Leuchtturm1917 Notebooks, A Review - Part 2
C. Paper Grade
We will break this into 4 considerations, weight, color, smoothness, and ink bleed.
Leuchtturm paper is a traditional ivory tone, right around the same color as Moleskine paper, if slightly brighter.
Leuchtturm paper weight is rated at 80gsm (or g/m²). If you don't really know what that means, here is a helpful paper weight reference:
Common Paper GSM Weights:
- Newspaper - 40 to 50 gsm
- Printer Paper - 65 to 75 gsm
- Moleskine Paper - 70 gsm
- Magazine Cover - around 200 gsm
- Business Card - 300 to 400 gsm
It would be a shame to waste half the pages in your notebook, right? Well if you tend to write only on the right page, leaving the left (reverse) side blank, that's exactly what you're doing.
Double the life of your notebook and start filling every page. If (like mine) your writing style is a bit heavy-handed, can your Leuchtturm notebook can take all that ink?
We compared several pen types (and even a pencil), testing the amount of bleed and line impression that shows through the page.
- OHTO Horizon Needle Point Pen
- Pilot G-2 Gel Pen
- Retro 51 Tornado Roller Ball Pen
- Moleskine Roller Ball Click Pen
- Blackwing Palomino Graphite Pencil
- LAMY Fountain Ink Pen
Within the boxes, we drew a spiral shape on the other side of the paper, applying a decent amount of pressure and even included a filled circle at the center. Most, including the G-2 gel pen showed no ink bleeding through the paper. Even the LAMY fountain pen left the page reverse clean.
The Retro 51 Tornado was the only ink to bleed though, mostly within the center circle.
Do you prefer your paper to have more grip or slip? Good question, right?
A sketch artist or fountain pen user may prefer the look and feel of a rougher paper. That extra texture and tooth requires slow, deliberate strokes, rewarding patience with a subtly beautiful, stylized effect.
Smoother paper on the other hand is generally superior for capturing finer details and minimizing ink bleed. Premium inkjet paper is a prime example, providing a smooth surface for capturing sharp images.
Leuchtturm's paper stock is definitely on the smoother side, best for note taking, doodling, and bullet journaling. Artists and calligraphers will want to look elsewhere for paper suitable for fine art media.
D. Brand Name
In 1917 German lithographer Paul Koch started producing stationery, binders, and specialty albums in the town of Aschersleben, Germany. The small family business steadily grew into the Leuchtturm Gruppe, an international family of brands. The soul of the business remains true to its roots; high quality stationery, binders, albums, journals, and fine writing instruments.
The Leuchtturm1917 notebook draws on over a century of German bookbinding craftsmanship. The company remains family-run and today is headquartered just outside Hamburg, Germany.
E. Extra Features
The company's slogan is "Details Make All the Difference", and proves true with the small, but helpful extras Leuchtturm includes in their notebooks.
Table of Contents - Blank and ready to be filled by you for quick reference and easier organization of your most important notes.
Numbered Pages - A table of contents would be useless without a paginated reference, so all 251 pages are clearly, but unobtrusively, numbered.
Bound-In Ribbon Bookmarks - Not just one, but two woven bookmarks are permanently bound into the notebook's binding. As a nice touch, one is solid and the other striped, both matching the notebook's cover color.
Thread-Bound Construction - Pages are sewn together into 16 signatures, as opposed to glued, allowing the notebook to lay flat when open.
Rear Inner Storage Pocket - A nice touch for stashing loose notes, business cards, stickies, etc.
Acid-Free Archival Paper - This means the pages won't yellow or fade easily, with increased compatibility with a variety of ink types.
Other Extras - Pages 229-250 are perforated for easy sharing. Leuchtturm includes a sheet of sticker labels for easily identifying your notebooks, including some specially designed stickers to fit the notebook's spine.
Curious about color offerings? Check out this post.