Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig

Thanks to Baron Fig for making it possible for me to review their new Apprentice notebooks! They're cute and little.

Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Size: 3.5 x 5.5 inches
Color: Off-White
Ruling: Dot (also available in ruled, blank)
Sheet Count: 48 Pages
Price: $9.00USD
Where to buy: Baron Fig

Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
The Baron Fig three pack of Apprentice pocket notebooks arrived shrink wrapped with a purple sleeve around them. While I enjoyed the classy and tidy boxed packaging of the larger Confidant notebook, once I removed the notebook from the box, I never touched the box again. It's great for presentation and gifting, but adds, in my humble opinion, unnecessary cost to the notebook. The Apprentice being shrink wrapped is held together by a paper sleeve. Even better for me would be no plastic wrap at all, but this does the job. The downside is there is a lot that ends up in the garbage. Anyway, enough of my green cents.

Each Apprentice notebook is small and cute, matching the colour scheme of the larger Confidants. The front and back cover are a light, cloud grey. They are a little thicker than the paper inside, so they do offer some firmness and stability. The covers are flush with the paper inside, and are rounded off. So far, I like the appearance. What throws me off though is the stitching on the spine. It's stitched with a very cute, complementary marigold yellow thread. It looks nice against the grey.

The problem is it's not on the center of the spine - it's on the top of the notebook and moves towards the center as the stitching progresses. Inside the notebook, the stitches come through on the pages of the front half of the notebook, instead of breaking through the middle of the pages. There are double-stitched portions at the top and bottom that look messy. It irritates me that it's not in a straight line because it stands out so much. I hate when things are untidy, misaligned, and crowded, so this stitching irks me.
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
The paper is off-white and easy on the eyes. The dots are light grey - visible but not obsructive. They're usable but not in the way after you've written on the page.

Overall, the appearance appeals to me but the stitching could be tidied up.

Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
The paper is normal - not glossy or coated, but just normal and smooth. I like how it feels to the touch.

I tested regular pens first. Ballpoints work just fine and also give the paper that nice crinkly texture I love when it's written on. In fact, almost everything worked great - ballpoints, fineliners, gel pens, and pencils. The issue I ran into was feathering on the page with wet inks, such as with the Stabilo Easy Original Rollerball pen. Otherwise, the paper dealt quite well, even with other inky things like the Sakura Gelly Roll pens.
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Fountain pens are, as usual, a completely different ball game. The wettest of nibs resulted in ghosting, feathering, show through, and bleed through. Same goes for flex nibs. Even Japanese fine nibs feathered, although much less significantly than the wetter nibs. However, there is show through and bleed through across the board.
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
What is interesting is a brush pen with fountain pen ink gave minimal feathering and show through, and just a little bit of bleed through where I saturated the swab.
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
  • Fits passport sized Midori Traveler's Notebook Journal.
  • Small, portable, pocket-sized.
  • Cute colour scheme.
  • Pricing is on par with other pocket-sized notebooks.
  • A whole stack of these on your shelf will look really cool.
Review Baron Fig Apprentice Dot Notebooks @BaronFig
  • Not fountain pen friendly.
  • Messy stitching.

A notebook is meant to be used, in whatever way suits you. I really enjoy the Baron Fig because they look tidy (in that they're all the same, so it looks organized when you have a lot of them), I enjoy the dot grid paper, and it's small and portable. I would like to see some more fountain pen friendly paper and tidier stitching. I enjoy the concept of the notebooks and they are currently tucked into my Midori Traveler's Notebook Journal.

Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)


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