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Affordable Journal Covers And Fountain Pen Friendly Journal


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Are you looking for an affordable fountain pen friendly journal that does not cost an arm and a leg? What about a beautiful leather cover for the journal? Here are my recommendations based on my obsessive research for the past 6 months.



  • Pro Art Sketchbooks (5.5 X 8 size) - I found these to be the best bang for the buck at about $7 from Amazon. You can get them even cheaper at DickBlick if you buy many to average out the shipping charge or go to their brick and mortar store and avoid the shipping charge altogether. Did I mention they are fountain pen friendly??!! There is no feathering or bleed-through even with my Noodler Konrad Flex Nib pen (about a medium nib). This paper also worked well with my Lamy Safari extra fine and Hero 626 fine nib pens. There is a very slight texture but no sheen for the paper. Ink drying time on the paper is just a few seconds. You can definitely write on both sides of the page without worrying about bleed-throughs. The cover is very plain with some texture so I highly recommend a journal cover (see the next section).


  • Renaissance Art - You can measure the exact dimensions of your journal and have a custom-made journal cover for $35 to $48 depending on the style of leather you desire (see http://www.renaissance-art.com/catg96/category.aspx). I ordered the $10 leather samples to check out the quality of their leathers. They are thick and beautiful! I have no doubt that they'll last me a lifetime. When you place an order, Art will refund you the $10 sample charge so it's worth it to check out the leather samples before ordering your cover!



Depending on your preference, I have suggestions for three different types of users:

  • Budget Beginner - If you are just starting out on a very limited budge, you can just buy the Pro Art Sketchbook for $7 and skip the journal cover.
  • Paper Snob - If paper is of utmost important to you, you can go with the Rhodia Webbie with or without a journal cover.
  • Leaving Options Open - For me, I bought the Oberon Designs Cloud Dragon and switched out their journal which was not fountain pen friendly with the Pro Art Sketchbook. Now, I have a beautiful leather journal that I can refill with either the Pro Art Sketchbook or the Rhodia Webbie. I may get a Renaissance Art cover for traveling as I love its rustic look and the nearly indestructible leather.

Edited by foodee
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  • 2 months later...
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  • wikeh2004


  • foodee


  • sitnstew


  • Art


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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm always looking for good alternatives to Rhodia since it is kind of hard on the wallet! I'll give the Pro Art Sketchbook a shot

"The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp." - Terry Pratchet


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  • 9 months later...

I'll vouch for the Pro Art Sketchbook too. Minimal feathering, no bleed through. Smooth, but not glass smooth. I actually find the texture to give me good feedback when writing. If the paper is too smooth, my writing gets a little out of control. I need a little feedback and this one has some.


Recommended for a very reasonable price.

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Thanks for the nice thread. I've been wanting to start a journal and these books look terrific.

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My penny's worth............


Rhodias are very nice for a mid-price journal. I too buy sketch books as an alternative; sketch paper can vary in relation to fountain pen-friendliness but are usually OK. Just avoid those that are sized for water-colour use, or have a very textured surface.


My ultimate journal (given that I can't quite justify buying a Design-Y notebook) is the Seven Seas "Writer" Tomoe River Journal from Nanami Paper. Fountain pen bliss, and so well made at $32. Lots of paper (480 pages / 240 sheets), yet staying lightweight due to the TR paper being only 52gsm. Being a standard A5 size there are lots of covers out there that will fit. For something a bit different try the "Cousin" covers sold by the company that sells Techo Hobonichi covers. Some cheerful colours and designs.


Nanami's Gfeller leather covers are gorgeous but expensive. If you'd rather spend on the journal more than the cover when you have a limited budget, buy the Writer and go for the Faux leather cover at $16. It ain't half bad at that price.


Thanks to the OP for doing all that research and making such helpful suggestions. Links to UK suppliers would be an interesting addition.

Edited by migo984

Verba volant, scripta manent

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