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Black N' Red Notebook Review

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I reviewed Black n' Red notebooks on my blog, but I'll also post a quick writing sample here.


Writing Sample:
Pen 1: Lamy Safari F filled with Levenger Cobalt Blue
Pen 2: Sailor 1911 Mid-Size EF filled with Levenger Cobalt Blue
Pen 3: Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 F filled with Pelikan Edelstein Topaz
Pen 4: Visconti Rembrandt F filled with Levenger Blue Bahama
Pen 5: Pelikan M200 F filled with Noodler's Black
Pen 6: Montblanc Carrera EF filled with Pelikan Brilliant Black
Pen 7: Cross Classic Century M filled with Cross Black
Pen 8: Cross Bailey M filled with Cross Blue-Black
Pen 9: Parker 45 F filled with Waterman Serenity Blue
Pen 10: Sheaffer Stylist F/EF (The nib is reversible) filled with Sheaffer Skrip Black
Pen 11: Speedball C-4 Dip Nib with Noodler's Habañero
Pen 12: Speedball C-4 Dip Nib with Noodler's Midnight Blue
Pen 13: Pilot Varsity Blue M
Pen 14: Pilot Varsity Purple M
Pen 15: Kuretake Brush Pen filled with Kuretake Black


Visit my blog at www.penenthusiast.com.

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I like them and they are my preferred paper.As they are as good as any rhodia or Claire-Fontaine products and a heck of a lot cheaper especially when you buy the Oxford collage notebooks which is the same stuff.

Edited by top pen
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I mostly agree with your review. They are smooth, and easy to find at chain office stores or even Rite Aid. The main thing that sticks out in my mind is how bad feathering can be once in a while for juicy flowing FPs - not always, but randomly... maybe when I write slowly? The feathering kills me.

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Great review which I read on your blog. I have become a massive fan of Black n Red optik paper (90gsm) and would also give it a solid 9/10.


I have started using their A4 (legal ?) sized lined note book which, regardless of low cost, is a favourite of mine. I always used their A4 diaries but unable to find one for 2014 have contacted the company and they have informed me that it has now been discontinued.


Just bought a large Moleskine diary which has me a tad puzzled. It runs from July 2014 to December 2015, my question is if I wanted to stick with that line of product when would I but another ? July 2015 would be too early and December 2015 would be too late. Anyway any excuse to try another brand is fine by me !

Money may not make you happy but I would rather cry in a Rolls-Royce


The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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Good review on your blog, I am based in the united kingdom so as always the paper and notebooks available can be limited. tomoe River bound, ummmmm


i use a black n red A4 notebook on a regular basis and find the paper amazing. The paper is 90gsm? Optik paper which is smooth to write on. Because of the way i use the notebook, diary entries, pens in rotation and different coloured inks i find it is well tested re inks, nibs and pens. The paper is really really amazing and it is not expensive either.


I loved the paper so much i tried to get size A5 unlined notebooks. I rang them up and all of the notebooks are lined, they do not do blank paper which is a major shame and if they did I and lots of other would be devoted users.


The optik red n black paper is amazing with the only downside being you cannot get it unlined in a5.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I absolutely love the A4 narrow ruled casebound books which you can get off amazon -

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I've had a bit of an issue with consistency. One book may be great and the next one not so much. My Science and English notebooks were good, but Economics and Math, not so much.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oxford Optic 90 g was the first good paper I had....better than some old and new Zander Bank-post(bond).

It and Clarefontaine Velout 90g are @ =. Both very good inexpensive papers.

I use Optic or Velout as my test first for an ink.


I've had no feathering with Optic....but then I don't use Noodlers or Diamine.

I find Diamine feathers or has a wooly line. I have a couple of bottles and 4 samples, each had at least NEF, most BEF.

So I'd not be buying Diamine.


Wooly line or feathering.

BEF- bare eyed feathering/wooly line when sitting. :angry:

NEF- Near Eye Feathering/wooly line. :unsure:

MagF....wooly line or feathering using a big honking magnifying glass. :)...when properly spoiled.. :( sigh.

NoMagF......perfect paper. :D


Back of page....

Bleed through...can not write on the back at all.

Show through, can read some to many of the words...writing a maybe.

ghost/echo....some faint marks, can write on the back of the sheet.

then there is perfect.


I seldom notice echo/ghosting on my Oxford Optic, but perhaps my inks are not wet or I'm not using a real wet pen.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using an Office Book that comes with this Optik 90g paper. At first it seems nice, the paper is smooth and solid, but it is a bit ink repellent and makes my otherwise smooth Pilot 78G medium nib feel a bit scratchy. It is better with my fine nib Prera though. I like how the ink looks on this paper, but not how the nib glides. My nibs feel smoother on the bad moleskine paper. Is it possible that more absorbant paper are smoother to write on? I'm not used to "good" paper, so that is why I was disappointed with this Optik paper feeling worse than bad paper, although the ink looks nicer and shinier on it.

Edited by arcadeflow
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I use the casebound version and it is one of my favorites. I get them from Amazon and for $8.00, they're one of the best values I've run across. About the only problem that I've had is a bit of bleed through with a relatively wet Esterbrook using Noodler's Bernanke Blue, but it wasn't much.


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