

Shown side by side with a regular medium Ciak with plain cream pages.

The cover material is listed as "bonded leather" as it was on all of the other three Ciak journals, but the cover on the Travel Journal feels different. It's softer & smoother and didn't have much of a leather scent, which almost made me think it wasn't real leather. I like the cover on this model less than on the other three because it's not as leathery. (And I like leather) They both have the same amount of flexibility and are not stiff/rigid at all.

The Travel Journal has the same patented horizontal elastic closure that's great for securing a pen next to the book. The cover is notched and the elastic band stays put.

Both books have rounded corners which take less of a beating when pulling them in/out of a bag, but the paper corners are squared. (I prefer rounded edges as it's easier on the palm when you reach the bottom of the page.)

The Travel Journal includes an unfinished ribbon bookmark, (C'mon - can these companies PLEASE use finished bookmarks so they don't unravel and fray the minute you look at them? Please?) but my regular journal does not. I'm uncertain whether the regular journal is supposed to include one - the larger multi colored and the small ivory lined both did.

Ciak Travel Journal

The Travel Journal, the regular journal and a large Moleskine.

Per The Journal Shop's website, both the Travel Journal and the regular medium journal appear to have 140 pages, but I counted them in each, and it's actually 120 in each. (I'll send Alex a note to update the specs on the site.) Look at the above photograph. The Travel Journal pages are obviously thinner in weight. The specs say 110g for the plain white (plain ivory is not listed, so I'm assuming it's the same) AND also 110g for the Travel Journal. They feel like more like Moleskine Journal pages than what's in the other Ciaks. The Ciak website says both are 110g, and that just can't be right.

Ciak Travel Journal

I noticed that the binding was different than on the other three Ciaks - it doesn't appear to be as strong as the construction on the regular journals. It reminds me of the spine on the Rhodia ePure.

Like all Ciaks, the book does not open nor lie flat, but it is suitable for writing on non flat surfaces. (like propped on a knee.)

Ciak Travel Journal

Inside the font cover, there are 4 blank lines on the title page.

Ciak Travel Journal

At the beginning of the book you will find,

A full page for personal data,
An itinerary page
A two page time-zone chart
A distance chart
Monthly world temperatures
International dialing codes
Weights and measures
International sizes
Check lists

And at the back of the book, several lined pages with the header, "useful information"

Ciak Travel Journal

What initially attracted me to the Ciak Travel Journal was that the pages are lined on one side and blank on the other. The ruling is very light gray. The paper is lighter in color than the ivory unlined. It's a very pale cream.

Ciak Travel Journal

I'm not going to beat around the bush with this one. This is a really thin paper, regardless of what the Ciak specs claim - much thinner than was in any of the regular Ciak journals.

Unfortunately,there was bleeding and was substantial show through with fountain pen inks, which defeats the purpose of being able to write or draw on the back side of the page.

Feathering was minimal to non-existent.I didn't bother testing this paper with anything but fountain pen inks, because once I saw that it didn't hold up to FP inks, (my primary writing implements) I knew it wasn't for me.

Ciak Travel Journal

Reverse of the page. Now how could I draw on this? Or use watercolor? Watercolor would make the ink run that bled through - even with a light wash.

In conclusion, for people who want a travel book and use ballpoint pens of pencils, this is probably the book for you. The differences in cover material & binding construction confuses me a bit, and with the amount of show through with FP inks, it's just not for me.

Buy them at The Journal Shop in the UK

PS - a review is still forthcoming on the regular ivory unlined medium Ciak journal.

3 comments:

Mrs. R said...

I love, love,love journals and I am always on the look out for great new ones. Thanks for this.

cheryl @ mandala oasis said...

Hi..
Oh my goodness! I too love journals, notebooks, paper, markers, pens, finding new mediums to try and so do you! I am intrigued with it all and like seeing it in my supply closet and the way I display it at home. It soothes my soul almost as much as the creative process itself! Thank you for devoting so much to these topics..and for sharing your expressive art.

Like you, I also make mandalas; and collage - I want to one day mix the collage and painting and see what I come up with, but now my favorite medium for the mandalas are my markers & pens (Prismacolor, Pitt, Micron, Marvy so far).

I've been looking for a a lustrous metallic maker (but not too glittery) - had one by Marvy and can't find it again! The do make "Opaque Stix" but only in a mulit-pack and I only want the gold, so I continue the search. I welcome any recommendations you may have.

You can reach me thru my blog and e-mail. It's nice to meet you, and I will be back! Is it OK w/yuou if I link to you on my blog?

Keep creatin'! ~ Blessings..Cheryl

Biffybeans said...

Mrs. R - No problem!

Cheryl - so sorry for the delayed response and thank you for reading my blog - I am glad that you are enjoying it and finding it helpful.

Have you tried Sharpie's metallic markers? I have a silver and it works pretty well on black paper. And you may most certainly link my blog.

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