Leuchtturm1917 Details make all the difference.

5 Reasons To Use A Leuchtturm1917 Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 Details make all the difference.

Notebooks are all the same... aren't they? Well, details make all the difference.

Leuchtturm1917 hit the nail on the head with their motto. The details do make all the difference, especially when you’re choosing which notebook to make part of your everyday life. It’s something that will be your partner for a good amount of time, which is why these 5 small tweaks and additions in these Leuchtturm books make them a good candidate.

1. Colours

When it comes to choosing a colour, the Germans have made this a most difficult decision. They have a number of bright, vivid colours that makes it hard to choose just one. My personal favourite is the Berry, looks delicious enough to eat! I did have to give in and get my other close favourites – Emerald and Anthracite Grey.

It also really helps to keep my notes organised, I know which one to take to work, which one I use at home and, most importantly, where to I keep my doodles 🙂

2. Numbered Pages

It’s surprising to look at another notebook after using a Leuchtturm for so long, you realise that many notebooks these days don’t bother with page numbers. It seems like such an incredibly obvious and useful feature you wonder how you could go back to living without them.

3. Indexing

Hand in hand with the numbered pages comes the master key to all of the knowledge within… the index page. Located in the first few pages of the book it lets you note down specific page numbers and a heading, very handy to help look things up in your own books.

Personally it’s helpful to track down certain pages where I have written down some important information or something I need fairly quick access to like a favourite recipe or long boring (but important) processes at work I need to remember.

4. Twin Bookmarks

At first you might think one bookmark ribbon is plenty useful iteself, I wouldn’t disagree with you, but now throw in a second and I find myself using it just as much as the other.

Leuchtturm even went to the trouble of colouring the second marker with a striped pattern to not only look pretty but has the practical function of differentiating between them.

5. Paper

There’s nothing more important in a notebook than the paper. This is the meat of the book, the reason you got it in the first place to store your valuable thoughts and ideas. The Leuchtturm notebook paper works a real treat with my loadout. Not much ghosting or feathering with my largest everyday pen which is a Broad Italic Franklin Christoph.

Diamine Earl Grey Review - Leuchtturm
Diamine Earl Grey

Those are some of the top reasons why I love my Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. If you’re unsure about which notebook you’d like to go for then we’ve put two favourites head to head – Leuchtturm vs Rhodiarama.

Just remember to keep writing and don’t let your notes sit idle. The most important part to enjoy is the time spent creating them 🙂

World Calligraphy Day 2017 script

Bureau Does… World Calligraphy Day 2017!

World Calligraphy Day 2017 script
Calligraphy kindly written by Satwinder Sehmi who will be hosting a Calligraphy Workshop at this years Gloucester History Festival.

It's World Calligraphy Day today! We get stuck in and have a go from a beginner's stand point and show what a little practice can do 🙂

In order to prepare for World Calligraphy Day we’ve spent the past week equipping ourselves with calligraphy nibs and having a go at some fancy writing. We’re starting pretty much from no skill so don’t expect to see perfection! Here we’d like to show what we got up to and show off what even the most novice of writers can do with a little spare time.

First of all we needed some sort of script to practise with. We’ve had a sample pack of Introduction to Calligraphy Lettering enjoying a lovely extended break at the bottom or our drawers for a while now so today was the perfect excuse to dig it back up. It has a good selection of different font faces printed on large card to copy and trace from with a stroke by stroke guide to get you started.

World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
Faisal keeping the straight and narrow, practising through the alphabet with the grids in the Clairefontaine Handwriting books.

Each font has a recommended nib to suit the stroke styles. In our case, the Gothic type fonts need a wide flat nib so we went with a 1.9mm on the Lamy Joy Calligraphy and a very fat 3mm nib on a dip pen.

For paper, the usual suspect – Rhodia pads. With the plain sheets, we printed slanting lines to help keep our form. We also used some of the Clairefontaine handwriting books as they have some nice grids and lines to help space out your letters and strokes. While we were practising, we used Lamy inks, save the exotic stuff (read: expensive inks) for later!

World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
Emma's obsession over getting "the one" b

The last ingredient is time and patience! Find a relaxing quiet place, sit comfortably at your desk and keep breathing. Have your paper angled so you can keep the entire length of your writing arm resting on the table. Remember not to rush… it is all about keeping a slow and steady pace.

