Fa Vo Fa Vo Fa Vo!

by Scribble Monboddo

OK, if you want to know about a brilliant notebook made from recycled paper, that part's coming very soon below, honest it is. But first, forgive a brief linguistic digression, because Fa Vo combines two of my favourite things: Portuguese and massively laboured puns. Favo, as one word, translates as 'honeycomb', part of a beehive, so a good title for a notebook in which the writer can get busy (and, if you'll allow a digression further still, add a diminutive ending and think about a hillside covered in little bee cells in a Portuguese-speaking South American city, and you get favelas).

Fa Vo, as two words, if you mash the pronunciation (which is pretty much the only way to speak the language, really), could roughly mean 'made for you'. Well, if you're someone who likes being free-form and creative with your analogue scribbling tools, it probably was. I took one of these notebooks for a day out in the City of London to put it to the test.

For a product designed by architects, it certainly looks the part. Once the tasteful belly band is off, there's barely a branding detail in sight; this is no-nonsense minimalism. Just a few millimetres shy of A5, it's a good size for use on a train or in a meeting (I tried both), and the sewn binding looks classy while also helping the book to lie flat more often than would otherwise be the case. So far, so good - but that subtle dot-grid is just asking to be written on. Can it take the pressure?

Well of course it can. But maybe I shouldn't say 'of course'; let's face it, recycled paper doesn't have the best reputation amongst fountain pen fans, in particular. This really does seem to be an exception, though. It coped with a wet music nib without any ink leaking to where it shouldn't be, and while there was a tiny bit of feathering with a very wet flex nib it was nothing much to worry about. This is meant to be paper for working on, not a medium for calligraphy, and it fulfils its function with ease. I really enjoyed writing on it, which isn't something I can say about every recycled paper product I encounter. A glimpse at the range reveals that the covers and their dyes are all sourced from recycled, materials too. You might just be pleasantly surprised!