Moleskine with Black Pages

May 28, 2013

130519_MoleBlackTestLeft: Portion of the endsheet in a black paged Moleskine I recently purchased—testing various pens and inks and paints.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I'm not a fan of the Moleskine sketch journal

I'd like to be. As a younger person I used Moleskine notebooks to write down, well notes. Then they weren't available for a long while, and by the time they returned I was making all my own books.

But I do like to test commercially made journals because I know some day my hands are going to rebel when I ask them to make journals. I want to have some options.

So every few years I check out various commerically bound journals and the paper they contain. Test them to see if they work for me. On the recent retest of the Moleskine sketch journal (link above) I was still disappointed. (And the paper was smelly!)

But through a weird series of clicks I couldn't reconstruct if my life depended on it (I think I was looking for the largest WATERCOLOR Moleskine made because that's one of their journals I will use and I'm working really large these days) I found that they make a black paged journal. 

I haven't seen anyone writing about this or journaling in them and I think it's a missed opportunity. I bought one of the larger ones (they come in two sizes and also in an accordion album) to play around with. I haven't done more than test the back page for media, but here's what I can tell you about this journal.

1. As a Moleskine it has the same look and feel as their other black covered books with elastic closures. It looks like it will stand up to abuse and wear.

2. The black paper DOESN'T have the awful chemical odor that the sketch journal paper has!

3. Someone was really thinking when they designed this book. They hypothesized that people would use it as an album and because of that they created a tab at the center of each spread. The tab creates extra space at the spine so people can add their photos and use it as a traditional album. BUT the tab is glued down—you know where I'm going with this—so the tab is "out of the way" and you can work right over it with only a small inconvenience of a vertical line and it will be just perfect for your collage or your drawings.

4. The book ships with a piece of black cardstock at the front and back of the book so that the book is not crushed when all that extra space they've built in has weight put on it. So when you take out those bits of cardboard you can quickly see that you'll be able to collage a lot of stuff into this book before you have any spine problems. Who doesn't like that!

5. The pages are sturdy medium weight. They will buckle if you paint on them but they won't buckle so much that you can't still work on them. You just have to decide if that matters to you.

So sturdy, black pages that don't smell, built in accommodation for collage, it all seems pretty good to me.

I've got a rather large journal (by large I mean many pages, it's actually only 7 x 7 inches) going at the moment and because of other constraints in my life it's not getting filled as quickly as usual, so it will be awhile before I delve into this journal, but I'm looking forward to it.

I've purchased a bunch of gel pens to test and the Soufle look really cool on this paper but they say right on the package that they are NOT lightfast, or permanent, or archival (the package got tossed so I don't recall exactly what it said). I'm wondering if any of you who are reading this have used the Soufle for 10 years (or as many years as they have been out if it hasn't been 10 years yet) and if you could look at your pages and let me know how badly they fade or what happens to the ink lines over time? I'd really like to know.

I purchased the Soufle after I'd done the scan so you can't see them here, but they leap off the page. Even the black, which shows as a lovely gray on this paper, is yummy. Let me know if you have any info on them. Of course I can scan each page as I work on it, but it would be nice to know what to expect.

Maybe at the end of summer I'll get into this journal. I thought it would be fun to include it in this week of "Paper" notes.

  1. Reply

    That is an interesting find indeed. BTW, you can see a sketch I did of you in my journal here:
    Sorry I am not a better artist. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • Roz Stendahl
    • May 29, 2013

    Elizabeth, there much be something wrong with your link. I clicked on it and got to your blog where it said “Sorry this page doesn’t exist.”

    So I can’t see what you drew, but I’m glad you took a stab at sketching me. I love infiltrating people’s journals!


  2. Reply

    Sorry about that Roz – there must be some Blogger issue. Try this one:

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