what is the best album cover of all time?

What Is The Best Album Cover Of All Time?

what is the best album cover of all time?

What makes a classic album cover?

Inspired by the new Blackwing pencil, we got to thinking about vinyl and all our old albums languishing in the loft. How fondly we remembered the crackle of the stylus, the paper sleeves and those rectangular black cleaning things. But most of all we remembered the covers. And so we wondered what was the best album cover of all time?

When CDs came along the artwork seemed a lot less important and now with Spotify I hardly notice it at all. But once they were an integral part of the experience, something to be studied and cherished, almost as much as the music. But which were the best examples? We discussed this in the office and I looked through my dusty boxes for inspiration but it turns out to be a lot harder than I thought to find the best three.

What makes a classic cover? Is Abbey Road a classic cover because it is a great piece of design? Or is it great because it has become a cultural icon over time? Much copied and mimicked? The more I looked at covers the more I couldn’t decide what made a good cover. Dark Side of the Moon seems to appear in most lists of great covers but to my mind it is rather boring though again, a cultural icon now. I preferred Pink Floyd’s cover for Animals with the large inflatable pig flown over Battersea Power Station. Apart from it being a great photo, the pig apparently escaped and caused havoc at Heathrow, resulting in cancelled flights and eventually upsetting a Kent farmer after it landed in his field and frightened his cows.

Which brings me to the conclusion that what I like is a good story and so my choice of the best albums covers is based on that. Feel free to disagree and if you have your alternative best three please comment below.

My best three (or four) record covers of all time

Blue Monday – New Order

The design on this 12” single was made to resemble a 5¼” floppy disc, cutting-edge technology for 1983, and the cover die-cut to resemble the sleeves they were stored in. There was no text but a colour code which, if decoded, stated the title and band and other info.

The story goes that manager Tony Wilson, having been told it would lose money for each sale due to its high cost to produce, went ahead anyway as he liked it and thought it wouldn’t sell anyway. It did of course go on to be the best-selling 12” ever ensuring Factory Records made no money from it and, some time later, went bust. Not sure how accurate it really is but it is a story we love and often quote here in the office….

New Order Blue Monday

Metal Box - PiL

Ever the innovators, the original design for this album cover was to be made from sandpaper so as to damage any other albums placed on the shelf next to it, your own included – shades of Banksy and his picture shredding surely? In the end they settled on a cannister which contained three 45rpm discs, deliberately tricky to remove, easy to scratch in the process and needing regular turning and changing to get through all the tracks. Apparently it rolled off the record store shelves too. Completely brilliant.

PiL Public Image Limited Metal Box

God Save the Queen/Never Mind the Bollocks – Sex Pistols

The 7” single cover looks like a subversive postage stamp and was very much frowned upon in its day – the silver Jubilee year. I still have my copy purchased as an entranced 12 year old which my mother raised her eyebrows at and said “I’m not sure I approve of you having that”. Which made me very happy of course. The ransom note style of cut-out lettering came from the have-a-go culture of punk. In the days when Letraset transfer lettering was a common solution for designers, it was simply easier and cheaper to not bother and cut out letters from newspapers and magazines.

Their subsequent album Never Mind the Bollocks landed them in a courtroom after a policewoman decided to arrest the manager of a Virgin store over the album window display on obscenity charges. In court they were defended by John Mortimer, he of Rumpole of the Bailey fame, who argued successfully that since the Guardian and Standard had printed the word in their coverage and not been arrested, it was discrimination. Those were the days.

Sex Pistols God Save The Queen
Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks
Fountain pen ink cartridges

Fountain pen ink cartridge guide

Fountain pen ink cartridges

Let's talk about cartridges...

We love to get people into fountain pens (and ink), so I have decided to come up with something that would answer some basic questions about ink cartridges.

Cartridges are fountain pen refills and contain fountain pen ink. Most of the fountain pens which we sell will come with one. There are currently around 100 different colours available from 6 manufacturers in stock. Choosing the right cartridge can be tricky…

Compatibility - do you have the right cartridge?

Fountain pen ink cartridge size

Not all cartridges are the same, so let’s dive into the compatibility first.

There are generally 2 kinds of cartridges: International standard and proprietary.

