April 25, 2014

Muji Notebook Review

I've spoken about Muji notebooks before but I didn't really test it out (much). In my quest for finding the right art/sketch book, I decided to start cheap to hone my drawing skills first. It's been a while since I sat down and drew (what with my new Filofax obsession and all), so I thought I should try out Muji's notebooks. They aren't exactly sketchbooks, but after testing out some pens (which will be pictured below), I think it's adequate enough.

See, I have a list of requirements for a 'perfect' sketchbook. Many have come close but the price puts me off drawing in it altogether. So in order to relinquish my fear of drawing in new pretty books, I'll start with disposable sketchbooks that are good enough to pass off as a 'quality' book while not breaking my bank.

So in comes Muji's notebooks. I purchased another Muji notebook recently (in addition to my stash I got a week ago) but instead of it being plain / ruled, this one's doted.... which is pretty damn perfect. I tested it out with a few different pens which I may use in the book and so far, it's going better than expected. No bleed through / feathering and with minimal show through (depending on the pen). But enough words, here are the pictures:

Muji Dotted Notebook (signified by the white spine)
Top view

Dotted notebook! (not sure if it can be seen...)
Pens tested
Back page: nothing!
The pens tested included:
1- Lamy Safari Fine Nib with Noodler's Bulletproof Ink
2- Pigma Micron 03
3- Muji's 0.4 pen
4- Faber Castell Pitt Brush
5- Pentel Brush Pen
6- Artline200 Fine 0.4
7- Parker IM Fountain Pen Medium Nib
8- Ballpoint pen

I reckon these were the most common pens out there that I've seen people use. I'm actually quite surprised with the outcome. I've seen more expensive notebooks having a higher show-through for the same pens than what Muji had (like the Parker). However, I've yet to test out multiple strokes of ink yet, which will be the greater test as I tend to use more than one stroke when drawing. But for now, I am quite happy to test this notebook out further for my art.

The paper is super smooth however, making it really good for pen, but... not so good for pencil as it'll be hard to give an image that tooth seen in cold pressed papers and other actual sketchbooks. But I'm hoping that won't affect me too much as I'll be doing my drawings in pen to stop me worrying about little mistakes and allowing me to be more confident with non-erasable mediums.

Other than that, I love how customisable this notebook is. The cover's blank and practically begging to be decorated. It's also hard and sturdy enough to write/draw on the go but knowing it's cardboard means it will have its limits (keep away from water!). And lastly, the spine isn't covered with cardboard, enabling it to lie flat easily (excellent!).

I'll hopefully post another review soon for my progress with this book,
Till then!

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