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Posts Tagged ‘Cartesio’

Copic markers are now available at JournalingArts.com.

Copic markers are now available at JournalingArts.com.

For those of you who love top-of-the-line art supplies, you’ll be glad to know that Copic Sketch and Ciao Markers are now available at Journalingarts.com. Copic Markers are alcohol-based permanent markers which are non-toxic, acid-free and blend smoothly on paper. They were used for decades exclusively by professionals around the world including architects, illustrators and designers, and now they have become popular among the hobby industry for scrapbooking, card-making, models, ceramics and other artistic projects.

I couldn’t resist experimenting with a set of Sketch Markers in my Moleskine Watercolor Journal along with some watercolors and water-soluble pastels. Since water-based and alcohol-based inks do not smear or alter each other, I was able to use the Sketch markers on top of the watercolors without smearing or altering the first layer of color. Because the Sketch Markers are permanent, they do bleed through most uncoated papers, so I primed the page first with gesso to prevent bleedthrough.

Copic Sketch Markers were used with watercolors and Aquarelle water-soluable pastels in this mixed media piece.

Copic Sketch Markers were used with watercolors and Aquarelle water-soluble pastels in this mixed media piece.

Copic Ciao Markers

Copic Ciao Markers set 72A

Copic Sketch Markers Papercrafting 72 A

Copic Sketch Markers Papercrafting Colors Set 72 A

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Cartesio and Moleskine daily planners are compare for form and function.

Cartesio and Moleskine daily planners are similar, but each has it's own unique features.

Cartesio planners have recently been introduced to the US and they are nice. Available in both weekly and daily formats these planners come with all the standard features and a few more and they are gorgeous. In many ways, they are similar to Moleskine’s Daily Planner, but there are a few differences that make the Cartesio Daily Planner a standout in the battle of the planners.

Both planners have the following features:

  • Outer dimensions of 3½” X  5½”.
  • Daily planning format, one-day-per-page
  • Acid-free, archival quality paper, ivory in color
  • 24 hour time slots numbered 8-20
  • Will lay flat when opened
  • Pocket in the back
  • Ribbon placeholder
  • Personal information page
  • 2010 – 2011 monthly calendars
  • International holidays
  • Time zone charts
  • International dialing codes
  • Weights and measures
  • Clothing size conversions
  • Additional pages in the back for notes
The outer dimensions of the Cartesio and Moleksine are the same 3½ X 5½. The Cartesio s cover is made from recycled leather, the Moleskines is oilcloth.

The outer dimensions of the Cartesio and Moleksine are the same 3½" X 5½". The Cartesio 's cover is made from recycled leather, the Moleskine's is oilcloth. A small, raised logo is centered near the bottom of the Cartesio's cover.

The Covers

Cartesio- As with the other Cartesio planners and notebooks, the recycled leather cover is firm yet flexible and has a pebble texture. Colors available are red, orange, turquoise green and black. There is a small, black, square logo near the bottom of the front cover with a white C. It appears to be inlaid and is slightly raised above the surface of the cover. Tempo, Made in Italy is embossed near the bottom of the back cover and is about 1″ wide. Small notches in the top and bottom of the covers hold the elastic in place.

Moleskine – In keeping with the Moleskine tradition, the cover is oilcloth. The black covers are either hard or soft and the red colors are only available as hard. Colors available are black and red. The front of the cover is smooth and undisturbed by any logos or marks and there is very little texture. Moleskine is embossed on the back cover that is about 1½” wide.

Cartesio features a rounded elastic that is seated in notches in the cover that keep the strap aligned. Moleskine features a flat elastic strap that is thinner and lays flat on surfaces.

Cartesio features a heavy duty rounded elastic that is seated in notches made in the cover that keep the strap aligned. Moleskine features a flat elastic strap that is thinner and lays flat on surfaces.

The Elastic

Cartesio – A heavy-duty, round, vertical elastic strap wraps the planner. Small notches in the cover keep the elastic in place and aligned. The elastic strap goes through holes in the back cover and through the flapped envelope and is secured by small metal bars.

Moleskine – A flat, vertical elastic strap wraps the planner. The ends disappear into small cuts in the back cover and are glue in between the oilcloth and cardboard. The flat profile makes the planner lie flatter than the Cartesio, but it does move around and does not stay aligned.

Cartesios planning pages are printed in 2 colors, 6 languages and include current and next month calendars. Time slots are broken down into 13, 1-hour slots with dots designating the half-hour mark. The hours are spaced wide enough for including appointments on the half hour. There are no lines for notes, but there is a small, blank area for notes at the bottom of each page and a ruled section in the back.

