For the second year in a row, I was really impressed by the setup and products at the Rustico booth at the National Stationery Show. This is the first time I’m reviewing one of their products though, because their Artifact Leather Pocket Notebook (via the Rustico site) is honestly just awesome!
I’ve never seen a leather pocket notebook like this, and the fact that its also some very nice leather is what makes it so awesome. The front and back cover is one piece of top grain leather, which is basically the second highest quality piece of leather you can get, next to top grain. If you want the full explanation of different types of leather, check out the Saddleback Leather site where there is a great video as well as some detailed explanations and pictures. Definitely worth a read if you are in the market for ANYTHING made of leather, be it a chair, bag, belt, or notebook. The notebook itself has that luxurious look, feel, AND smell of great leather.
Like many pocket notebooks, the Rustico Artifact leather pocket notebook is staple bound, but with only two staples instead of three. This certainly doesn’t seem like it creates any issues in terms of the construction quality though, so I’m not sure its a big deal.
Just like the front of the notebook where the name “Artifact” is stamped into the leather, the back cover has some additional branding / language there. I wanted to share this picture though just because I liked how the notebook is starting to get some nicks and scratches in it from carrying it around. I had a close call that turned out to be no big deal at all with this, which totally took me by surprise too. While I was filling a fountain pen I inadvertently splashed a good amount of ink onto the front cover. Of course this happened before I took any pictures for the site, so I was pretty annoyed that I had ruined this awesome notebook before getting to photograph it. Much to my surprise though, a quick firm wipe with a wet paper towel removed the ink completely and you cant even tell it was there. Not sure how or why this is the case, but I was thrilled that it didn’t permanently stain this great looking leather notebook.
Rustico Artifact Notebook Writing Sample:
I’ll admit, it actually pained me to write in this notebook, thats how much I like it. I’ve had a few other notebooks like this before where I thought that they were so awesome and amazing looking that I didn’t want to actually write in them. I had to remind myself that I write an office supply blog with reviews about office supplies, so I sucked it up and put pen to paper and started writing. I got pretty nice results on this dot grid cream colored paper. Ballpoint and gel ink pens worked flawlessly, as did the Pilot Precise V5 liquid ink pen. The true test for any paper is always the fountain pen, and while my Pelikan M805 Stressemann with Pelikan Edelstein Topaz ink showed some VERY minor hints of feathering, it also performed fairly well in the writing test.
The only place where fountain pen writing in the Rustico Artifact leather pocket notebook became an issue was when it comes to show through on the back of the page. Generally even the most minor amount of show through is a nuisance for me, and in this case you can see that there is a fairly strong showing of ink coming through the back of the page. It isn’t a deal breaker for me, but it definitely is frustrating not being able to use the back of each page. For that reason I’m definitely sticking to other forms of pens for this notebook so I can enjoy it even longer.
This notebook definitely has that “special” feel to it where it would make a great gift or add on gift for someone that appreciates good stationery. If you are looking to add a little something extra to a graduation or Fathers Day gift, or if you just want a really nice leather pocket notebook for a special occasion, the Artifact Leather Pocket Notebook (via Rustico) gets a HUGE thumbs up vote from me.