Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The Leuchtturm large journal - new "Ink-Proof" version. I'd always wanted to test these as an alternative to Moleskine, and Cynthia at JournalingArts.com graciously sent me this and one of the older versions to test and review.
*Of note - I tested this journal and took these photos several months ago and only now am I getting around to write the review. As I LOVE blank journals, I actually jumped right into this one and this is the first time ever I am writing a journal review after having completely finished it.
Top to bottom:
Leuchtturm: $13.99, 5¾" x 8¼", 250 (70g) acid free paper
Webbie: $19.99, 5½" X 8¼", 192 pages (90g) acid free paper
Mole: $15.99, 5" x 8¼", 240 pages (unknown weight) acid free paper
Designed in Germany, made in Taiwan. Distributed by Kikkerland - Moleskine's old distributor.
A whole bunch of stuff.... book labels, a thank you sheet, product flyer... Is this all necessary? Omission would surely reduce the cost....
One more freebie that came with this blank version, a lined/grid template.
Easy to see through the page.
Not so easy to store... Would make much more sense to have it sized to fit inside the expandable back pocket.
Note - Last 8 sheets are detachable.
3 pages of index at the beginning of the book. (Which follow an inner cover page with space for your personal information)
Numbered pages... Woot!!! I LOVE this feature. While I use my journals for a lot of daily ramblings, sometimes I write a specific memory or story and being able to note the page numbers at the front is so much better than post-it flags that I can't remember what I marked & why....
Ribbon bookmark which seems much more fray resistant than the one in the Moles.
While the spine on this journal allows the book to lie flat, it does NOT open flat. (Moleskine still hold the record for the book that opens the flattest) You WILL be writing in/out of a hump and at certain spots in the book it will be better/worse. I find it extremely annoying to have to push a book down to flatten the pages and if I don't, I lose writing space near the inner crease.
I noticed something new (to me) while using this journal. I had never tried folding any of my hard back journals back onto itself and was surprised to find that the Leuchtturms (in pocket & large sizes) fold back neatly. Pulling out a Mole & a Webbie, I find that they too will fold back on themselves, but each of those two seem to be a bit strained while the Leuchtturm does not.
Testing a pile of water based fountain pen inks in the new "Ink-Proof" Leuchtturm. These inks do take a little longer to dry on this paper. About the same as you would expect from Rhodia/Clairefontaine - but this paper is not as smooth as R/C. It's kind of smooth, but every now and then your pen nib will run over what feels like a tiny paper fiber, which to me, ruins the experience - I also get the impression that these are the same fibers which feather - as shown below.
Despite the fact that fountain pen inks do not bleed on this paper, they still do feather.
Though there is an occasional blood dot, fountain pen inks do not bleed through this relatively thin paper.
Interested in how this paper would take a huge Sharpie, I placed a piece of copy paper behind it "just in case."
Can you believe it? Sharpies bleed through everything.....
Now here's the crazy part. I tested the paper with a variety of gel pens and at the time I tested them, (mid February?) they wouldn't stay dry for the life of me. Everything smudged minutes, hours, DAYS later... but wait, there's more....
Faber Castel Pitt pens smudged, ball-point ink smudged... I had never seen anything like this!
Everything I tested, I tested in during the winter in my house that is heated by forced air - it gets very dry in here. As I mentioned at the top, I jumped right into using this journal not long after I tested it and it is the same journal I recently took with me out to Ohio. (Mid April & rainy) As I don't travel with my fountain pens, I took a handful of gel pens with me -fully expecting them to smudge but you know what? They didn't! Nothing smudged at all and it all dried fairly quickly. I am now convinced that this phenomenon is directly related to humidity or a lack thereof.
Of note, I noticed something in the Leuchtturm journals that I used to experience in the Moles, and that is if you rest your thumb/finger/palm on the page as you write, it soaks up the oils in your hand and it becomes difficult to write over that spot and the ink starts to bead up.
Artist grade watercolor paints look good on this paper but there was much buckling.
Rear of watercolor.
All in all, I like the larger size of this book combined with the numbered pages and index, but I don't love the paper's texture and feathering with fountain pen inks.
You can buy Leuchtturm journals at JournalingArts.