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Guest Post: Seeing the Whitelines at the End of the Tunnel

15 Nov

Shop all Whitelines Notebooks on - Image courtesy of guest blogger Kaylee B. at Whitelines

Have you ever been writing in your journal or notebook and noticed the disturbance of the lines? One of the biggest downfalls of customary paper is that the lines on the paper are simply too prominent. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way lessening the importance of the lines, as I am a huge neat freak when it comes to writing. I like everything clean and readable and straight. However, when looking at writings and drawings on traditional paper, the text looks anything but clean. After putting things down on paper, the lines’ assistance completely goes away and they become more of a limitation than an asset. Enter Whitelines.

For so long we have simply accepted traditional writing paper without questioning the fact that the lines of the paper, created to provide a foundation for your writing and drawings, acts as an interference forcing your thoughts and ideas to compete with the lines of the paper for attention.

Years ago Olof Hansson, the founder of Whitelines, was doing sketches of a new invention of his. Annoyed by the dark lines disturbing his creation, Olof became astutely aware of the hindrance of customary writing paper. He set out on a mission to create paper that did not impose limitations.

The obvious solution to this problem was to take the dark element out of writing paper. Still desiring the support and functionality of lines, Olof turned to a slightly colored paper with white lines. Quickly Olof found that not only did these two light elements provide a solid foundation for both note-taking and drawing and provide a strong contrast between the paper and the writing, but the paper also gave an enhanced reading and writing experience. The eye and the brain, without having to decipher between the writing and the lines of the paper, can process the information more effortlessly, making it easier on the eyes. Additionally, the gray tone of the paper delivers less glare. Whitelines was born in January of 2006.

Shop all Whitelines Notebooks on - Image courtesy of guest blogger Kaylee B. at Whitelines

Regular paper on the left, Whitelines paper on the right. Image courtesy of guest blogger Kaylee B.


Whitelines paper is for all those that want a supportive writing paper. The reason Whitelines is so popular among so many groups of people is because the paper makes the writing and reading process more pleasant for everyone. Students find note-taking and organization much more agreeable. People in the office place enjoy the ability to scan and fax the paper with the lines disappearing leaving only their writing. And the creative folks – they just get it. No longer do their drawings and creations have to fight with the constraints of traditional writing paper.

So go ahead and give it a try. Test out the paper for yourself to experience a writing experience without limitations. A bit of a forewarning: once you start using Whitelines paper, it’s difficult to go back to the distracting lines of traditional writing paper. With so many options to choose from (Hard Covers, Soft Covers, Wire-O), we don’t think you’ll have a problem finding a notebook for each need of yours.


Meet the Writer: An avid list-maker and moderate risk taker, Kaylee Bergstrom handles all of the logistics for Whitelines North America and, having never heard of Whitelines prior to her current position, has become hooked on the unique design of the notebooks. Rarely spotted without a good tube of mascara, an A5 or pocket notebook and her Jack Russell / Shih Tzu puppy Russell, Kaylee enjoys spending her free time with friends and family, getting hooked on a good book series or catching a mind-bending thriller.


The Extravagant Tale of a Mere Pencil: Palomino & Blackwing

11 Jul

See all Palomino and Blackwing products on

Let us start out by saying that for the die-hard fans of the original Blackwing pencils reading this, it is not a fully comprehensive post of Blackwing, and we know that. The history, excitement, and controversy that surrounds Blackwing pencils is much too long to begin with. Which makes it that much more enticing to bring on our site! Over time we hope to do justice to the Blackwing story. Sooo (drumroll please … ), we’re thrilled to introduce Palomino products and their Blackwing Pencils (hard & soft lead) to’s audience!

Blackwing Origins

It all starts with Johann Eberhard Faber (b. 1822; d. 1879), a descendant of the famous Bavarian pencil manufacturing family, Faber. While he ultimately spent his career life in America and established the first lead pencil factory in New York, he kept close ties (and the same level of high quality pencils) with the Faber pencil factories back in Germany. Even though he did not personally see the launch of the Blackwing pencil, as it wasn’t created until the 1930′s, Johann Eberhard Faber’s family standard of pencils was upheld throughout the decades to produce the ‘best pencil ever made,’ as many have dubbed the Blackwing.

When it first launched in the 1930′s, the Blackwing 602 pencil took off in popularity and was celebrated by famous writers and artists such as John Steinbeck, Vladimir Nabokov, and Chuck Jones over the years. The Blackwing 602 became famous in its own right, not just due to the well-recognized names who boasted of the pencil, but for two design reasons: first, the unique lead that seamlessly glided across the page, and second, the now-iconic rectangular ferrule and eraser that could be replaced easily.

Ultimately, Eberhard Faber was bought by Faber-Castell USA in 1988; then in 1994, Faber-Castell was bought by Sanford Corp. (a division of Newell-Rubbermaid). The Blackwing had survived the turnovers, but was destined to eventually run out as the machine that made the clips for the eraser ferrule was broken for years and never fixed.

