This will be my last summary post regarding the National Stationery Show and then we will be back to office supply reviews, and as I said before I do still plan on doing individual reviews of products that I saw there once they become available. This last post covers some of the products from familiar names that held some surprises for me when I visited their booths in person.
I have had an on and off fascination with the Online brand of pens, particularly the one pictured above which is the Business Line. When I see this pen on the various sites that I shop at for pens, such as Goldspot, I can never really tell if it seems like a good quality pen or not. Having now officially seen one of these pens in person at the show, Ive completely committed to liking this pen…a lot.
The rep Online rep who showed me around their booth was incredibly nice, he gave me a full walk through of EVERY pen in their line, and even showed me individual cases and display cases for them knowing full well that I was not some major buyer, just a guy with a blog about office supplies. He was really proud of these pens, and it was obvious…he pointed out the small details and the various things that showed the thought and quality that goes into these pens. Normally Im not too thrilled with the almost throwaway quality boxes and cases that some pens come with, but the Online cases are even a step above the rest in terms of quality.
So back to the pen. This pen has such a sturdy, strong, and well made feel to it, its hard to put into words. As soon as I had a chance to hold it in my hand I knew that at some point Id probably be buying this thing. I really like the way that the entire black portion of the pen acts as the cap, sliding over nearly the entire body of the pen…if you have every worried about the cap coming off while being posted, this pen will solve that issue for you. The rubberized grip and hefty feel just make this a pen that I must have at some point. I didnt get a chance to write with it, but based on the feel alone, I know Ill enjoy it. The only thing I dont like is the fact that it only takes cartridges, however I think I can get past that, or I can just buy the roller ball version.
Also, dont let my fascination with this one pen let you lose sight of the fact that they have an entire line of other pens to check out that have the same great design and quality behind them.
Jac Zagoory is a very talented designer who makes those unique pen holders that you have probably seen at many of the usual pen stores, including one of my favorites (of course) Goldspot. I’ve always wondered about these pen holders, the designs are in fact very unique, and the art itself is very well done, however I like a few other people I have spoken with have looked at the price and thought, “well that is a little expensive” and moved on. Similar to the pens I discussed before, all it took was having the opportunity to hold some of his pens and pen holders in my hands and see them up close and I was totally sold.
The above picture showcases the creativity and quality that you get with products from Jac Zagoory, Im biased with this one though as it is by far my favorite pen holder in his collection. When I met Jac at the show, he was very enthusiastic about his designs and he spoke very passionately about the focus on quality that goes into all of his products. Sometimes when I know exactly who I am buying from it makes me feel a lot better about spending the money, and Jac is no exception to that rule.
A quick look at The Star Spangled Banner pen above again gives you some insight into the creative mind of Mr. Zagoory. He explained to me that his inspiration for this pen came from a politician who shockingly couldnt remember the words to The Star Spangled Banner. Again, all of his work is quite interesting, and he seems like a person that totally stands behind his product which means a lot to me when I am spending my hard earned money. Great work by Jac, and it was a pleasure meeting such an interesting person.
Last but not least was my discovery at the Exaclair booth where I saw the line of Clairefontaine Basics for the first time. Previously these only came in the beige color which is why I probably never noticed them before, but they have now added multiple colors to this line. I tend to like more simple things but that are done very well, which is why I really like these. You get the high quality Clairefontaine paper, and in addition to that, the heavy textured stock used for the covers of these notebooks is really nice. It is also nice to see that these come in both cloth and spiral bindings so you have some variety here.
In addition to the great products that Exaclair had on display such as the Cllairefontaine Basics and the Rhodia Webnotebooks pictured above, it was also great to finally get to meet Karen from The Quo Vadis Blog who is always so responsive and helpful to customer inquiries and has in the past been kind enough to provide sample products for me and other bloggers to review. I have been using one of these for lots of my ink reviews and not only is the paper fantastic, but the covers on these are great. They have a very smooth and rubberized feel, which makes them pretty durable and very clean and neat looking. One of my favorite bloggers, Chris at the Amateur Economist (@speedmaster on Twitter) did a review of the Rhodia Webnotebook on his site, which is basically like GQ Magazine, but 100 times better, and updated daily.
As I said, thats it for my summaries from the 2009 National Stationery Show, and now its back to office supply reviews, and the usual stuff. I hope that these posts have been informative, and hopefully Ill be able to cover the 2010 National Stationery Show.