Baron Fig Confidant Notebook caught your eye? This review has tons of close up photos, inked pages and explains how this hardback journal handles fountain pens.
This journal comes in one color: gray. It also comes in the traditional assortment of either lined, dot grid or blank pages in 5.4″ x 7.7″, wider and shorter than comparable brands.
I’m reviewing the dot grid. My first one. I can see how it would be helpful if you were sketching out drawings within your journal or using as a sort of mini graph paper too. You want to go blank, but don’t want to wake up at the end of a page with sentences trailing off, down and to the right… that’s how dot grid helps. Less intrusive than lines, but useful for perspective as you write.
The overall design is simple and useful, they chose their tagline well. Simplicity and Usefulness. Yep. Check.
Baron Fig Confidant Notebook Packaging
Baron Fig Confidant Packaging
Ah, the packaging on the Baron Fig Confidant notebook feels simple and classy. They’ve covered every detail down to the yellow ribbon and simple font with an understated feel. This is a nicer presentation than I’ve received even on notebooks costing twice as much.
Whoever the marketing genius is over at Baron Fig, kudos to your packaging team for coming up with this design. Well, this was a Kickstarter funded notebook/journal so it might just be one person named Joey Cofone who developed the concept in his basement… either way, extra points for presentation.
Quotes on the sides of the box
I enjoyed the quotes printed on the sides of the box top (above). They help with a little inspiration for your writing journey.
Unveiling this puppy from the box really makes you feel like you did something special for yourself. There’s an insert that tells you more about the notebook, including the fact that it contains 12 perforated pages within its 192 pages.
I haven’t decided how I’ll use these 12 perforated pages, but they seem to work well as a monthly to-do list I can rip out as months pass.
The cover is made of a tightly woven cloth that feels similar to a thin t-shirt material stretched over a hardback journal cover. I really like that feeling. Cozy.
Comfortable to the touch, material stretched tightly… Baron Fig Confidant will show some fuzz as it wears more along the edges. The light gray material does show any dirt you happen to get on it. If you look closely at the three-across photo of the packaging, the second photo from the top on this page, just to the left of the ribbon my son grabbed this journal off the outside table after playing in the dirt. I did my best to clean it, but the damage was done.
Hey as long as you’re not thinking about taking this baby on your next epic journey through the wetlands you’ll be fine. Just understand this isn’t a wipe off and go cover. It’s cloth.
Wherever there’s a ribbon, there’s fray; you can also see the book doesn’t lie completely flat
Problem Solved! Cut it straight then melt with a lighter
The ribbon, this can be an irritant or a throwback to earlier times. I enjoy having a ribbon as a placeholder, but would prefer some thumb cut categories in journals.
This has nothing to do with Baron Fig, but I tend to jump around and would like to keep my thoughts in clusters or categories, so 4-5 cutouts along the edges of papers before binding would work like the old paper dictionaries did where you could insert your thumb to the page and flip to that section. (If you were born after 1980, I’ve just lost you and I’m sorry… dictionaries weren’t as efficient as Merriam-Webster online, but still… I digress…)
Back to the ribbon, it’s frayed when you get it and with more and more use it continues to unravel. This wasn’t a big deal to me, you just cut the end straight and hold it over a lighter and sear it, which melts the fibers together and stops the fraying. Problem solved.
Another annoyance of the ribbon is that it’s creased when you get it. It’s bound to the spine of the book so it’s all bunched up and that crease at the top of the photo above was there when I opened the package. UGH. I would prefer for it to lie completely flat. No dice.
While I’m on the topic of lying completely flat, this journal doesn’t lie completely flat. Well, the cover does. Both sides of the cover fall out of the way completely flat.
In the book binding process, you can see several sheets grouped together into evenly distributed numbers of pages which are bound together. Then all of those booklets of paper are bound within the larger book. If you land on the beginning or end of one of those sections, it will lay completely flat; if not you’ll fight the left page as you write. You might be able to break the binding down a bit to make all pages lay flat, but then it wouldn’t close tightly… your choice.
So How Is The Paper in the Baron Fig Confidant Notebook?
Well aside from it’s beautiful packaging, the Baron Fig Confidant comes in 100gsm paper, which is grams per square meter. What that means to people on the other side of the pond is that it’s roughly 67lb stock or twice the thickness of “good” printer paper. This is good stuff. It absorbs a great amount of ink without serious bleed through.
There is some shading on the backside of the page, but not enough to deter me from using the backside when I used Diamine Sargasso Sea ink and Kaweco Brown. I haven’t tried black yet. Because black is boring. But I’ll get there.
The thickness is great for fountain pens! This paper will hold up to your use and abuse, from even wetter fountain pens.
You will notice it doesn’t have the same “hand” as Clairefontaine or Rhodia paper. I mean, It’s smooth, but not nearly the almost waxy smoothness of the former. When you rub your hand in a circle on a blank page, you can feel little micro-texture in the page. Where when I did that on my Clairefontaine journal, it felt waxy smooth.
I’m not one who typically cares about absolute perfection, but I know there are people out there who do so here’s a photo of the spine to show how the fabric is attached to the spine. Just some almost undetectable wrinkling where the fabric is glued to the spine.
spine is not completely flat
So… is this the journal you want to curl up with in your yard?
||Yes! It’s a great addition to your collection of the journals and notebooks stacked on your shelf or in a drawer.Admit it.
You buy them and use them about halfway then buy another because who can ever have enough notebooks?
It’s cheap, well-packaged and handles your fountain pen ink without a hitch.
I love the simple design, no frills here. And it WILL lay flat if you break in the pages harshly to do so. The cover lays flat from day one.
Just remember to singe your ribbon early before it unravels itself into a lock of one thousand threads.
Add a Baron Fig Confidant to your collection, you won’t be sorry.
Check the price of the Baron Fig Confidant on Amazon.
Want another notebook? You can check out cool journals of fountain pen paper too!
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