Updated: Jan 7, 2018
paper + pen test #4 : dotgrid.co notebooks
After writing about the Inkwell Press hardcover notebook, the Leuchtturm 1917 A5 and the Filofax notebook (click on this hashtag to get access to these posts #paper+pentest), I`m now moving on to the next one: a notebook in A5 size from Dotgrid.co.
UK based company
Dotgrid.co was founded in October 2012 in UK due to the struggle to that dotgrid notebooks where hard to find in Europe at that time. Callum Chapman did not want to import anymore from other countries so he created dotgrid notebooks and launched his shop.
The notebooks are made mostly out of a really heavy 104gsm paper, according to their website made out of restainable material or even 100% recycled material (for example their Sketch notebook serie). the Sketch notebooks are made out of 100gsm paper.
Dotgrid.co offers a varity of sizes (A3, A4, A5). Most of the notebooks are double-O wirebound, only the smaller Sketch notepads are wire-stitched. Due to the wirebound finish the notebooks all lie flat and can be flipped over easily to provide a great and easy handling.
the covers of dotgrid.co notebooks:
The covers are made out of heavy cardstock, they are laminated to be protected from water drops and can easily be wiped dry with a soft cloth.
The normal covers are black with their small logo in grey in the right hand bottom corner.
If you need a lot of notebooks then maybe the Dotgrid Studio Pack is an option, buy a bundle of 10 A4 or 15 A5 notebooks for a reduced price.
And now one thing which I really like about this company: you can buy loose sheets as well! You can either buy 200 sheets of A5 paper or 100 sheets of A4 paper, unpunched or punched (2 holes).
This is great for people who do not want to have the fixed layout of a notebook but would like to create their own notebook in a Filofax binder or in a discbound system. Buy the paper, punch it and you are ready to go!
One thing is special about the dots: normally the dots are 5mm apart in other notebooks, in these notebooks from dotgrid.co the dots are only 4.25mm apart!
So at first glance the "squares" look tiny but you can easily write into every line, even with the fine tip of a Tombow pen, if you do not write too large. Here you can see an example of my book serie list written with a Tombow Nr 725, where I have used every "row of squares".
But you can easily ignore the dots as well and just write over them, the warm grey color of the dots are easy to use as a guidance only.
But if you use every square you can fit a lot more on each page than for example on a page of an A5 Leuchtturm notebook. The Leuchtturm book has 26x38 squares, the Dotgrid A5 34x49 squares (34 left to right, 49 top to bottom).
Now to the paper itself:
the paper is bright white, it is not as yellow as a Leuchtturm or Moleskine paper, more bright white like the Inkwell Press notebook. Here you can see a comparison between the Dotgrid.co and Leuchtturm paper:
The paper has a little tooth to it, so it is not as smooth as a Leuchtturm paper. Very dry ballpoint pens might skip on this paper. But due to the thicknes of the paper (104gsm) it behaved very well with all sorts of pens. Tombows, Pitt Artist Pens, Staedtler Fineliners, all no problem at all. No bleeding, no feathering and only very little ghosting. So it is absolutely no problem to use both sides of a sheet.
With fountain pens it is sadly a different story: inks bleed through (just a little, not too much... but too much for me..) and there is feathering. If you are a little bit picky (just like myself) about feathering and bleeding, then this paper is not really suitable.
If you stay with a fine nib and a lighter ink, then it works out. But if you like to use all kinds of inks and shades and different nib sizes, then this paper is not really suitable.
Here are the pictures of the test with normal pens:
And here with fountain pens:
thick paper, works well for most pens
easy to flip over
loose sheets available
nearly no ghosting or bleeding with most pens
it is not really suitable for fountain pens
==> very good notebook + paper if you stay away from fountain pens! And perfect for creating your own notebook as they offer loose sheets.
Fountain pens, inks and other pens used:
- TWSBI fountain pens with F and M nib
- Rotring Artpens with B nib
- Pelikan Edelstein inks in Topaz, Sapphire, Mandarin and Ruby
- Rohrer and Klingner inks in Königsblau (blue), Magenta and Solferino (violett)
- Levenger ink in grey
- Stabilo pens 68
- Stabilo point pens 88
- Staedtler triplus fineliners
- Staedtler non permanent lumocolor
- Faber Castell Broadpens 1554
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens B
- Tombows- Frixion Pens and Frixion Colors
- Uniball Pigment Ink Roller Ball- Schneider slider edge ballpoint pen
- Pigma Micron 0.5 fineliner
- Pilot V Sign Pen with liquid ink
- Sharpie pen fine
(All the notebooks, inks and pens are bought on my own expenses, I have absolutely no connections with all of these companies and I`m stating my own opinions, I do not get paid to write about this.)
I hope you enjoyed reading about this new paper and pen test!
Thanks a lot and (planner) peace for everyone!