Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Notebook in Lavender

This is a review of the Leuchtturm 1917 Medium Coloured Notebook in Lavender, measuring 145 x 210 mm.

Like many other journals, the Leuchtturm 1917 medium notebook has a hard cover, an expandable pocket on the back cover, a page marker (in this case, a pretty color matched one), an elastic band and is a handy portable size. This notebook distinguishes itself in a few ways that I like a lot:

- Numbered pages in tiny, adorable writing
- Dots are AWESOME for keeping your writing straight but still allowing you to look like you can awesomely write straight without obvious lines for guidance. Although you can get dot grids with Rhodia Webbies and dot pads.
- Table of contents at the beginning is handy for organization
- Eight perforated pages at the back
- Sticky notes for labeling title and spine (mine never had any when I bought it. I guess someone in store took them, or they fell out.)
- Ivory paper has a consistent, smooth color. It’s very classy looking.
- Thread-bound notebook lays flat
- Bound pages don’t fall out after opening and closing many times (like a Moleskine I’ve used)
- In this case, the purple pastel Lavender is a great color. Like a happy grape!...Or a field of lavender.
- Works well with Fine nib fountain pens. Virtually undetectable feathering and no bleed through.
- With 249 pages - more than most comparable sized notebooks, the Leuchtturm 1917 medium is a little thicker and therefore, feels more solid.
Leuchtturm 1917 medium thickness compared to Quo Vadis Habana

Other Paper Observations:

When comparing papers for fountain pen usage, the standard I compare against is the Quo Vadis Habana, which feature beautiful 85 g Clairefontaine paper. It used to be bright white 90 g and they recently switched to ivory 85 g. Fortunately, 85 g paper is still heavy enough to withstand heavy inking from medium and broad nib fountain pens. When held up to the standard of Clairefontaine paper, I have to say the Leuchtturm 1917 has thin paper and doesn't hold up the same. If you are unfamiliar with the Quo Vadis Habana, please see my review of the 90 g Clairefontaine paper Habana here.

The Leuchtturm 1917 notebook paper is said to be ink-proof at 80 g/sq m, but I found the paper was not medium or broad nib fountain pen friendly. With these nibs, the ink flow is generally quite heavy and the paper also gave way to feathering and bleeding. Furthermore, bleed through also happened with really inky gel pens.
First page of fountain pen tests - various nib sizes IMG_5436
Back side of first page - ink bleed through
Page two
Back of page two
Page three IMG_5441
Back side of page three
Gel ink pens
Gel ink & ballpoint & felt pens
Gel ink pens
A weird thing I noticed was the dots appear to be waterproof or something. They show through ink and writing. Fortunately, they are very tiny and a nice light silver color so it didn’t bother me.
Dots showing through ink

Amazon - $10.12 - $8.75 - $13.75 (pocket to large)
Journaling Arts - $8.99 - $13.99


Aside from being picky about fountain pen paper - I own a lot of medium nibs that are quite inky - I really liked this notebook. I am a HUGE fan of the dots!! Why have I not discovered dots sooner? I love the dots.

If you're looking for a notebook for fountain pen use, I wouldn't recommend this one, unless you only use fine nibs and have a light hand. Or don't mind writing on only one side of the paper. Despite not really being fountain pen-friendly, I'm still a big fan of this notebook!

Available in Pastel Colours: Turquoise, cornflower, pink, lime, and lavender.
Available in Earth Colours: Caramel, tobacco, taupe, white, and black.


Ophelia Darcy said...

Very helpful review, thank you for being so thorough. I wonder if it really is possible to create an 80gsm truly inkproof paper? Rhodia (Clairefontaine) have done it at 90gsm, but I haven't heard as yet about thinner papers being really acceptable with anything other than a fine nib and light hand, as you mentioned.

GourmetPens said...

I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for commenting to let me know, I really appreciate it :) You know, despite the feathering and bleed through, I still really like this dot paper. I have to go investigate to see if they've made a soft/flexible cover instead of just the hardcovers... that would be real happiness for me!
I recently tried a Pilot medium nib fountain pen and it writes very wonderfully on this paper. It does bleed a little, but I just doodle on the backs of the pages. No big deal :)

Pen Obsession said...

Thanks for the review. I've been thinking about getting a smaller Leuchtturm. I've got one in the Master size - it's 100gsm and handles really broad nibs well.

Azizah Asgarali said...

My pleasure - thanks for stopping by :) I've SEEN the Master.. man that is one huge notebook lol. I should check it out though. I like these notebooks, even if they aren't 100% with the fountain pens, but it sounds like the Master might fare a little better than these little ones.

Wilco said...

Great review, detailed and thorough as always. Just like the Sigel Conceptum they claim to be fountain pen proof, but medium and broad nibs have bleed through.

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