Pause for a moment to check your strokes against the template and mentally note what you can improve on in your next go. Even after just a couple of lines of practising you can really notice the difference between your first few attempts and the last.

World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
After all that hard work, Emma has some words strung together!
World Calligraphy Day 2017 practice
Mishka perfecting her Gothic lettering, looking good!

We’d love to see what you guys have been writing too! World Calligraphy Day is all about trying new things and sharing what you’ve done. If you’d like to join in, send us an email or post some good old mail (address details here) of any calligraphy you’ve been doing, even just your practise sheets or scrawlings on scrap paper. We’ll show them all off in a follow up post!

If you’re interested, we’ve gathered up a small collection of items we think a budding calligrapher may want to start with, you can browse them here.

J Herbin Annniversary 1670 bottles

What’s Next For J. Herbin Anniversary Ink?

J Herbin Annniversary 1670 bottles

We have a quick look back at the golden lineage of J. Herbin Anniversary Inks and their beautiful shimmers. What do you think will be next?

In the Beginning

In the beginning, the humble 1670 Anniversary Inks started with a single incarnation called Hematite Red. This was one of their first inks to introduce a gold like reflection in the ink itself to add some magic to your writing. Although a brilliant red with a fantastic sheen, it never really garnered much critical acclaim but did start a small following. Not sure why, it is still a beautiful ink anyday.

(left: old formula, right: current formula)

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Hematite Red old
J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Hematite Red new

J. Herbin went back to chemistry lab and had re-formulated the ink with real gold particles and came back with the ground breaking Ocean Blue. People started noticing that this was a serious line with a luxiourious look. Hematite Red was reformulated the same way and came back with a big revival. This will go down as a defining moment in the history books that helped define the gold/silver particle ink craze we have grown accustom to. With the foundations now set in place we were eager for the next.

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Ocean Blue

All expectations flew out the window when Stormy Grey arrived at the scene. The build up in anticipation for this was on cloud nine and somehow when the ink was released we reached cloud ten. Oh boy did people go bananas for it. A classy look of gold shimmering upon a dark grey canvas. You could just about get away with it on office paperwork 🙂

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Stormy Grey

You would think the story would have reached a climax but the 1670s had a super secret weapon for the next release. Emerald of Chivor, or as I refer to it as the Holy One. Our beliefs of gold and sheen shaken to the core by the unfound beauty that had been revealed to us. There will not be another ink like this in our generation. We have witnessed peak ink.

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Emerald Of Chivor

Now surely we must be on the ink plateau, it can’t get better can it? No, nothing will ever come close to the Holy One, but among the rest Caroube De Chypre holds it’s own as a pleasant golden brown. Even if for it’s unfortunate choice of picturing on the box…

J Herbin Anniversary 1670 Caroube Chypre

With the Famous Five now set firmly in stone, that leaves us with a big question, what’s next? Will they be able to recreate another Emerald Of Chivor? What do you think will be next?

Oh and if you’d like to own one of your very own bottles, you can the get inks here: J. Herbin Anniversary Inks.
Swabs were done on Tomoe River paper, 68gsm, white found in the Taroko Design notebooks.

P.S. Remember to keep those pens clean to keep the gold flowing!

Lamy Nib family

Q&A: What Is The Choice Of Lamy Fountain Pen Nibs

Lamy Nib family

Lamy Nibs - A Quick Introduction

Lamy is a staple across the fountain pen universe. They cover a range of writing instruments from uses with school children who are just starting out, to the die hard of adult stationery addicts. As such, they have a good range of various styles of nibs for all.

In the main Lamy Z50 nib family we have 4 differing sizes: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad. These steel nibs are available in either Polished or Black.

There is also the Left Hand and a beginner nib labelled with an “A” for the German word Anfänger, aptly meaning beginner. These are similar to the Medium size.

For the more creative, Lamy offer the Joy calligraphy pens which carry italic Z50 nibs in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm.

Spot the difference (from left to right: Z50, Z53, Z52)

The Lamy LX pens come with the fancy Z52 steel nibs which have mirroring EF, F, M and B sizes as per the normal Z50 range. These have a black coating with laser etched detailing. The widths are similar but as you get up to the M size you start to notice a bit of line variation between vertical and horizontal strokes with the B size giving way to a good difference.
These fit all other Lamy pens using the Z50 nib.

