I almost forgot I had this Pantone Universe A5 notebook that I picked up from Maido in San Francisco a few months ago. Being a big fan of most things orange, it was hard to pass this one up when I saw it, and I thought Id make this review a little fun by using only orange pens and ink since I do have a good variety of them.
The bright orange color of this notebook, also referred to as “flame orange” on the back cover, really makes this it stand out from the crowd, so if you are looking for a notebook to keep important information in that you can find easily, this might be a good candidate. I particularly like the mix of the bright orange along with the subtle “Pantone Universe” logo that is almost like a watermark that can only be seen at certain angles. Additionally, the notebook also has the familiar Pantone swatch of color surrounded by a white border, familiar if you have ever dealt with publishing or printing I should say.
The back side of the notebook carries the familiar branding, along with the previously mentioned “Flame Orange” color label, it’s also described as “juicy, exotic, and friendly” which I guess I can buy. Speaking of buying, the Pantone Universe store has some other stationery and office supplies available for you to buy…no affiliation here. Looking at the photos here, it could just be my monitor, but the color definitely is not as bright as it is in person.
So like I said, I thought it would be fun to do all of the writing samples for this review using all of the orange ink and pens that I have. This inks and pens included here are a variety of Uniball Signos, a Sharpie Pen, a Pentel Slicci, a Papermate Liquid Flair, a regular Sharpie Permanent marker, and last but not least, some J. Herbin Orange Indien fountain pen ink. All of the inks wrote very nicely on the paper, none of them showed any tendency to bleed (except the Sharpie permanent marker) or feather, and none of them showed through the paper at all, again, excluding the Sharpie marker. I really didnt expect the Sharpie marker to perform any differently here, I really just used it because it was orange, but they really arent intended for writing on normal paper like this, so it may not have been a fair test for the marker or the paper.
The paper in the Pantone Universe A5 notebook was very nice to write on, all the pens, including even the smallest .18mm Signo bit wrote very smoothly. I think the two best pens on the paper were probably the Sharpie Pen, and the Uniball Signo, although the J. Herbin Orange Indien in my Lamy Studio was also pretty nice. The one thing I dont really like about this notebook is the style of the cover. I dont like that in order to really open this up and do some serious writing, you almost have to crease the card stock cover to get it to stay open. Now this is to be expected with this type of design and binding, so it’s not as if there is any manufacturing flaw, it’s just the reality with a notebook designed like this, which I knew when I was buying it. Overall, I just liked the bright orange color enough to know that it would compensate for the cover issue. This is a nice little notebook that has some serious eye-catching design to it. If you want to set yourself apart with some unique office supplies, this nice bright and noticeable notebook is a great option.