When the Blackwing eraser ferrule stock ran out in 1998, Sanford decided not to fix the original machine, and with that the Blackwing pencil’s time was over. Granted, it had built such a name for itself that when it ran out, collectors snatched up every last one and Blackwing pencils would sell on eBay for up to $40, creating an even larger reputation.

Palomino Picks up the Pieces

Palomino Blackwing Soft Graphite Pencils (12 ct.) on

Palomino Blackwing Soft Graphite Pencils 12 ct. on

At this point, Palomino, a division of California Cedar Products Company, “the world’s largest producer of wooden pencil slats,” according to their website, picked up the trademark. In 2010, Palomino CEO Charles Berolzheimer, a pencil maker with several generations in the business just like Eberhard Faber, used his unique supply relationships to re-introduce the Blackwing pencil.

However, the “Palomino Blackwing” was slightly modified (made best for artists with an even softer lead) and original Blackwing aficionados balked at the design changes. The power of the Blackwing community pushed Berolzheimer to stick to the trusted Blackwing formula. So in 2011, Palomino came out with the “Blackwing 602,” a homage to the original, best for devotees, writers, and everyday users, for its ability to hold a point.

Form & Function: Why Blackwing Pencils Kick … Butt

Whether you go for the soft or firm lead (or both), the Blackwing pencils from Palomino are guaranteed an instant classic in your daily arsenal.

Palomino Blackwing 602 Firm Graphite Pencils (12 ct.) on

Palomino Blackwing 602 Firm Graphite Pencils 12 ct. on

The Palomino Blackwing 602 Firm Graphite Pencil is finely crafted from cedar wood and finished with a thick metallic grey coating. It’s embossed with gold lettering on the sides, detailing “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed.” Ideal for writers, the firm lead puts down an incredibly smooth line without having to be sharpened after each word. The original, unique rectangular black eraser even pops out so you can replace it after whittling it down after writing your masterpiece. Available in a box of 12 pencils, the Palomino Blackwing 602 Firm Graphite Pencil is the classic 602 you’ve been seeking.

Similar, but oh-so-subtly different, the Palomino Backwing Soft Graphite Pencil is also finely crafted from cedar wood, but finished with a thick metallic black coating (instead of grey). Embossed also with the gold lettering on the sides, this time simply reading “Palomino Blackwing.” Made with soft lead (instead of firm lead like the 602), it is best for illustrators and artists, but of course it can still be used by writers and everyday users. It also comes with a white rectangular eraser that pops out so you can replace it after whittling it down after drawing the day away. Available in a box of 12 pencils, the Palomino Blackwing Soft Graphite Pencil is the ultimate go-to for artists and creatives.

Whichever you prefer, we know you’ll fall in love. Check out all Palomino on here.

Caran d’Ache: A Creative Beauty with Swiss Charm

29 May

Caran d'Ache Brand Story on

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss company that manufactures fine writing instruments that pay homage to the tradition of Swiss innovation, precision, and excellence. Combining several sought-after raw materials with modern technologies and expert craftsmanship, Caran d’Ache creates distinctly perfect pens down to the last detail. Caran d’Ache is, in fact, the only Swiss manufacturer of “pencils, fine-arts materials and luxury writing instruments.”

The Beginning of Excellence

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Chinablue Fountain Pen on

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Chinablue Fountain Pen on

Caran d’Ache opened in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1924 after Arnold Schweitzer acquired the Ecridor Pencil Company (originally founded in 1915) and renamed the company. The name Caran d’Ache comes from the pseudonym of a famous 19th century French satirist named Emmanuel Poire. That pseudonym came from the Russian word for pencil, “Karandash,” which stems from the Turkish words “kara dash,” literally meaning black stone (referring to graphite). The deep roots to writing materials in Caran d’Ache’s name are backed up in their authentic products.

In 1930, Caran d’Ache launched their Ecridor mechanical pencils in both silver and gold models. Next came the Prismalo, the first colored pencil with water-soluble lead, in 1931. Ultimately, Caran d’Ache’s first fountain pen was launched in the Madison Collection and thus began the company’s intimate workings with myriad writing instrument types. Their creativity and skill has blossomed over the years, and to this day Caran d’Ache handcrafts some of the most exquisite pens and art pencils in the market.

Noble Materials

Caran d’Ache pens and mechanical pencils use quality materials that make for a writing instrument unlike any other.  One of these materials is Rhodium, a rare metal valued approximately at 10 times the price of gold. It is an amazing material to use in a writing instrument because it does not oxidize, and therefore preserves the silver shine of the pen.

