Biella Index Cards

2 comments

Biella Index Card

Biella is a Swiss stationery company. Though 120 years old, they don’t seem to be engaged in much export activity as far as I can tell. Their one product that I’ve previously purchased is the Canteo Notebook, which we took a look at in 2009. It was a nice product – conceptually similar to Leuchtturm and Moleskine notebooks, but a step up in paper quality and design. And being sold with a pencil and metal page darts in a glassine envelope didn’t hurt.

Biella Index Card

Last year I was fortunate to be able to visit Zürich’s four story stationer Papeterie Zumstein, and came across another Biella product – their version of the index card.

I love index cards, and my favourite is the Exacompta Record Card. I have used them almost every day for over a decade!

A small detour – there was a blog titled “Pile of Index Cards” that served as an inspiration (I think it is now offline) and which recommended some very particular tools. In particular, the “Correct” brand index card from Japan. Their benefit was said to be rule placement – with a 5mm x 5mm square grid, the first vertical rule was 5mm to the right of the card’s left side, and the first horizontal rule 5mm below the card’s top side. i.e. – the grid ruling was printed to respect and match the card’s dimensions. Further, each card could be expected to match this pattern. This allowed marking the edges of cards to give them particular meaning and to visually convey basic information even before one reads the card. Years later, I can buy Japanese index cards locally. Unfortunately, even if possessing super deliberate ruling, they’re made from thin paper. In fact they seem to me to simply be small dimension pieces of paper. I do find that I like the thicker card stock of North American or European index cards.

Biella Index Card

This particular card is a small A7 size with a 4mm grey square rule. It looks great, but I noticed right away that the paper seems thinner and less smooth than the coated Exacompta. I’ll be sticking with Exacompta, but I’m glad to know that there are competitors around.

Canteo No. 14 A4 notebook

10 comments

Canteo No. 14 notebook

Canteo, a brand of Biella of Switzerland, offers notebooks and office products.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

They now have a retail presence in Canada, and I recently acquired one of their A4 sized notebooks.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

It is an original. I’ll start from the inside in describing the notebook – I ordered a squared (graph paper/quadrille) version – and to my surprise, the squares are an unusual 4mm, rendered in grey ink, on a cream background.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

The paper is very graphite friendly, and I’m quite impressed with the way handwriting and drawings appear.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

The thread stitched notebook lies flat, and has a very sensible business appearance if that matters to you. It comes with a set of metal clips and a black-dyed pencil as pleasant extras.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

The book has a corner elastic, and an internal ribbon. The cover is hard to describe – a sophisticated matte paper fabric.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

Overall, I have the impression of a very nicely made notebook, and I’ve already enjoyed using it. Though it is approaching the upper end of what I’d generally like to pay for a mass produced notebook, it seems to offer an appropriate value and quality level. Some examples: The binding allows laying the notebook completely flat, and the paper and journal have their corners rounded with matching arcs. There are statements on the web saying Canteo products are made in Korea. I didn’t find any information about this on the product itself, though the references to Switzerland are many.

Canteo No. 14 notebook

I have already ordered another!