Clairefontaine notebooks


Doing some fall cleaning, I found a dozen Clairefontaine A4 notebooks from student days in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

vintage Clairefontaine notebooks

The notebooks strongly resemble the current offerings, and have held up very well over time. Good job, Clairefontaine!

vintage Clairefontaine notebooks

Düller Memo Pad


Düller Memo Pad

An unexpected local find, the Düller Memo Pad.

An elongated notepad, the paper features a dotted grid. The cover is a very nice forest green.

Shown here with a Düller Dietrich Lubs fountain pen:

Düller Memo Pad and Düller Dietrich Lubs fountain pen

Midori notebooks

Midori Notebooks Midori Notebooks

The globe is shrinking – recently found locally (Ontario, Canada) – Midori notebooks.

Plain and simple, yet high quality. Nicely finished. No visible cutting or processing artifacts or residue.

Relatively expensive, but their reputation preceded them.

The Midori paper loves graphite, and graphite loves this paper!

Midori Notebooks

Whitelines isometric graph paper


Isometric graph paper is still manufactured and sold in 2011, and has become an expensive specialty item.

I recall seeing engineering notebooks from decades ago that had isometric patterns, often facing a ruled or blank page. The tasks that require isometric graph paper (along with polar graph paper) long ago transitioned to computer software.

So, let me state that it was an immense surprise to see pads of a new isometric graph paper for sale at a brick and mortar stationer.

Alvin, who might be considered a traditional drafting and engineering supplier, claim isometric graph paper is “Ideal for mechanical drawing or design needs, especially machine design, architecture, and patent office drafting.”

Whitelines, the Swedish stationer known for using white ruling on grey backgrounds, are the creator of this new product, and state that “isometric graph paper helps you visualize ideas and draw in 3D for design, mathematical illustration and just sheer play.” It sounds like a slightly different market segment.

Isometric graph paper

Shown with two of the most technical drawing leadholders I could find: a Caran d’Ache Fixpencil 22 with roughened grip (purchased at Phidon Pens) and a Rotring compass pencil.

Isometric graph paper

I’d like to also see the Alvin paper – it is about the same price per sheet as the Whitelines paper.

Isometric graph paper

The “sheer play” purpose seems just right!

The joy of a large piece of paper


My desk. :-)

Who enjoys using a large piece of paper?

On the forefront of the photo is a Miquelrius “Grid-It!” series notepad in “The Guardian” design. Each sheet of paper shows a 1988 newspaper layout design by David Hillman. It is the layout for a sheet of newspaper.

At 375mm x 600mm, each sheet is 0.225 square metres, or 2.42 square feet.

The significance is appreciated – I have been a previous subscriber to the Guardian’s international edition, and can still purchase the Saturday edition in walking distance from my house. It seems to be a strong international representative of the UK.

In the background is the Rhodia No. 38 “dotPad” – a black covered, dotted grid version of the famous Rhodia notepad.

The dotPad is advertised as 420mm x 318mm, but that includes an unusable section bound with staples. The usable (and detachable, via perforation) area is the standard A3 sized 420mm x 297mm. I measured the notepad with my Danish Folle ruler, and am not just accepting the manufacturer’s statements.

A3 paper is 420mm x 297mm = 0.125 square metres or 1.35 square feet, so it is about half the size of the Miquelrius pad.

These types of paper are great for design work and drawing graphs of several types, which I do.

For paper of this weight and dimension, mail order tends to be impractical, and I was fortunate to find these items locally.

The Guardian notepad was purchased at Phidon Pens in Cambridge, Ontario.

The Rhodia dotPad was purchased at Write Impressions in Waterloo, Ontario.

Also, the official page for The Guardian Miquelrius notepad.

Much of the monitor screen real estate is unfortunately blank as I was trying to view the currently offline Pencils and Music website.

Does anyone else like large format paper?

Frank Gehry custom edition Moleskine


Art Gallery of Ontario solid graphite pencils

The weekend before last, I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Visits to this art gallery are always great, but experiencing the refurbished building by architect Frank Gehry seemed to take everything to a new level. Even walking through a hallway was an amazing thrill.

At the end of my afternoon I took a look at the gift shop, and saw sets of woodless pencils and some custom edition Moleskine cahiers with Gehry sketches on the covers. I know this type of item can be hard to find and is appreciated by a lot of people. I bought a set to give away on the blog. I hope I’m correct that it may be of interest.

This is another commenter reward draw – only those who have previously left comments are eligible, and the WordPress blog software is set to only allow comments by those who have previously left a comment here.

So to win a set of three Art Gallery of Ontario woodless graphite pencils, three pocket Frank Gehry Moleskine cahiers, and three large Frank Gehry Moleskine cahiers, just leave a comment here before Friday, September 24, 20:00 EDT.

Frank Gehry Limited Edition Moleskine

[Update, September 24, 2010]

Thank you to all those who entered. It was great to see some long time commenters enter.

Using the python random number generator on my Mac, we have:
$ python
Python 2.6.2 (r262:71600, Apr 16 2009, 09:17:39)
[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 5250)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import random
>>> random.seed()
>>> random.randint(1,34)

I wish everyone could win, but this time it is the 19th commenter, awin. Congratulations, awin!