Art Deco flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, and hard as it is to define, you know it when you see it. The latest range of offerings from Clairefontaine's increasingly illustrious Moroccan operation are inspired takes on the Art Deco style, and the moment I saw them I knew they had to get a home on the shelves of Nero's secret underground despatch facility. Fortunately, they were listening down there in the paper-bunker and the one I tried is, with its hexagonal cover, absolutely the bee's knees (geddit?).
Actually, this isn't the only cover available, as a brief glance at the Nero's Notes site will reveal. It's not the only size either; as well as the A5 version I tried there's a full set of pocket notebooks (in the 90x140mm standard).
These books have a sewn binding, which doesn't just look hood - it keeps the whole thing together, brilliantly. Of course, it also has Clairefontaine's legendary paper, about which little more needs to be said: it's cream, it's smooth, and it's going to handle any fountain pen you want to throw at it. 'Sells itself, really, doesn't it?
But we can't let it off that lightly, can we? I took it to a training event for a couple of days of hard graft, fully intending to take a few snaps of a Neo Deco bringing some style to a gritty Sheffield back-drop, but true to form it was raining cats and dogs all over God's own county and there was going to a terrible running-ink tragedy if I tried that, so you'll have to take my word for it. Indoors, though, it coped with all the nib-related action confidently - and attracted plenty of envious glances from people with tatty notebooks and lousy laptops. It's a winner, seriously - go and treat yourself!