Another fine material used in Caran d’Ache pens is 18 Carat Gold. This soft metal is used to decorate, engrave, and polish each gold pen, creating unique art. Each gold nib carries the certified mark of the raw material, as well as the trademark of the craftsmen.  Caran d’Ache is also one of the few pen manufacturers to use Chinese lacquer, an ancient material steeped in the traditions of Eastern craftsmanship. This magnificent glimmering lacquer goes through an incredibly complex application after the natural process of extracting the sap of a Tsi Cheou tree.

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Ivanhoe Silver Fountain Pen on

Caran d'Ache Varius Collection Ivanhoe Silver Fountain Pen on

Another innovative practice at Caran d’Ache is the creation of a coat of mail for certain pen bodies to create a unique grip. This material is made from woven links of stainless steel. Once a legendary technology to protect medieval knights, now this material is also engrained in the history of one of the highest regarded companies of Switzerland, Caran d’Ache.

By combining ancient tradition and elegance with modern and artful design, Caran d’Ache creates authentic pens that live up to the Swiss standards of quality and precision. Their products inspire the timelessness and passion of an imagination that is set free at the grasp of a pen.

Treat Yourself to Amalfi Stationery: A Centuries Old Delight

25 May

Amalfi Brand Story on

Luxurious Amalfi stationery, from one of the most renowned paper making centers in Europe, has been made by hand from the finest cotton for centuries. Its soft texture is incomparable and filled with elegance and character. Southeast from Naples, Italy, Amalfi is one of the oldest papermaking centers in Europe.

A Little Bit of Papermaking History

Paper mills in the Amalfi region actually have been traced back to as early as the 13th Century. As the demand for paper increased into the 15th Century the number of mills grew past the few local families who started the Amalfi papermaking trend. The industry boomed in the region and it quickly grew a reputation for high-quality cotton paper. The mid-1700s brought new manufacturing / machining processes, and sadly the decline of handmade paper began (peaking in the mid 1800s).

The classic Amalfi paper mills that had lasted for centuries in the region struggled for years against modern advances in papermaking and in 1954 were almost completely wiped out by a catastrophic flood. Out of the 16 paper mills in the area, three remained after the flood. The one we know and love today that goes by the name of “Amalfi Paper” on our site and is produced by Cartiera Amatruda, was saved by none other than Luigi Amatruda, a descendant of one of the oldest papermaking families on the Amalfi coast.

Amatruda Namesake

Amalfi Watermarked Stationery Set 20 count on

Amalfi Watermarked Stationery Set 20 count on

Records of the Amatruda family actually date back to 1198 in Amalfi and the oldest Amatruda watermark comes from around the 14th century. Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, this stationery is still handmade by Cartiera Amatruda. The Amatruda paper mill is in the ancient Mill Valley of Amalfi, in a spectacular bridged position over the Canneto River. The first floor of the current longstanding Amatruda paper mill dates back to the 15th Century and the paper manufacturing tradition of the Amatruda family dates back to 1380.

Each naturally deckle-edged Amalfi sheet is handcrafted with the utmost care, using many of the original papermaking methods from the beginning of the Amatruda mill. Sized for the best possible writing quality, Amalfi paper is special in its depth of connecting the past with the present.

Finely Crafted Process

When the Amatruda family first opened their mill, they used cotton, linen, or hemp rags (today it’s 100% cotton), which were then put in stone tubs (also known as vats). The rags in the vats were pounded and reduced to pulp by a series of wooden mallets, working due to the power of the surrounding waterways.

A mould with a net of wires in the shape of the family’s watermark (usually in the middle) was then dipped in the tubs multiple times to form a sheet out of the pulp. After squeezing the water out and drying the sheets, papermakers would go over each piece to smooth out any imperfections and pick the most valuable cards.

Use Amalfi in All Occasions

Amalfi Folded Notes 8 count on

Amalfi Folded Notes 8 count on

Amalfi paper is best known for use in wedding invitations, life-cycle announcements, graduations, and other special events. Today however, we also offer it in personalized packs with 8 sheets and 8 envelopes of your choice between folded or flat cards. Perfect for everyday correspondence, the new 8-count individualized grab-and-go packs are the right amount for a touch of excellence.

With such an amazing history, Amalfi 100% cotton paper sheets and cards are a joy to give to family and friends, as well as to gift yourself with. To this day, Cartiere Amatruda keeps the papermaking process 100% natural, meaning no dyes, chemicals, or the like. As a favorite among letter writers, letterpress professionals, and stationery aficionados, we personally recommend Amalfi paper to anyone looking for an extra touch of elegance in their correspondence or special occasions.

Exacting Excellence with Exacompta

22 May

Exacompta Brand Story on

Exacompta is a French company with roots in the professional world and connections to Clairefontaine, Rhodia, G. Lalo, and more. Founded in 1928 by Charles Nusse, great-grandson of Clairefontaine founder Jean-Baptiste Bichelberger, the company got its start mass manufacturing high quality ledgers for accounting firms in Paris.

