So it appears that Moleskine has finally hopped on the dot grid bandwagon, releasing several of their classic collection notebooks in dot grid, even going as far as creating dot grid versions of some of their seasonal colours (gasp!). Next thing you know they’ll be releasing limited edition notebooks in squared and dot grid paper, and then where will we be? (Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen).
The classic Moleskine collection consists of their hardcover and softcover notebooks, in pocket, large and extra large. Currently the dot grid is offered in black covers, both in hardcover and softcover, and in underwater blue (such a pretty seasonal colour) and beige in softcover. However, it apparently was enough of a success for them to issue the dot grid option in all their classic collection core colours (black, red, blue sapphire, and myrtle green), and in seasonal reef blue (both hardcover and softcover). These colours will start being available in February-March, so it may be worth waiting a little while before purchasing (although some of the hardcover core colour options already seem available).
Now to the review. I got the classic large black hardcover notebook, as it’s probably Moleskine’s best selling notebook, and what people have in mind when they say “Molekine”.
First thing’s first, Moleksine have listened to customer feedback and significantly strengthened their notebooks’ elastic bands. They’re a little thicker and wider, and there’s little chance that they’ll turn into the floppy mess that some of their earlier elastic closures turned into after a few months of use.
The sleeve also has a B-Side, this one is pretty travel oriented, and I love it because maps!
Which brings us to the paper. The dot grid pattern is medium grey, dark enough to be visible, light enough to not be too distracting. It also is very precisely aligned on all pages, if those kind of things bother you.
The “In case of loss” endpaper, with the Moleskine logo, a relatively recent addition.
How does the paper perform? Better than you’d expect. Gel, ballpoint and pencil work well with the paper, but even fountain pen inks, including pretty saturated messes like the Montblanc psychedelic purple work pretty well. There’s no more weird spidering, as there used to be and the spreading is minimal (better than Baron Fig, well above average). If you don’t insist on super saturated inks, you’ll be able to enjoy using fountain pens in this notebook.
A closeup of my writing samples. Montblanc purple has behaved this way on Rhodia paper too, so I blame the ink, not the notebook:
Show through is better than tomoe river paper, but not as good as Rhodia (I’ve had mixed results with Baron Fig, so I’m not using them for comparison here). Again, the only real problem was with the Montblanc ink, which is a problematic ink in general, so I’m not using it for comparison. I’d find this notebook to be usable on both sides of the page, but again, that comes down to preference.
Moleskine seems to be making an effort not only to come up with innovative limited editions, but also to give their regular line-up a bit of a refresh (with new added colours) and boost (with new dotted paper, better quality paper, and a fix for their elastic closure problems). That’s a move in the right direction, and one that I plan to enjoy.
I still need to figure out what’s going on with that Montblanc ink, though…