ODE TO BOB SLATE: Who makes the perfect notebook?

It is NOT easy to find the perfect notebook. I’ve gone through several brands bought from several different continents and I have to tell you, I’m still hunting. I just spent a good hour a Bob Slate on Thursday, and although I walked away with a few options, I’m still dreaming of the day that I find that *perfect* notebook. (BTW, does anyone know who Bob Slate actually was?)

When I was in elementary school, my favorite notebooks were the classic composition notebooks. In high school and college, I favored college ruled legal pads. Once in architecture school, it was at first the classic black 8.5×11″ hardbound black sketchbook, which after a few years of getting craftier and craftier, I switched over to making my own ringbond sketchbooks with my trusty Ibico binding machine and leftover Strathmore.

In between, on my travels, I’ve managed to collect a hodge-podge of notebooks from Asia and Europe (Campus, Rhodia, Muji, Clairefontaine among others) and I’ve got to say, nothing seems to hit the mark.

So, in honor of the start of school, as we all get our ducks in a row, here’s the checklist for my fantasy notebook:

1) A5 

2) Dot Grid (@5 mil intervals, please!)

3) Paper like a Rhodia or Clairefontaine, without the ugly covers and wonky staple binding.

4) Tape binding  and NOT a perfect bound (tape helps it lie flat and let you fold it in half.  Backwards. Which makes note taking during reviews and on-the-fly sketching all the easier)

5) Neutral Cover or mild geometric cover. No wildlife, unicorns, flowers, or anything with the word “journal” written/embossed on it.

6) 96 – 144 pages. Any less and it’s too floppy. Any more and it’s too stiff.

7) +/- $7.50 in price.

So, my question to you is: What is your dream sketchbook/notebook set-up? Have you actually found yours? If so, let us know as we gear up for a spring Keller Gallery show featuring the A:Log. Ebbe, Rich, and Paul, three architecture grad students at Columbia, took it upon themselves to design and produce the perfect sketchbook. I’ve attached a link to their kickstarter campaign below.

What is your perfect notebook? The founders of A:Log are proposing a combo design guide (think min-graphic standards) and dot-grid notebook.

What is your perfect notebook? The founders of A:Log are proposing a combo design guide (think min-graphic standards) and dot-grid notebook.

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