Famous Roots & Branches

See all Exacompta 2012 and 2013 Planner Refills on

See all Exacompta 2012 and 2013 Planner Refills on

The brand quickly became a popular choice due to their high quality paper and sturdy bindings (let’s face it – with direct roots from Clairefontaine, Exacompta was always destined to use the best paper). The Exacompta company name was inspired from a combination of the French words comptabilité and exacte, which mean accounting and exact, respectively.

Those two values are represented clear as day in all their fine products, and took hold in their early days. Their original books were bound with durable and smooth paper and became synonymous with excellence. Nusse grew his personal company, Ets Charles Nusse, with Exacompta and in 1950 Clairefontaine was added to the group. Today, Exacompta is still run by the Nusse family, and they are now part of a larger group of several European paper manufacturing companies, including Rhodia and G. Lalo.

Working by the French philosophy “savoir vivre,” meaning knowledge of good life, Exacompta set out with an objective to make even the simplest tools well-designed and a pleasure to use. Through this mindset, Exacompta has carved a unique niche between paper and professional by manufacturing notebooks, datebooks, and filing accessories.

Professional Office Tools & Accessories

Exacompta notebooks and datebooks are perfect for the professional setting. Simple and sleek, most of the notebooks and datebooks are also refillable, making them customizable by nature. Fill your Exacompta with undated calendar sheets, plain pages, graphed pages, or mix and match to create a notebook that fits your needs!

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on

Exacompta Exacard Wirebound Business Card Holder on

Exacompta datebooks can be filled with two unique types of paper that reiterate Exacompta’s original accounting focus. The first is Registre Azur. This paper has a mint green tint designed for ease on the eyes. The other paper is Ivoire Satine, a fine, lightweight paper with extraordinary strength.

Though notorious for their paper products and journals, Exacompta also makes phenomenal office accessories that aid in organization. Business professionals and students can find the perfect match for their organizational preference choosing between the Exaboard, Exafolio, and Exacard. Exacompta filing accessories are wear- and water-resistant and will protect important documents, plus accessories from the Green Filing Series are made from 80% polypro recycled materials!

With a focus of products that encourage professional development through organization and protection, Exacompta helps business as usual carry on with ease. A refreshing dose of simplicity in today’s complex world.

Quo Vadis: Planners Made Perfect

15 May

Quo Vadis Brand Story on

In 1952, the commonplace planner was kept in a diary style format, with activities logged on one page for every day. A French doctor by the name of F.G. Beltrami was struggling to manage the activities of both a hospital and a dental school in one of these diary-style planners as the format simply didn’t suit his needs. Frustrated with the lack of planning abilities in a diary, Beltrami attempted combining the ideas of a calendar and journal.

Quo Vadis Datebook Refills on

See all Quo Vadis Datebook Refills on

After some brainstorming and blueprints he began hand-stamping his own weekly layout on the blank pages of a journal, resembling what is known today as the “Agenda Planning Diary.” Noticing that friends and family were also delighted by this planner, Beltrami decided to leave his profession as a doctor in 1954 in order to start selling planners; thus, Quo Vadis was born!

The phrase “Quo Vadis,” derives from Latin roots, and literally translates to “Where are you going?” With Beltrami’s new planner format, you could see “your week planned at a single glance” and actually answer that question! This insight built the foundation for Quo Vadis and transformed the modern planner, but with nearly every notebook company following this format today, how does Quo Vadis stand out?

One reason is that they use Clairefontaine paper. Produced from a mill in Vosges, France, this paper is a delight to write on due to its smooth surface and eco-friendly features. Also, a large number of Quo Vadis planners are refillable, meaning that when that one journal you absolutely love is full, you don’t have to quit using it! Quo Vadis are truly the planner experts. Features such as micro-perforated tear-off corners allow you to easily find the date, and little details like the time frame for each day make organization amazingly easy.

Quo Vadis Habana Large Ruled Journal 85g on

Quo Vadis Habana Large Ruled Journal 85g

As an extremely busy man, F.G. Beltrami had a true sense of the importance of time management. An excerpt from an old promotional brochure for Quo Vadis, posted on the official QV blog, expresses his advanced understanding of it:

“Too much to do, and too little time to do it. It seems like that is what work, and modern life in general, is all about. That is why we have to fight back, and regain a sense of control.

As a doctor, I have a pragmatic outlook on people. We are all just simply… people. We all tend to do what is easy rather than what is more difficult.

I believe in taking simple steps to accomplish what is truly important.”

As an organizational companion, Quo Vadis helps you remember all the little things that always add up! With myriad daily, weekly, and monthly formats (not to mention journals, too), Quo Vadis is a staple you’ll always want to have on hand. Whether it’s a lunch meeting this Thursday or your personal goal to be at the top of the company by the end of the year, with Quo Vadis planners, you know where you’re going!