Cartesio's planning pages are printed in 2 colors, 6 languages and include current and next month calendars. Time slots are broken down into 13, 1-hour slots with dots designating the half-hour mark. The hours are spaced wide enough for including appointments on the half hour. There are no lines for notes, but there is a small, blank area for notes at the bottom of each page and a ruled section in the back.

Moleskine's planning pages are printed in 1 color and in 1 language. Time slots are broken down into 13, 1-hour sections using 24 hour time. There is no room for adding appointments on the half hour in between, but you can divide the lines in 2 with a vertical line to add half-hour appointments. There are 6 lines below the time slots for notes.

The Interior

Cartesio – The inside is printed with 2 ink colors, black and dark red. First impression is that this is a step above most planners in this price range. The paper is slightly more ivory than the Moleskine and feels equally smooth. The paper feels slightly thinner than the Moleskine but it has the same opacity so I imagine that it will have an equal amount of showthrough. Thinner paper creates a thinner planner that is ¼” slimmer than the Moleskine. Good news if you would like a daily planner that is less bulky.

Moleskine – The inside is printed with a soft lack or nearly black ink. The paper is slightly thicker than the Cartesio’s paper, so it may be a better choice for wet pens.

The Cartesio daily planner is thinner than the Moleksine daily planner by about ¼ This combined with a thinner, more flexible cover makes the Cartesio more comfortable to carry with you and is much less bulky. If you have avoided daily planners becasue of their bulk, the Cartesio may be a good option for you.

The Cartesio daily planner is thinner than the Moleksine daily planner by about ¼". This combined with a thinner, more flexible cover makes the Cartesio more comfortable to carry with you and is much less bulky. If you have avoided daily planners becasue of their bulk, the Cartesio may be a good option for you.

The Planning Pages

Cartesio – The daily planning pages have thirteen, 7.5 mm spaced lines which cover 12 hours of planning. The lines stops about 5 mm from the edge of the paper. The slots are broken down into hours, but there is a dot spaced for ½ hour segments and because of the wide spacing, there is room to add appointments at ½ hour intervals if your writing is small. Months and days are in 6 languages. Weeks are numbered ascending and days are numbered both ascending and descending.

Each 2-page spread has small monthly calenders showing the current and following month. Below the planning segments, there is a small space for notes, but there is a section of ruled paper in the back of the planner if you need room for note taking.

To me, the design of the pages is more pleasing and less utilitarian than that of the Moleskine. The two colors and variety of type sizes are easier on the eye. I realize that this is a personal preference and some of you may prefer a more spartan appearance. I also like the inclusion of the monthly calendars on the Cartesio’s planning pages and I wish Moleskine would add this to their planners in the future.

Moleskine – The daily planning pages have 20 lines, thirteen numbered in an hourly planning format, 6 for notes and 1 at the top above the planning segments. The lines are spaced about 6 mm apart and there is no vertical room for ½ hour time slots. The lines extend to the edge of the pages offering a little more horizontal writing space than the Cartesio. There is more room for notes in the Moleskine than the Cartesio, which is useful if you are prone to take copious notes. For some reason, there are no time periods printed on Sundays. Weeks are numbered ascending in the lower right corner of each 2-page spread.

Cartesios monthly planning calendars are in a box style that makes it easy to see your appointments at a glance. There is not a lot or room for lengthy appointments, but enough room for small comments or symbols.

Cartesio's monthly planning calendars are in a box style that makes it easy to see your appointments at a glance. There is not a lot or room for lengthy appointments, but enough room for small comments or symbols.

Moleskines monthly planning section is in a lined format. There is room for more details than in the Cartesio, but the format makes it difficult to see your schedule at a glance.

Moleskine's monthly planning section is in a lined format. There is room for more details than in the Cartesio, but the format makes it difficult to see your schedule at a glance.

Miscellaneous

Cartesio – The monthly planning calendars for 2010 and 2010 are in a box style, and are similar to wall calendars in format. Easy for a quickly summing up your long range plans, but there is not much room for entering information. There are 6 months per 2-page spread.

The inner pocket is more like an envelope. It does not expand like the pocket in the Moleskine. It is easy to use because it opens at the outside of the pages and it has a flap that folds over to keep the contents inside. It is not permanently fixed to the inside of the back cover, but is held in place by the ends of the elastic strap so you could remove the pocket from the planner if you desire.

There is an alphabetically organized address book in the back of the planner, but it is not tabbed. A small section of ruled pages allows for additional note taking.

