LAMY recently entered into the world of Notebooks with three sets of LAMY Paper Notebooks in both A5 and A6 sizes. A smaller booklet styled Cahier notebook, a larger Soft Cover notebook and this (also larger) Hard Cover notebook. The notebooks are designed to be colour-coordinated with the LAMY Safari and AL-star pens.
The Notebook is somewhat feature-rich and has a brushed metal looking casewrap, black book edges, a pen loop, two ribbon/bookmarks, an elastic band and a back pocket. The Notebook also has a Lamy ruled paper which is a combination between lined and graph paper.
Thanks to LAMY Australia for sending the Notebook and the AL-star for review purposes.
The Hardcover comes in three different colours: black (the version in this review), black purple, and ocean blue. The colour changes are somewhat subtle as the only changes are the book edges, the elastic band and the darker of the two ribbons (all notebooks also come with a neon yellow ribbon). The notebook is 192 pages of 90gsm ‘Ivory’ paper. The somewhat minimalistic, unornamented and practical looking design fits the general theme of LAMY’s Bauhaus inspired design (to my eyes at least). The ‘brushed metal’ casewrap is a little textured with that texture direction moving up and down the book.
A new Hard Cover Notebook comes wrapped in a standard plastic wrapping underneath which is a paper sleeve which shows the Lamy ruling, and describers the features of the notebook in German, English and French. We also first see that the notebooks are made in Italy.
The only text or logo that adorns the outside of the notebook is a debossed LAMY logo on the lower back cover. The black book edges (edges of the paper) are uniform and dark. The ribbons fit neatly between the backing material of the binding and the spine. The elastic band smoothly goes through the perforated casewrap and back board without flaring the casewrap at all! The last 8 pages of the notebook are also perforated so you can remove them easily from the book if you need to do so. The pastedown of the endpaper is lifting up because of the pen loop, and while endpaper is well glued down so this may not be an issue at all, this is my only potential concern amongst an otherwise high end construction. The loop is also pretty tight. It’s certainly possible to get a LAMY AL-star into the loop but it took two hands and wasn’t a quick fit. Smaller pens or tapered pens (such as the LAMY 2000) are a much easier fit.
The front pastedown is completely unadorned but the free endpaper has the LAMY logo bottom right and areas dedicated to Name, Address, and Phone number. The reverse of this leaf has the the FSC Certification trade mark, Made in Italy as well as some other LAMY related marks.
The back pastedown endpaper has a thin card pocket glued to it. It’s nice having these even if I rarely remember to use them! You should be able to fit a decent amount in it too.
The bookblock contains six sections each bound with string with a 10-hole binding. The binding is tight and seems strong. I expect this will last well.
The notebook lies relatively flat at the beginning of the notebook and (understandably) more so in the middle. Definitely easy to write on at any point.
The unique part of this notebook (at least I haven’t seen it before) is 192 pages of what LAMY is calling “LAMY Ruling”. The ruling has 8mm solid lines in-between which are 4mm graph squares made with dotted lines. My first choice is dot grid but the softer lines of the graph ruling coupled with the solid line ruling will certainly be useful to some. Especially those that sketch (Bauhaus-inspired geometric lines‽) and also write in the same notebook.
The paper has some texture to it. It’s not rough paper but it’s got that little bit of pleasant (to me) feedback. If you have a misaligned nib or otherwise scratchy nib this paper might accentuate that but that isn’t an issue with the paper. At 90gsm the acid free paper is quite thick and heavy. This translates to a Notebook that is 365g in weight and 16.3mm thickness from cover to cover. This is comparable to other similar notebooks on the market.
The paper is ‘ivory’ which means an off-white colour. It isn’t a yellow paper, definitely still white but not perfectly white.
An obvious first choice is to see how LAMY’s own inks work on the paper. LAMY Crystal Ink Azurite doesn’t feather and has OK shading (for an ink that is a little flat). The paper is somewhat absorbent which fortunately doesn’t translate to feathering or bleeding (as we see below) but it does mean limited sheen as sheen requires less absorbent paper to allow the ink to pool.