Quotable Cards: Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

8 May

Quotable Cards Brand Story on

Have you ever found yourself sitting on the floor of a card aisle, endlessly filtering through piles of cheesy birthday and holiday cards before finally settling on the one that wasn’t the worst? Well, in 1993, Gillian Simon and Mott Vogel had the same problem.

While searching for a simple greeting card to inspire their friends, Gillian and Matt felt overwhelmed … nothing conveyed the right message. That day, they went home on a mission: to make cards they actually liked. They started putting quotes, sayings, and proverbs on a simple square card and the idea for Quotable Cards was born!

Inspiration in Simple Design

Quotable Cards Dance, Love, Sing, Live Boxed Note Cards on

Quotable Cards Dance, Love, Sing, Live Boxed Note Cards

Soon Gillian and Matt were trekking the streets of New York City trying to sell their set of 12 black and white cards to local bookstores. Marketing the cards was a bit of a slow start, but the product appealed to a wide demographic and eventually found success in bookstores, mini markets, and coffee shops in New York. While Quotable Cards simple designs have found their way from paper to coffee mugs, magnets, and color prints, the founding idea remains the same: “To inspire as many people as possible.”

Often times, greeting cards say too much. Every two people have a unique relationship, so it seems impossible to write a card that says “thank you” or “I’m sorry” in the exact way we want. Quotable Cards minimal designs complement what you want to say instead of trying to say it for you. People from all different walks of life can read a quote or proverb and apply it to their own circumstances. That means you can say thanks to Grandma, congratulations on your cousin’s graduation, and happy birthday to your BFF all in one box of cards! Quotable Cards inspire yet leave the right amount of room for your words, which is why they make such perfect cards and journals.

And They’re Eco, Too!

Quotable Cards Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today Journal (8 x 8) on

Quotable Cards Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today Journal

Quotable Cards also inspire through their environmental initiatives. The company uses wind-certified energy to achieve carbon neutrality. Their cards and envelopes are made from 100% post consumer content, and their acid-free paper comes from FSC certified sustainable forests. Quotable Cards also chooses to print with soy-based inks, which are much less harmful to the environment than petroleum-based inks. The company still operates from one room in New York City, and their cards and envelopes are all made in the USA.

For a company that has found so much success, Quotable Cards has stuck their roots and still operates with the honest mindset of a small business. Their inspirational message resonates positivity, which is one of the many reasons why we want to continue ‘spreading the words’ through Quotable Cards.

Fisher Pens: Innovation Engineered for Space

1 May

Fisher Brand Story on

The Fisher Pen Company created a legacy of innovation through precise engineering based on the values of founder Paul C. Fisher (1913-2006). An engineer, political candidate, philosopher, author, and mentor, Fisher believed that the “scientific technique was the common sense approach to the solution of any problem.” Though the Fisher name is often synonymous with the creation of the “space pen” used on NASA missions to the moon, Fisher Pens are a relevant tool for many professions … not just astronauts!

Fisher Classic Bullet Space Pen

Fisher Classic Bullet Space Pen

Fisher History

Founded in 1945, The Fisher Pen Company began as a division of the Fisher-Armour Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois. Fisher moved to California briefly before settling in Boulder City, Nevada, in 1976.

The company began manufacturing pens after one of one of its clients, the Reynolds Pen Company, decided to sell their business. Reynolds was the first company to manufacture the ballpoint pen in the United States, introducing a model replicating inventor László Bíró’s ballpoint pen which was being sold in Argentina at the time. Initially they had great success, but as the ballpoint skyrocketed to popularity, Reynolds saw less opportunity in the over saturated market and sold their manufacturing facilities to Fisher. Taking on the challenge of this new industry, Fisher set out to design a quality pen that stood out from the rest.

Engineering Pens for Space

With his strong background in engineering, Paul C. Fisher wanted to make a functional pen that was durable, ergonomic, and would not leak. The first working model of this pen was conceived in July 1948. Named the Fisher Bullet Pen, it remains one of their most popular products. The Bullet Pen was such a revolutionary invention that it has been on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Fisher added further contribution to the pen industry when he released the “Universal Refill” in 1953. The refill broke off at 15 different lengths to fit the most popular pens of that era, making it infinitely easier for dealers to stock pens.

Fisher Titanium Bullet Space Pen

Fisher Titanium Bullet Space Pen

After a large controversy concerning NASA’s decision to use a mechanical pencil that cost $128.84 on the Gemini 3 Mission in 1965, Fisher independently engineered a nitrogen pressurized ink cartridge that could write in zero gravity and would cost as little as $4! Patented in 1965 as the AG7, the Anti-Gravity Pen would make its first appearance in space on the Apollo 7 mission of 1968. Later it made a few appearances in pop-culture. Ronald Reagan used the pen to inaugurate Air and Space Bicentennial Year in 1983 and the premise of a 1998 Seinfeld episode was based on the pen as a gift of friendship.