Three sections are in the Cartesio planner you won’t find in the Moleskine; a 2-page spread which shows the Saint’s Days for the entire year, a worldwide temperature chart and two pages for New Year’s memos.

Moleskine – The monthly planning calendars are in a lined format that has more room for entering information than the Cartesio, but it is more difficult to see and appreciate your long range plans because of the format. Each 2-page spread includes 4 months to view.

The inner pocket is expandable, which allows you to pack it more full than the Cartesio’s pocket. It opens near the center of the planner, so it doesn’t need a flap to keep things inside. Because it’s opening is near the center of the planner, it may be a struggle to get some items inside, but for most items, it works fine.

There is a removable, tabbed section in the back of the planner. The tabs are coated with a plastic material and are blank, so you can fill them out as you see fit.

The Moleskine has two features that are missing from the Cartesio; a 2-page travel planning section and a printer ruler along the edge.

Conclusion

Both planners are of excellent quality in the under $20 price range. I would whole heartedly recommend both planners. Both have well-planned, efficient planning pages and a good assortment of additional conveniences. There are a few differences that contribute to a different feel for each, and may be a consideration when you choose a planner.

Cartesio has a more high-end, European feel and is slightly thinner than the Moleskine. It is less brick-like and more comfortable to carry around. The leather cover feels nice in the hand and overall, it feels more thoughtfully designed, inside and out. It is less common and may be harder to find than the Moleskine, but this is part of its exclusive appeal.

Moleskine has a more utilitarian feel and the single ink color on the interior gives a cleaner, less cluttered feel. If you love Moleskine notebooks and the mystique that surrounds them, you will love a Moleskine planner. The hard cover makes it feel substantial and gives you a hard surface to write on. It is readily available and can be found online and in most big box book stores.

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The Cartesio pocket, ruled notebook.

The Cartesio pocket, ruled notebook.

This review is the forth in a series where I will test the paper in some of the most popular notebooks today, including Moleskine, Ciak, Rhodia, Markings by C.R. Gibson and Cartesio. I am posting the reviews in no specific order. I intentionally omitted the Leuchtturm journals because they are planning on changing to “pen-proof” paper in their journals in August, 2009, and in all fairness, I want to review their newest products. The pens I chose were based on what I had lying around my office, but my selections are similar to popular pens in the market today. I chose a fountain pen with a medium nib because it will lay down more ink and will be more likely to feather or bleed through the paper than a fine point nib.
Moleskine, The paper was tested in Ciak, Rhodia, Cartesio and C.R. Gibsons Markings journals.The paper was tested in Moleskine, Ciak, Rhodia, Cartesio and C.R. Gibson’s Markings journals. All journals have light ivory colored pages that look very similar.

Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I do with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc. I will do my best to be specific when possible and to include all of the relevant details.

The pens I am testing are:

  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Sensa Ballpoint Pen
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
  • Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Marks A-Lot Dual Sharp Permanent Marker Fine Point (similar to Sharpie)

First Impressions

While the Cartesio journal has the same length and width as the Moleskine and Rhodia journals, it has a completely different look and feel . The sample I tested is red, but additional colors are available including orange, black and teal green. The cover is made from recycled leather with a pebbled texture and it’s flexibility lies somewhere between a hard and soft cover, which is very nice. The cover is thin, yet firm. Like other notebooks in this test, it has a vertical elastic strap, 192 page count, ribbon bookmark and the notebook will lay flat when opened. The paper is similar to the Rhodia’s in thickness and color and is thicker than in the Moleskine and Markings journal. There are 19 lines per page, so the ruling is a little wider than the Rhodia, Markings and Moleskine notebooks and the lines stop short of the outer and inner margins.

The paper in this journal was in the middle of the pack as far as bleedthrough and showthrough but there are some qualities about the paper that I think are worth noting. My wet pens dried quickly on the paper, and the inks had good contrast and depth of color. There is more tooth to the paper than the Rhodia and Moleskine notebooks which contributed to a tiny amount of feathering on the inks from the Tombow Roll Pen, Pilot Precise Grip and Marks A-Lot permanent marker. This was minor, though, and didn’t bother me.

When using my fountain pen, the ink sank well into the paper and the dried quickly. There was some tonal variation , but not as much as the variation on the Rhodia paper. I liked the way my fountain pen wrote on this paper and found it satisfying the way the paper accepted the ink. I did not experience any bleedthrough with my Tombow Fountain pen nor any raised areas on the back.

Detail of ink comparison on the Cartesio paper.

