I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled over these EcoQua Pocket Notebooks by Fabriano on Amazon, but it was completely random and I was not actively looking for any new notebooks at the time. Something about the bright colored covers and the “Made in Italy” designation caught my eye though and I ended up with a package of these in my shopping cart before I knew it.
These 3.5 inch by 5.5 inch pocket notebooks come in a variety of colors, but the package I picked up here were the vibrant red, orange, yellow, and green which they dubbed as the “warm colors” package. There is also a “cool colors” package listed at Amazon that is made up of black, stone, navy, and white covers, although for the life of me I don’t see a white cover in the picture and could swear I see a purple one. Maybe you have better eyes than I do, or if you order a set can let us know what you find in that color assortment. Regardless of the color of the covers, these notebooks come in a dot grid ruled format with 32 pages of chlorine and acid free paper. The last 16 of the 32 pages in each notebook are also perforated for easy removal, and as you can see in the photo above they are bound in the center with two staples.
The only branding that you will find on these Fabriano EcoQua pocket notebooks is on the bottom of the back cover where the brand name and “Made in Italy” appears. You can’t tell from the close up photo here, but there is also a slight texture to the card stock covers that gives them a little bit of character and the color carries over onto the inside of the covers as well.
EcoQua Pocket Notebooks Writing Sample:
The dot grid ruling is not my favorite and I still struggle a bit with getting into a groove while writing in them, but the 85 gsm soft white paper with grey dots is definitely easy on the eyes and serves nicely as a contrast to the inks that I selected for my writing sample. Each fountain pen and ink combination that I used performed nicely on this paper with no noticeable spread or feathering and the surface of the paper offered a very subtle toothy response while writing.
Clicking on the photo above to get a closer look reveals that there is definitely a noticeable amount of show through when fountain pen ink is laid down on this paper. Its a bit much for my taste although there is no bleeding so for those of you that don’t mind the show through I’d say its passable in that department.
One unfortunate thing I noticed about the paper in these is that on the very first and last page of each notebook, there was a section of stray marks that were slightly camouflaged by the dot grid ruling but clearly did not belong there. Scratching at them with my finger nail seemed as if it was going to get rid of them, but all it really did was smear them a little bit. I’m not sure where this comes from because its definitely a darker black, and not the grey that makes up the dots, nor does it appear to be the silver that is used for the branding on the back cover. As with all of the reviews we do here, its usually a pretty small sample size we look at so its really only one package of four notebooks and on two pages of each notebook. This could be an anomaly for all I know and it doesn’t exactly ruin the notebook by any means but it is definitely worth pointing out here as its probably the only really minor flaw with an otherwise nice pocket notebook.
EcoQua Pocket Notebooks are what I would consider borderline fountain pen friendly depending on your tolerance for show through, while the front of the paper definitely holds fountain pen inks well. Keep in mind though that hose of you that use darker inks and wider nibs might also experience more noticeable show through than displayed here in the writing samples. You can also check out The Well Appointed Desk and Inktronics for their take on the paper in other formats of the EcoQua brand notebook. If you think these are for you, Amazon has the warm colors and cool colors available, and if you do pick up a pack or two for yourself it would be great to hear your feedback regarding the stray marks on the end pages as well as getting some clarification on the exact color palate of the cool colors version.