While Fisher has a deep and rather entertaining history, don’t be fooled into thinking their products are mere novelty items. The quality and functionality of their design has won the hearts of many around the world. Backed by an unconditional lifetime guarantee, Fisher Pens are built from durable materials (chrome, titanium, and other metals) and their thixotropic refill is known to write for more than three times longer than a regular ballpoint refill.

Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen

Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen

Featuring a Tungsten Carbide ballpoint fitted perfectly to a stainless steel socket, and a hermetically-sealed cartridge, the pens guarantee consistent ink flow with absolutely no leaking. The nitrogen pressurized cartridges make writing possible in the most extreme conditions, guaranteeing performance in temperatures from -30 to +250 degrees Fahrenheit, underwater, in zero gravity, at elevations up to 12,500 feet, and at any angle!

The versatility of these pens makes a perfect fit for military, contractors, mountaineers, maintenance workers, and those who want to be ready to write under any circumstance. (Try writing with a Fisher pen on a Rite in the Rain Notebook and who knows, you could be working from the hot tub next winter!)

Impression & Innovation

Fisher is a great example of a company that was truly built from the ground up. Their focus on durability and accuracy in every detail has led to great products that were interesting for space exploration, but pivotal for the pen industry as a whole. Whether you are a pen aficionado, a professional in need, or just looking for a way to impress your coworkers, try out a Fisher pen and experience the innovation that earned them the distinction as one of the most coveted pens in the world.

Mudlark’s Balancing Act: Art & the Environment

26 Apr

Mudlark Brand Story on

Mudlark Papers is a family-owned company based out of Bolingbrook,Illinois. Founded in 1994 by Doug Hamilton, Mudlark makes artful and inspiring lifestyle products while remaining mindful to the environment. Their stationery products and accessories are made with sustainable and natural materials that live up to the standards of any true eco-friendly company. The calming balance of their products is unparalleled by most other stationery brands and begs to be shared with family, friends, and pen pals.

Note Card Nirvana

Mudlark Eco Coralina Memento Boxed Note Cards on

Mudlark Eco Coralina Memento Boxed Note Cards

The staple product at Mudlark are their beautiful boxed note card sets. These cards come in a set of 20 and all feature unique cover designs that are perfect down to every little detail. The blank cards are a perfect space to write a quick invitation, greeting, thank you, or reminder. Included in the set are 20 plain envelopes so you can send a note card to all of your friends and family. Each set comes in a matching keepsake box, a perfect complement to the note cards.

By now, we’re pretty sure an infinite amount of uses exist for the keepsake boxes, but here are a few ideas: Store your family’s secret recipes, favorite photos, personal notes, and mementos. It can also be used for storing office accessories, change, or small collectibles. The boxes even have an enlightening quote on the inside cover reminding us of little truths in life, such as “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” by Walt Whitman. These sets are refined, artsy, and elegant while remaining really fun and useful. We also carry some Mudlark travel accessories for all you steadfast nomads traveling in style.


Mudlark Eco Clare de Lune Boxed Note Cards on

Mudlark Eco Clare de Lune Boxed Note Cards

While Mudlark already stands out stylistically, their environmental practices back up the earthy name of the brand. The beautiful thing is that Mudlark is not jumping on this trend; they have always operated this way because it is the right thing to do. Their stationery products are made from at least 80% post-consumer fibers. All inks printed on the products are soy-based, which requires less irrigation in the agricultural process and creates less pollution in the printing and recycling processes. Furthermore, their products are packaged in air pillows, cleverly avoiding the use of packing peanuts that are harmful to our environment.

The word sophisticated carries a heavy load of stigma … dare we use it? Absolutely, because Mudlark is sophisticated in the best ways possible: Cultured and refined, yet mindful and balanced. The act of writing becomes even more relaxing when all we can think to say is “Om.”

Paperblanks: Past Meets Future

24 Apr

Paperblanks Brand Story on

Paperblanks is a notebook company with a goal in preserving the art of writing itself. Their beautifully crafted notebooks pay homage to a time when arts and literature stood at the forefront of culture and journals were the most sacred of objects. Striving to create a product that you want to write in and feel good about using, Paperblanks’ overwhelming attention to detail and focus on preserving the planet and our shared human culture makes them one of our favorite brands.


Have you ever had that one favorite journal you don’t go anywhere without? Its cover captures figments of your imagination, the handcrafted paper delights your every sense, and the secret compartments have room to hide your deepest secrets. That is essentially every Paperblanks journal. Their journals beg you to open the cover and put the tip of that pen down, and while it can be hard bring yourself to do so (because you’re afraid the journal might lose its perfection forever), when you finally break through you just can’t stop writing.

