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... About:blanks Notebook - Review ...

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This is a review of About:Blanks notebook ( 1st generation )


( I haven't been able to find a review of this notebook on FPN, so if there is one , I apologize . Moderators pls feel free to move it to a more relevant and useful location )


The weblink to where you can buy one is here ...





This is the very first generation marketed.

There is now a 2nd generation - which is in ISO sizes - which is what I prefer.


The webpage says :

Fabricated in Nagano, Japan by Shibuya Bunsenkaku


The size is 106wide ×178 tall ×12mm thick



After removing the shrinkwrap, I realized the brand imprint was on a separate card - not on the covers.



A closeup of the card imprint




The notebook covers are completely plain white , outside , as well as inside.

You cant tell what brand or make of the notebook at all , without the card.

And this is the design philosophy of this brand of notebook




According to the makers, this notebook is bound specially with Cooter Binding - a patented binding technique.

This is the link to what Cooter Binding is , from their webpage ...




The video clip is in Japanese, so if anyone can translate , that'll be terrific.



Apparently , its feature is so that it can open flat.

My attempts/experiences on this ...


Opened 1st third ...



somewhere down the middle ...



and the last third




Didnt quite exactly stayed flat opened - there was resistance.

But I guess it qualifies as being able to open flat since the pages can open away flat from each other - along the spine , no matter what page you flip to.






The pages alternate , blank and lined.

Here you see very faint light orange? yellow? lines on the left page , but completely blank on the right facing page.


The line spacing is 7.5mm.



( Here you can see that it is not a stitch binding.

Its a glued binding. )



This is a useful layout.

Becos if you invert the book , you will end up with the lined pages on your right and the facing page becomes blank.


I find this useful becos I have a habit of drawing / sketching out ideas , or capturing concepts in graphic form ..

so these graphics will sit well on the blank pages.

Notes can be written on the lined pages then.


This is good and useful. :thumbup:


The light coloured lines are so that they don't appear when you make a photocopy of this lined page. Another thoughtful feature. :thumbup:


There are no pockets in this journal.

You can make one and glue it into position if you like.

You can also find a suitably sized envelope to paste it on the rear covers too.



There are also no ribbon pagemarkers in this journal.

Again, you can make one and glue it into the hollow of the spine.

alternatively, you can just use whatever bookmark you prefer.




Writing Paper

The paper is termed 'ivory' by the makers.

It is off-white, as can be seen here compared to ordinary white copier paper.




The paper is not thin.

Neither is it thick.

I think there must be some description on its webpage but I cant find it.

Definitely not as thin as 80g copier paper.

Neither as thick as card grammage.

I reckon its more than 100g more towards the heavier side - say 120g or even 130g ?


The paper is also not smooth like Japanese coated papers like TOMOE RIVER paper , or Maruman paper .... etc

It has texture.

Just a tad smoother than your child's drawing sketchpad - that kind of texture.


The webpage says 160pages

and acid-free paper.





This is a simple inktest. Only a few ink colours.

So pardon me if you want to see special inks.

I reckon that if it can take ink (and watercolours) , it'll do fine for a majority of ink formulas.


The inks and FPs are written here ...

Very good :thumbup:

No feathering. :thumbup:




This is the backside of that same page ...

VERY GOOD :thumbup:

No bleed thru. :thumbup:

Shadow is very slight. This is very good ,considering that the paper is ivory :thumbup: :thumbup:




The blackest test ...



The backside

practically no shadow (showthru) :thumbup:




The Watercolour Wash Test

My customary watercolour wash test.


I used bottled watercolours , ECOLINE , reason being this is watery wet media , unlike say kid's watercolour pats where you wash a wet brush on a pat of watercolour or acrylic and create a muddy pool of paint.

So ,

If the paper can take a really wet media, it'll do just fine with most media.









The black lines are drawn with NOODLERS X-Feather , in a ROSETTA , North Star FP with an <M> but ground into a C.I. by FPNer "pb2" here ... :thumbup:




The lines are allowed to dry for a short while (hours?) before I painted them in.

Look at the orange pencil - 2nd from right - there is slight feathering on that thick dark black line - this is due to the wetness reacting with the NOODLERS X-Feather.

If the ink is allowed to dry more thoroughly , I think there will be zero feathering.






The results on the backside

VERY GOOD :thumbup:

The paper warps from wetness which is to be expected ,

furthermore there is zero bleedthru. :thumbup:







I only paid SGD$15 which was a marked-down price becos its no longer in production , being a 1st generation product.

i bought it from a B&M retail shop.

I won't mind buying another one and keep it for later use.




A notebook that works :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


And its so plain, you can really personalize it anyway you want !!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:



I find this notebook versatile becos of its simplicity.

You can do this :

Use the notebook in the normal way. Blank pages on right.


you can flip the book upside down and have 'another notebook' - this time lined pages on your right.







I didnt test with markers.

Edited by TMLee
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I found your review a pleasure to read, my suggestion is to buy all the stock you can lay your hands on. I would!

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Good review, looks like nice paper, thank you!

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."


B. Russell

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Excellent review, thanks. Just when you think there is nothing new in the notebook world up comes something like this.

Edited by inkypete
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Wonderful review!

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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