Enlarged detail of the inks on the paper in the Cartesio notebook. There was some minor feathering on the Tombow Roll Pen, Pilot Precise Grips and Marks A-Lot ink samples. If you right click this image and select “view image” from the dropdown menu, you can see an enlarged view.

The Cartesio was in the middle of the pack regarding showthrough or bleedthrough. The back side of the paper had some showthrough and there was small amount of bleedthrough with the Tombow roll pen and Pilot Precise Grip. The Marks-A-Lot Permanent Marker bled through too, but did so on every paper in this test including the top rated Rhodia. There were minimal raised areas on the back side of the page on the samples from the Tombow Roll pen, the Ballpoint Pens, and the Pilot Precise Grip. The other inks samples did did not have any raised areas.

The back side of the page has minimal showthrough. On all samples except the fountina pen and markers, you can feel a small amount of text raised on the reverse side. If you right click this image and select “view image” from the dropdown menu, you can see an enlarged view.

The back side of the page has some showthrough and bleedthrough. There was a minimal amount of text raised on the reverse side, only the Ciak journal had less. If you right click this image and select “view image” from the dropdown menu, you can see an enlarged view.

I have to comment on the build and quality of this notebook. While it may not be relevant to how well the ink performs, it is great to use a notebook that looks and feels like a quality journal. The binding is tight, the paper is clean and the elastic strap is durable. I have had a lot of different notebooks over the past few years and I have never had a problem with a Cartesio journal, which is more than I can say with most of the others.

Pros

  • Clear text using ballpoint pen, water-based marker and fountain pen
  • Ink dries quickly and sinks well into the paper
  • High-quality materials and manufacture
  • Pale ivory color is easy on the eyes
  • Thick, acid-free paper with more tooth than most
  • Good ink saturation and contrast
  • Pebble textured, recycled leather cover in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Some showthrough and bleedthrough on the reverse side of the paper
  • Feathering on roll pens and permanent markers
  • Only 19 lines per page

Overall, I like using the Cartesio notebook especially with my fountain pen. I like the way the ink was accepted on the paper and that there were minimal raised areas on the backside of the paper. Because the paper is so accepting, I would imagine that some fountain pens and rollerball pens will bleed through a bit depending on the ink you are using. If you use ballpoint pens or if you don’t mind experimenting with your writing tools, the Cartesio is an excellent choice. It feels better made and has higher quality materials than the Moleskine or Markings journals. The firm, flexible cover is more accommodating to use than the hard cover notebooks and is the only one in the test that is textured.

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I was able to write crips lines with most inks in the Moleskine Ruled Pocket Journal.

I was able to write fairly crisp lines with all of my pens in the Moleskine Pocket Journal.

This review is the first in a series where I will test the paper in some of the most popular notebooks today, including Moleskine, Ciak, Rhodia, Markings by C.R. Gibson and Cartesio. I am posting the reviews in no specific order. I intentionally omitted the Leuchtturm journals because they are planning on changing to “pen-proof” paper in their journals in August, 2009, and in all fairness, I want to review their newest products.

The pens I chose were based on what I had lying around my office, but my selections are similar to popular pens in the market today. I chose a fountain pen with a medium nib because it will lay down more ink and will be more likely to feather or bleed through the paper than a fine point nib.

Moleskine, The paper was tested in Ciak, Rhodia, Cartesio and C.R. Gibsons Markings journals.

The paper was tested in Moleskine, Ciak, Rhodia, Cartesio and C.R. Gibson's Markings journals. All journals have light ivory colored pages that look very similar.

Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I do with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc. I will do my best to be specific when possible and to include all of the relevant details.

The pens I am testing are:

  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Sensa Ballpoint Pen
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
  • Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Marks A-Lot Dual Sharp Permanent Marker Fine Point (similar to Sharpie)

First Impressions

The Moleskine notebook has fairly smooth paper with little tooth. The paper is the second thinnest, the thinnest being that from the Markings journal from C.R. Gibson. The color is pale ivory and is nearly the same as all the other journals.

Overall, I am surprised by how well the paper in the Moleksine notebook performed. It displayed the second best color depth, with the Ciak paper being slightly more saturated. The words written on it appeared sharp, but less so than those on the Rhodia Web notebook paper. There was little, if any, feathering. I’ve heard complaints about the paper in the Moleskine journal feathering badly, but the notebook I tested did not. Even the fountain pen ink appeared sharp, and the inks went down clean without drags, skips or picks.

Detail of the inks on paper in the Moleskine Pocket Ruled notebook. The words were sharp and clear and the colors remained saturated.