Paperblanks Embellished Charlotte Bronte Manuscript Wrap on

Paperblanks Embellished Charlotte Bronte Manuscript Wrap

Paperblanks’ journals are inspired by classic leather-bound journals from centuries ago, but don’t be fooled into thinking they are flimsy imitations. Paperblanks original cover designs are embossed with textures and patterns that give them a unique handmade appeal. Covers have captured the work and times of artists such as Shakespeare, Goethe, Charlotte Bronte, and Mozart.

All Paperblanks journals are held to high standards. The binding is either hand-sewn or smythe sewn, creating a journal that lays flat. Because the book blocks are never glued directly to the cover, but are instead sewn together, pages will not come loose or fall out. The paper itself is also held up to Paperblanks’ high standards. Their manufacturing process involves a phase called supercalendaring, where it is pressed between two rolls to achieve the smoothness that Paperblanks paper is known for. It is also acid-free, with a high opacity that guarantees minimal bleeding and feathering. Paperblanks has a true respect for the journal as a piece of art, and it shows in their products.

Global Citizenship

Paperblanks notebooks are not only journals you will want to use, but journals you can feel good about using. Their large commitment in both social and environmental advocacy speaks to the aspirations that they have for future generations.

Social Advocacy

By donating journals to charities around the globe, Paperblanks helps create funds and resources to build strong communities. One non-profit Paperblanks donates to is the Nepal Library Foundation, an organization with a goal of building long-term socioeconomic success in Nepal through education. A similar fundraising model is used in Paperblanks’ contributions to SEVA Canada, a non-profit organization that provides eye care clinics in remote developing countries.

Paperblanks also donates journals for use in youth writing workshops, such as Writegirl, a Los Angeles-based company that puts on one-on-one mentorship programs to develop creativity and encourage self-expression for young women. Paperblanks also awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 to students wishing to further their artistic studies abroad.

Environmental Responsibility

As a company with the future in mind, Paperblanks operates with a strong environmental conscience. The company is a willing participant of Climate Care, an initiative where a self-imposed carbon tax is paid in proportion to the release of greenhouse gases by a company. Through this initiative, Paperblanks has funded the use of energy efficient stoves and lighting in developing countries. Paperblanks also supports the David Suzuki Foundation, which focuses on climate change through science education and policy making, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, which works to preserve wilderness, parks, and wildlife in Canada.

Paperblanks Handstitched Bamboo Pocket Journal on

Paperblanks Handstitched Bamboo Pocket Journal

Furthering their efforts of sustainability, Paperblanks uses paper that is made from sustainable forest pulp and is in the process of gaining FSC certification (a tough process for any manufacturer). Their paper is acid-free and the binder boards are made from 100% recycled material. Paperblanks also has a commitment to the well-being of their employees. The working conditions exceed international standards and the facilities are routinely updated to ensure safety and minimal pollution. Paperblanks encourages employees to minimize waste by reusing and recycling whenever possible, knowing that every bit counts.

Paperblanks’ strong belief in the written word as a fabric that holds our society together shines through in their social and environmental initiatives. Though their distinctive notebooks are reminiscent of the past, their actions will lead us to the future, and that is why we are so excited to bring you Paperblanks notebooks.

Join the Moleskine Community

18 Apr

Moleskine Brand Story on

Moleskine‘s ubiquitous little black notebook. You see them in coffee shops, nestled into purses and totes, and at the office and others’ homes. But what is it about Moleskine that galvanizes creatives and professionals across the world to identify with these black notebooks? We think the answer’s clear: Moleskine is synonymous with community.

Whether it connects you back to reality or piques your imagination, Moleskine is a source for inspiration. And the inspiration doesn’t just come from the blank pages and classic black covers of the notebooks themselves, it also manifests in the reality that hundreds, even thousands, of others are using their Moleskine notebook at the same time as you. It’s that underlying current of creative energy we believe makes Moleskine so appealing.

The Legend Explained

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook on

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook

The nameless little black notebook so many legendary artists and thinkers have used over the past two centuries was originally made by a French bookbinder whose name was lost to obscurity. The notebook was even spotted among such greats as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, and the man who ultimately coined the name ‘Moleskine’, Bruce Chatwin.

The original notebook faded over time and was last seen in the 1980′s, but was ultimately picked up by a small Milanese publisher named Modo&Modo and the brand name Moleskine was officially trademarked in 1997. A little less than a decade later, the trademark was acquired by an Italian company that took on the name for itself. Moleskine SRL now has the sole objective of bringing back to life the notebook that captured that minimalist style and quality that literally has centuries of experience. As they say, “To the initiated, there is no substitute.”

Ethical Commitments

Moleskine S.p.A. creates and sells FSC-certified products.  All Moleskine notebooks are made with acid-free paper, making them environmentally friendly. In addition, Moleskine produces their packaging in such a way as to keep waste to a minimum.  Much of it is designed to be reused, for example the B-sides of the paperbands which are printed with useful tools, or the wallet packaging, which can be turned into environmentally-friendly photo frames.

