Thursday, 15 August 2019

Cambridge Imprint notebooks

Notebook samples from Cambridge Imprint
Recently, I was asked by Cambridge Imprint to review a couple of notebooks. I should hasten to say, these notebooks are not currently available to buy from them - they were prototypes which they wanted feedback on.

I have a number of Cambridge Imprint notebooks (yes, I know, I haven't reviewed any of them on here yet, but I will). I have a large square softback notebook and a set of three pocket-size notebooks. I really loved the look of their stuff, but wished they did a lined notebook that was bigger than the pocket size, but not as big as the square one. They do have medium-sized notebooks, but they were all plain, not lined. I contacted them about whether they had any plans to produce a lined one, and they sent me these two books to have a look at! They are the same size as the plain ones (18.5 cm x 12 cm; paper size: 18 cm x ~11 cm).

The two they sent me were covered with the Letterpress Harebell paper, and the Elephant paper. There's no plastic (hurrah!) and the papers are absolutely gorgeous!

Elephant paper

So, what do I like about them and what don't I like?


Well, I love the covers - the papers are all amazing (have a browse of their site and see what glorious papers they have). They're hardback so will resist all but the most significant dings. There's a small label on the front to indicate the contents, which is a lovely touch.

Letterpress paper

The paper. I've only used fountain pen in them (and I took out a page to do the tests, as I don't like leaving them in). The paper is fairly toothy, so would work well with pencils too. Writing wasn't as smooth as in a Clairefontaine book, but was a nice experience. My sharp calligraphy nibs jagged a little, but they jag on everything except Clairefontaine! The stubs were great and regular nibs were fine. There was some good shading going on as dry time isn't super-fast (lefties may need to take a little bit of care). There was no feathering, bleed-through or show-through.


Size: Not so large that they would take up too much real-estate on a desk or in a bag, but big enough that you're not starting a new page every second. At a page size of ~180 mm x ~110 mm, they're fairly close to B6 (which is 176 mm x 125 mm).

Ruling/margins: They're pretty narrow ruled, which suits me (even with a chunky nib) but if your handwriting is large, you might struggle. Ruling is 6 mm, with a top margin of 15 mm and a bottom margin of 9 mm. 7 mm might appeal to a wider range of people? As I say, they're fine for me!

Things they don't have, but I don't care:

There's no contents page, page numbering, page markers or a pocket in the back cover. None of these things are deal-breakers for me. If I need page numbers, I'll add them in. If I want a contents page, I'll leave some blank pages at the start/end. I rarely use the back pockets - they can make the writing experience a bit lumpy.

Things I'm less keen on:

The first and last page are glued to the end-papers and there's quite an overlap. I'm never keen on glued spines, because they're hard to open the book out flat, and this is the case here too. I'd rather they would fall open properly - writing in the inner pages will involve a bit of brute-strength!

I hope that they'll make these part of their main range as they're just beautiful!

No comments:

Post a Comment