Dapper Notes

by Amanda Fleet

You know how Field Notes bring out limited editions sometimes? Well, so do Dapper Notes and in my humble opinion (not being much of a Field Notes lover, to be honest), these are so much better! I dare you to watch this video by the maker, Enon Avital and not want to buy all of his notebooks. Right now. Yes, this second!

Enon makes these pocket notebooks by hand. From scratch. One by one. They have 48 pages, and the cover is made from two layers - a good looking fabric on the outside, backed by book cloth inside. There's an end-paper that's always divine and they are sewn, not stapled, using wax-coated linen thread. As Enon says, "These durable notebooks will last a lifetime to hold and tell your story inside."

So, how can you get your hands on these? Well, usually, you can only get these limited edition notebooks direct, via Dapper Notes' Bookhead Club. This is an annual subscription for 6 notebooks, plus shipping costs.

But... Nero's Notes offer a UK option, so you can acquire these glorious little beasts, without having to pay international shipping or import duty or any of that nonsense. The only guaranteed way to get any of the limited editions is to join the Bookhead Club (£85/annum for 6 limited editions via Nero's Notes) although there are often some of the editions left over that you can buy from the shop (see this page for what's in stock).

But, what are they actually like? I mean, there are a whole heap of notebooks that can look amazing and be made by hand and all that, but what are they like to use?

two notebooks, one white, one orangeI have two notebooks by Dapper - one is "A New Page" (top) and the other is "Juice" (bottom). They're so beautiful, I didn't really want to do a pen test on them! Juice was designed by Stu and I after we won an Instagram competition and has dot-grid paper. It's incredibly gorgeous. A New Page is a lot less in your face, but no less amazing. It has grid paper.

image of brand stamp in back of notebookInside the back cover of each notebook is a brand stamp, and written in pencil next to it, the name of the limited edition and the date. I didn't want to spoil that page, so I carefully removed one from the centre. Here's a picture of the stitching in the book, before I removed the page!

stitching at centre of book

The paper is 70lb and very smooth. The stitching is very secure - so secure I had to demolish the page to remove it! The grid lines aren't solid, but made up of tiny wave-like lines, making the grid unobtrusive.

How did the paper handle fountain pens? Pretty well. Most of my currently inked pens are absolute gits when it comes to tests as they're almost all stub nibs and the Tombow Object (not a stub nib) can be especially vicious to paper!

Writing was smooth, with no feathering at all - a beautiful experience. There was some great shading with the stub nibs. As anticipated, there was some show through from the tough pens, but nothing that wasn't manageable and most other fountain pens would be no problem at all.

These really are splendid little books - perfect for recording a special event or to gift to someone. Or just to use because you adore using gorgeous products that are hand-made with a real attention to detail.