On the foundation front, Moleskine primarily supports lettera27, a non-profit working toward a universal right to education and access to knowledge around the world. However, Moleskine also does a phenomenal job supporting young creatives via myriad organizations.

Where they are really seen supporting the creative community is through MyMoleskine, a hub for Moleskine fans around the world to share their art, hacks, and general passion for the brand. Several projects such as the Cover Art series have risen from this meeting place to showcase artists’ work on Moleskine notebooks – a platform previously thought unattainable by the general creative public.

Moleskine Collections

Beginning with the tried and trusted classic design, Moleskine’s Classic Hard Cover Journals are known for their quintessential features: sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket.

Moleskine Lego Pocket Ruled Notebook on

Moleskine Lego Pocket Ruled Notebook

Moleskine’s Volant and Cahier series are also staples in the Moleskine arsenal, the first being perfect bound with bright covers and the latter side-stitched with craft covers. Moleskine has also taken a creative page out of their fans’ notebook and and expanded with their ever-increasing Limited Edition selection, through collaborations with LEGO, Star Wars, Le Petit Prince, Pac-Man, and their published book series “The Hand of …” They’ve even developed hobby-specific notebooks known as the Moleskine Passions Journals.

It’s hard to encapsulate all of Moleskine in the proverbial nutshell as they’ve also expanded their offerings with their fairly recent New Collections. The Moleskine New Collections are sets of striking pieces that focus on writing, travelling, and reading. Perfectly compatible with the legendary notebooks, they were designed by Giulio Iacchetti to incorporate signature Moleskine function and aesthetics: the elastic band, the rounded corners, the black color, the simple design. The offerings include bags, pencils, pens, computer cases, reading glasses, a rechargeable reading light and an e-reader stand.

Moleskine ultimately corresponds with travel, culture, imagination, and identity. Moleskine connects with individuals because it is a symbol of modern-day nomadism, a romantic notion turned into reality each day through every far-reaching fan. And we’ll admit, we’re all Moleskine fans.

Sketching with Stillman & Birn

11 Apr

Shop Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks on

For artists of all ilk, we’ve got you covered with Stillman & Birn’s premium sketchbooks. Capture your work for years to come on Stillman & Birn’s archival-grade sketchbook paper where you can let your creativity flow in a variety of media.

S&B History

Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardbound Sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5)

Stillman & Birn Alpha Hardbound Sketchbook 5.5 x 8.5

Founded in 1958 by Philip Birn, a preeminent Viennese bookbinder who pioneered the concept of the traditional hardbound sketchbook, Stillman & Birn inspires artists with their focus on high quality sketch paper. Upon cracking open a new Stillman & Birn sketchbook, you’ll instantly feel the difference in the weight and tooth of the paper. Acknowledging the importance of sketchbooks in art history, Stillman & Birn support the evolution of the sketchbook with “true art paper” as they call it, meaning it can withstand multiple erasures, it’s suitable for precision work, and has internal and surface sizing to provide durability.

With both hardbound and spiralbound sketchbooks, Stillman & Birn offers you a platform for expression in either dry or wet media with their sketchbooks. Use colored pencils, ballpoint or rollerball pens, fountain pens with wet ink, watercolor, pencil, and much more.

Sketching in the Present

Stillman & Birn Gamma Side Spiralbound Sketchbook (6 x 8)

Stillman & Birn Gamma Side Spiralbound Sketchbook 6 x 8

Re-established in December 2010, the new Stillman & Birn organization is led by Birn’s nephew, Michael Kalman and his partner Oscar Hernandez, both with many years of expertise in sketchbook manufacturing. Kalman and Hernandez have revived S&B’s original mantra of “Paper Matters … Feel the Difference!”

Whether you use your sketchbook to jot down ideas and doodles, or for recording your art pieces, Stillman & Birn puts the choice in your hands so you can pick the ideal sketchbook for your art: white or ivory paper, heavy (150 gsm) or extra heavy (270 gsm) weight paper, and the three options of vellum, rough, or plate paper.

Stillman & Birn’s 5 Premium Sketchbook Series:

  • Alpha Series – 100 lb./150 gsm – White – Vellum Surface
  • Beta Series – 180 lb./270 gsm – White – Multi-media Surface
  • Gamma Series – 100 lb./150 gsm – Ivory – Vellum Surface
  • Delta Series – 180 lb./270 gsm – Ivory – Multi-media Surface
  • Epsilon Series – 100 lb./150 gsm – White – Plate Surface (smooth)

Bound in the USA with heavy-duty binder boards that resist warping, each sketchbook stands out as unique and robust – perfect for artists who care about their paper quality. You can always be confident you’ve got the best, when you’ve got a Stillman & Birn sketchbook.