There is some nice green sheen on the saturated swatch and if you look closely at the precise angle you might catch a glimpse of some on the writing but in practical real world terms there is no sheen here. There’s very limited ghosting which is pretty decent! There is no bleeding on the writing or on the less saturated swatch. It feathers a bit and bleeds a bit on the highly saturated swatch but this is hardly a real world test so I don’t believe this is a meaningful problem with the paper.
With Robert Oster Bondi Blue we get some nice shading! There’s still no feathering which is great.
There’s some sheen on the saturated swatch but non on there written words, again related to the fast absorbing paper. There is no bleeding from the writing and only some respectful bleeding from the saturated swatch.
There are no issues to report with Montblanc Irish Green. Decent shading, no sheen (not that this ink sheens much at all) and no feathering.
There’s a bit of sliver sheen on the saturated swatch and no bleeding almost anywhere. You could argue that the saturated swatch produces some but it’s almost just ghosting!
Bungubox Omotesando Blue (named after the area in Tokyo that their Tokyo store is based) is a relatively sheen less ink (even on Tomoe River there’s very little). Naturally there’s no sheen here either. There’s some OK shading but this is a somewhat flat ink and no feathering.
There is no bleeding apart from a little where the saturated swatch is.
Noodler’s Russian Series Pushkin (from the new release of the inks, not the original) was chosen because I know it was a poor performing ink. If this ink did perform well on this paper it would be miracle. Well, it doesn't perform well but that that certainly isn’t an indictment against the paper.
The ink doesn’t really feather in the sense of the ink catching on the fibres of the paper to making tiny lines outwards from the ink. Rather the ink spreads out massively (similarly to what you get when you put ink on a paper towel but less extreme). There’s no such thing as a fine nib with this ink!
There’s obviously no sheen. What there is is a lot of bleeding. There’s bleeding on the writing and there’s so much bleeding on the saturated swatch that it bleed through two pieces of paper. Again this says more about the ink than the paper. Noodler’s Banker’s Tan bleeds through two pages of Tomoe River paper…
Diamine Skull & Roses is a bit of a sheen monster. It’s not as extreme as Organics Studio Nitrogen Royal Blue but it’s pretty sheeny! There’s no feathering, decent shading and no poor performance here.
The sheen is present in all of the swatch (both the less saturated swatch but more so in the highly saturated swatch) and also in the writing. It’s still on the subtle side but it’s noticeably there. There’s no bleeding at all any where! Not bad! This lack of bleeding goes hand in hand with the fact that there is sheen.
Lamy Rollerball black ink, Caran d’Ache Ballpoint blue ink, 4B pencil, HB pencil and Sharpie marker ink all perform as expected. No poor performance with any of them apart from Sharpie. However, like with the Noodler’s Pushkin above Sharpie marker bleeds on all paper types I have so it isn’t indicative of anything regarding this paper.
This is a feature-rich premium feeling notebook with fountain pen friendly paper. The paper has a pleasant texture to it and the performance is decent. I find it unfortunate that it is so absorbent which results in noticeably less sheen however the paper is still definitely friendly with fountain pen ink. This, for me, is my only complaint (so to speak) with the Notebook. However, this complaint is completely subjective. I love sheen, I have friends that don’t!
The ruling is novel and interesting but it wouldn’t be my first choice. The softer dotted lines of the graph was a good design choice, I believe. I’m sure people who use Notebooks differently than I do will get a lot out of it though.
The Notebook does also comes with a premium price. In Australia the notebook is $39.95 through LAMY Australia. The European price seems to be €16.90. With a price around that of a LAMY Safari Fountain Pen the question I have is who the target audience is. I believe the target audience is not budget conscious new-to-fountain pens LAMY Safari owners. I believe this particular notebook is aiming at the Lamy 2000, the Scala, or the Dialog owners. A premium notebook to match the more premium pens. That said, absolutely there’s nothing to stop the Safari owners from getting this and thoroughly enjoying it.
Thanks again for LAMY Australia for sending the Notebook and the AL-Star for this review!
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I received this pack free of charge for the purpose of giving an honest review. I was not otherwise compensated and everything here is my own honest opinion. There are no affiliate links.