The best soft-bound journals and notebooks for drawing, writing, and more.

0

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Journals are more than a place to keep random thoughts. They can be keepers of memories, conversations with oneself, and snippets of inspiration. In other words, they are very personal objects. The best softcover journals are built to last and suitable for both note taking and sketching ideas. Although they may be less sturdy than their hardcover companions, they tend to be lighter and easy to squeeze into a small space. When choosing your book, it’s important to think about binding quality, durability, paper weight, and compatibility with your media, in addition to general factors like size and appearance. Below, find the right soft-bound journal for your inspired visions.

More at ARTnews.com

ARTnews RECOMMENDS
Rhodia stapled blank notepad
If you know your notebooks, you know that the notebooks of the historic Rhodia brand have become cult, and for good reason. They are bound with high quality smooth European paper, ideal for taking ink from fountain pens. WeI’ve been a longtime fan of Rhodia’s hardcover Webnotebooks, but the company offers many other options, including this notebook, which is filled with the same French-made, ivory-colored paper as the Webnotebook. The luxurious 90gsm sheets are perforated for easy removal, the grooved cover is easy to fold over and the hard back cover provides strong support.

Buy: Rhodia “R” Premium Stapled Notepad, 8 1/4 x 6 inches $9.73

WE LIKE TOO
Field notes with dot plot
If you tend to take your sketches and scale them to get large final works of art, consider getting a notebook with a dotted grid. These can help you understand composition and sizing before executing your masterpiece. Field notebooks are slim options, with just 48 pages each, and perfectly sized to slip into your pocket at 3.5 x 5.5 inches. These 70 lb (105 gsm) sheets are super smooth and can tolerate damp media with minimal warping, ghosting and bleeding. The covers are flexible yet durable and feature a sophisticated design. Bound with saddle stitching and staples, this sketchbook lays flat so you can maintain a firm grip on the pages by maintaining a firm grip on the pages.

Buy: Field Notebook with Dot Chart $14.95

ARTIST’S CHOICE
Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Premium Sketchbook
If you need a sketchbook that delivers extra thick paper, look no further than this beautiful option, designed for mixed media. The 180 lb (270 gsm) paper is surface and internally graded to maintain well-balanced, even absorption while allowing the pigment shine to shine through. Whether you use inks, pastels, or watercolors (with wet-on-wet techniques!), you can be sure this archival product will resist pilling, tearing, or warping. Available in six sizes, each containing 26 sheets, this is truly one luxurious sketchbook.

Buy: Stillman & Birn Zeta Series Premium Sketchbook $17.56

ALSO CONSIDER
Moleskine Classic Notebook
Moleskine notebooks always make our lists for their design as well as the variety of options in terms of size, color and paper style. Yes, they are expensive, but using them is such a pleasure. The Italian brand protects its notebooks in a buttery soft faux leather cover with a subtle grained finish that feels luxurious to the touch; inside, the ivory pages are super smooth and crisp. At just 47 lbs (70 gsm), these sheets are the lightest on our list and really can only be used with dry media; you will notice bleeding with inks. We appreciate how slim and tightly bound they are, and we love the added features like a ribbon bookmark, interior pockets, and an elastic band to keep the pages together when not in use. Choose from notebooks with plain, ruled, grid or dotted pages and shades ranging from earthy brown to hydrangea blue.

Buy: Moleskine Classic Notebook $18.98

ANOTHER GREAT OPTION
Muji Recycled Paper Plain Pocket Notebook
Popular with architects, artists and designers and another ARTnews favorite, Muji’s super affordable blank notebook is bound with high quality recycled paper and even comes with a bookmark. Particularly suitable for drawing and pen writing, it is available in two sizes: 5.8 x 4.1 inches (with 50 or 144 sheets) and 7.7 x 5.4 inches. Made in Japan.

.  - Credit: Muji

. – Credit: Muji

Muji

To buy:
Muji Recycled Paper Plain Pocket Notebook

$2.90

Buy it

Brought to you by the world’s oldest and most widely circulated art magazine, ARTnews Recommends helps you choose the best choice for you from products in hundreds of art and craft supply categories. Our offerings are based on intensive research, interviews with artists and artisans, and the accumulated experience of the site’s editors and writers. We provide reliable and helpful advice on materials for artists ranging from beginner to professional.

1. Moleskine Classic Notebook

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

Highly praised for its stripped-down yet elegant look, Moleskine is our top pick not only for its aesthetics, but also for its functionality and variety of laptop options. The Italian brand shields its notebooks in a buttery-soft, luxurious-to-the-touch faux leather, and the ivory pages, while they don’t bleed, are super smooth. Each is slim and well bound and features a ribbon bookmark, interior pockets and an elastic band to keep the pages together when not in use. However you want to use your journal, Moleskine has you covered, offering notebooks with plain, lined, squared or dotted pages.

Buy: Moleskine Classic Notebook

2. Beechmore Books Lined Softcover Notebook

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

It’s a timeless and sophisticated notebook that will last a long time. Bound in high-quality leatherette, it features crisp lined paper of substantial weight, thick enough to take ink from a fountain pen without bleeding. Compared to Moleskine’s ruled notebooks, the lines are slightly wider and darker, which some people might prefer. The Beechmore Books Journal is available in seven tony colors, from Dartmouth Green to Chestnut Brown, and comes complete with a ribbon bookmark and sturdy binding designed to resist bending and shedding of pages.

Buy: Beechmore Books Lined Softcover Notebook

3. The Unlabel Dot Grid Notebook

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

If you’re looking for an option that can help you mark or track your thoughts, a paginated journal might be a good choice. This one features smooth pages with dotted grids, and the page number in the bottom outer corner of each sheet is small and subtle. Dots let you write in a straight line while giving you the ability to draw graphs, to-do lists, and more. Unless you’re using a heavily inked marker, the pages are thick enough to usually avoid bleeding.

Buy: The Unlabel Dot Grid Notebook

4. Twone Travel Notebook Set

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

There is a more eco-friendly alternative to soft leather or faux leather book covers: kraft paper, which still features a minimal and fashionable aesthetic. This set of six journals from Twone features covers made from 50% post-consumer recycled paper that are much easier to personalize than leather while still effectively protecting your work. The journals are tightly stitched, but you can still open them completely flat, and the pages are thick enough to use with a fountain pen with no bleed.

Buy: Twone Travel Notebook Set

5. Minimalism Art Softcover Notebook

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, ARTNews may receive an affiliate commission.

This is a great option for those looking for pages with well-defined grids. The squares are neither too big nor too small and their borders are more opaque than translucent. The sheets are also nice and thick – you can fill them with ink pens, markers and even paint, and minimal bleeding will occur. Leatherette covers are soft but not too floppy, and they give the journal a professional look. The only thing missing from this option is an inside pocket, though it’s finished with a ribbon bookmark.

Buy: Minimalism Art Softcover Notebook

Best of ARTnews.com

Click here to read the full article.


Source link

Share.

Comments are closed.