With the release of Lamy Aion fountain pens, the Z53 nibs were launched. These make a departure in design from the Z50/Z52 with a new wing shape. The new construction responds more to pressure. A lighter touch is needed to acheive the same stroke width as the Z50/Z52 so writing with a bit of pressure has a boldening effect.
The M and B sizes have similar levels of line variation as their counterparts from the Z52 range but applying pressure can exaggerate this further.
Lamy have managed to keep the compatability here too so the Z53 can be used throughout their range just as the original Z50.

Nib Width Comparison

Lamy Standard Z50 Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Calligraphy Z50 Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z52 'LX' Nibs

Lamy Z53 'Aion' Nibs

Where to start?

If you’re new to fountain pens we always recommend going middle of the road and trying the medium Z50 nib. They are a good all rounder, not too thick and not too thin. Once you’re a bit more in tune with your writing style then you can decide if you would prefer going with the Broad, Fine or even Extra Fine.

The Z53 nibs are great if you like writing with a bolder, juicier line. The medium and broad have good line variation and the slight spring of the nib lets you go even wider when needed. Excellent for those looking for something approaching the calligraphy nibs.

For those who are learning how to pick up and write for the first time, Lamy have the A nib which is similar in width to the Medium nib. Generally these are for young children so they don’t feel discouraged with their initial attempts at writing with a fountain pen. They are made stiffer and have a more rounded tip to reduce skipping if held at an awkward angle.

The Left Hand nib is for, you guessed, the left handed crowd. It is intended to have a similar width as the Medium nib and which allows writing for the particular way the pen meets the paper when using the opposing hand.

Line Variation of Lamy Joy Nibs

Lamy Nib comparison test

For more creative writing, Lamy’s Joy pens come with italic nibs in 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm sizes. If you’re stuck deciding, then it’s always better to go straight into the deep end first with the widest offering, the 1.9 is just a great deal of fun! If it is too much then you’ll have a better idea of how much to come down than if you do it the other way.

These Italic shaped nibs give a very nice line variation when holding the pen with the nib at a 45 degree slant, you can see the results of this in the photo above. At one extreme you get a very fine line and then coming down the other way is the full width of the nib at work.

The fantastic thing about it all is that all these Lamy nibs are interchangable so if you decide to switch one way or the other as you progress or want to change it up, it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new pen!

Lamy Standard Z50 Nib

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z50 Calligraphy Nib

Lamy Nib comparison test

Lamy Z52 'LX' Nibs

Lamy Z53 'Aion' Nibs

Alongside the standard nibs, the more premium pens (i.e. Lamy 2000, Lamy Dialog etc.) have a 14 ct. gold nibs with a platinum coating. They still have the same scale between the EF and B but also introduce the Double Broad (BB) and Oblique nibs (from M to BB).

Once we have had a chance to play around with these then this article will be updated.

Diamine Shimmer Ink swatch zipline

This is not a review…

Diamine colour wheel

This is what ‘happens’ behind the scenes working with Mishka…

This happens far too often these days. As soon as Mishka gets a whiff of a new ink I have to hide myself at my desk, burying myself under work for fear of her shrieking excitement raining down upon me. As my ears recover from the other end of the office, I peek out foolishly from behind my monitor and witness her eyes lock on to mine with unexplainable joy. Her hands pointing to an opened package on her desk which, in her mind, is some sort of long lost treasure. I bat her glare away with a mention of being occupied with real work and escape her for the rest of the day.

However, that does not stop the passive aggressive message I find perched on my keyboard the next morning. On closer inspection, to my woe, it is actually an envelope.


Inside the envelope are no further messages but instead a collection of punched tags blotched with the aforementioned ink of yesterday. I sprawl them out on my desk to see what I have been burdened with. The Diamine “shimmering inks” collection. They lay still and silent, sparkling back at me in the sharp sunlight with contempt. This needed to be dealt with before it got out of hand.

I thought the best way to handle these pests would be to tie them up and hang them. They look, dare I say, peaceful and content as they linger still and motionless.

diamine shimmerink

Reluctantly, I dragged myself and this chain gang to the photo booth for a quick shoot which would last a good length of my day. There’s just something satisfying about putting yourself through this pain which I cannot explain. Maybe I just have masochistic tendencies.

With that I’m done with this lot, Mishka gleefully takes back her little labels as I get back to my desk and attempt something more meaningful with my work day.

Faisal  (^_^)

Editorial: Faisal has done a terrific job with the photos! Mishka (^_~)