Enlarged detail of the inks on the paper in the Moleskine Pocket Ruled notebook. The words appear sharp and clear, and the colors saturated. If you right click this image and select "view image" from the dropdown menu, you can see an enlarged view.

There are some issues I have with the paper, however. The back side of the paper has a lot of showthrough. All but the ballpoint inks show through clearly, and the Tombow Rollerball Pen bled through a tiny bit. The Marks-A-Lot Permanent Marker bled through a lot, but I expected this because it is similar to a Sharpie Marker and it bled through all of the other papers in this test.

Because this paper is thin you can feel the the raised writing on the back side of the page. This holds true for all ink samples except the markers. If you write with moderate to heavy  pressure, you will have quite a bit of texture from the previous page popping through.

The back side of the page has a good amount of show through, especially on the darker, more saturated inks. On all samples except the markers, you can feel the text raised on the reverse side.

The back side of the page has a lot of showthrough, especially on the darker, more saturated inks. On all samples except the markers, you can feel the text raised on the reverse side. If you right click this image and select "view image" from the dropdown menu, you can see an enlarged view.

When using wet pens, such as the Tombow Roll Pen and the Tombow Fountain Pen, the inks dried slower than expected. This can cause smearing if you are a lefty or if you are impatient. It shouldn’t be a problem if you are a righty as long as you don’t rush things.

Pros

  • Clear, sharp text with no apparent feathering, even when using a fountain pen and markers
  • Rich, saturated ink colors
  • Smooth paper accepts ink without skipping
  • Pale ivory color is easy on the eyes
  • Good for use with ballpoint pens and other non-saturated inks

Cons

  • Darker inks show through the back side of the paper
  • Writing with any pressure will push through the back leaving raised areas on the back side
  • Some “wet” pens and markers will bleed through the back of the page
  • The ink from wettest pens including fountain and roll pens dry slower than in other journals

Overall, I can see why there are so many Moleskine fans. They make nice notebooks at reasonable prices that serve the masses. Crisp lines, rich color and smooth ivory paper are good things. Even thin paper can be a plus because it takes up less room than thicker paper, so the journals are thinner. If you use fine, ballpoint pens or fine point, water-based markers, the Moleskine notebook may work well for you. You can even write on both sides of the paper if the texture or showthrough doesn’t bother you.

You may be able to use some fountain and roller ball pens with the Moleskine paper, but these will show through to the back side of the paper and you may experience some bleedthrough with juicy writers. This will vary dramatically with different pen and ink choices, and will vary somewhat from notebook to notebook. Whether this is a problem or not is up to you. If you are a die-hard fountian pen user who won’t tolerate any showthrough or bleedthrough, you should consider another journal. If you use a fountain or roll pen, this journal may work for you if you are comfortable with showthrough and some minor bleedthrough now and then.

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I have read the review on the Cartesio journal by Stephanie at www.biffybeans.com and she clearly demonstrates that the Cartesio Journal is fountian pen friendly in addition to handling a Japanese Brush pen with ease. While I  have had wet pen success with this journal, too, I have heard that some of you have had problems using your fountain pen with the paper. I contacted Fiorentina in the US about this, they contacted Italy who gave this reply:

“… the Ciak and Cartesio have almost the same technical characteristics and in both cases 85% of cases are fountain pen compatible! It all depends on the pressure that the “cartiera” gives to the paper… if fibers are more pressed, paper is harder and ink is slowly absorbed: when paper is less pressed, the ink it’s better absorbed but it might create a halo around the writing…”

What experiences have you had with this combination? I would love to know. Is there anyone who has used a fountian pen with their Cartesio Journal with unsatisfactory results? If so, drop me a line and let me know which pen and what type of ink you are using. I would like to do my own review on this notebook as well and would love to include your experiences as well.

The Cartesio Journals come in pocket and large sizes similar to those of the Moleskine journals. They are available at www.journalingarts.com.

The Cartesio Journals come in pocket and large sizes similar to those of the Moleskine journals. They are available at http://www.journalingarts.com.

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Are you having trouble deciding which notebook or journal to use next? Do you want more information about journal sizes, line widths and page counts? Discover which notebook is the best fit for you and your lifestyle by using this chart including four high-quality journal makers. You’ll find measurements, available sizes, line widths, page count and more. Each of these manufacturers offer journals that are well made, acid-free and designed to be used on a regular basis. My favorite ruled journal is the Cartesio journal, what is yours? See the chart by clicking this link: Journal Chart.

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