Proprietary cartridges are made by brands (for example Lamy) and will fit only their own pens. They are incompatible with pens from other brands. If your pen is made by one of the brands listed below you will need a cartridge made by the same brand:

Aurora, Cross, Lamy, Namiki, Parker, Pilot (some) Platinum, Sailor, Sheaffer, Waterman (some).

International standard cartridges do fit a lot of fountain pen brands – the ones which we stock are: Caran d’Ache, J Herbin, Kaweco, Pilot and Viking.

Here is a fairly long list of other fountain pen brands that use International short cartridges: Bexley, Centropen, Conklin, Delta, Diplomat, DuPont, Edison, Faber-Castell, Inoxcrom, Italix, J Herbin, Kaweco, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Ohto, Omas, Online, Pelikan, Pilot (some), Porsche, Recife, Retro51, Rotring, Schmidt, Schneider, Sigma, Stabilo, Stipula, Super5, Tombow, Viking, Visconti, Waterman (some), Yard-O-Led.

To make this a little bit complicated International cartridges come in long or short version. As a general rule short cartridges will fit all pens which take international cartridges. There are pens which will fit one long or two short cartridges at the same time – one in use and one spare in the barrel.

We have the pen and correct cartridge. Next up - how to install one...

Insert fountain pen ink cartridge

Here is how to install a fountain pen cartridge. If the pen parts scare you check out our anatomy blog posts of Lamy Safari & J Herbin pen 🙂

  1.  Disassemble the pen by taking the cap off and unscrew the pen barrel.
  2.  Place the cartridge on the desk, lip (the part with little ball) facing up.
  3.  Support the cartridge in one hand and push the front piece of the pen (grip, nib facing upwards) on the cartridge until it gets pierced.
  4. Reassemble the pen. Nib should be pointing downwards.
  5. Wait for the capillary action to do the job of distributing ink. You can also gently tap the nib on paper until you see ink coming out.
  6. Pen is ready to write 🙂

Please note there are different ways of doing this (let us know in comments what works for you) – some pen bodies allow you to insert the cartridge inside and screwed the barrel back on which pops the cartridge too. You can also just push the cartridge into the front part of the pen…

We also recommend to clean your pen before installing a new cartridge – especially if you plan to use a different ink.

If it doesn't fit...

  • Have a look inside the barrel. Most pens (Kaweco) come with the cartridge inside the pen.
  • Some manufacturers put a blunt cartridge/spacer in the pen barrel to prevent cartridges from rattling around during shipping. These items may become stuck inside the pen if you try to install a cartridge without removing them. Check for cartridges and spacers (Lamy uses paper ring) in a new pen by unscrewing the barrel and giving it a firm tap to dislodge anything that’s inside.

Monteverde – belongs to a special category because their cartridges actually work 2 ways. It is a double sided cartridge which can fit Lamy pens (wider end) or pens which take International standard long cartridges (slimmer end). If it doesn’t fit try using the other end 🙂

Cartridge or converter?

That is a very good question.

Converters do open the doors to the world of ink, so you can use any ink you like. There are more colour options and brands to choose from. It is also more economical and environmentally friendly. We blogged about the price of fountain pen ink price here…

Cartridges are convenient, portable, clean, easy to use. You can take a few spares with you when you travel and don’t ever have to worry about them leaking. If you get a syringe and blunt needle you can even refill them (couple of times).

Cartridges have less ink capacity than other filling systems. Personally I don’t mind it because I like changing colours a lot 🙂 Anyway, here is a quick info about the capacity of cartridges. I measured what I could and researched the rest. Please bear in mind that the cartridges are not  completely filled, there is a small air bubble so there is a slight variance in capacity.

Sheaffer 1.5ml
Parker 1.4 - 1.5ml
International standard long 1.2 - 1.45ml
Lamy T10 1.1 - 1.3ml
Sheaffer slim 1.2ml
Monteverde 1.1 - 1.2ml
Platinum 1.1ml
Pilot/Namiki 0.9ml
Cross - 0.8ml
International standard short 0.6 - 0.8ml
Blackwing Volumes 16.2

The ultimate guide to Blackwing Volumes

Blackwing Volumes

Celebrating a creative culture

Blackwing pencils have inspired a cult following and they are a dream to write with – Half the pressure, twice the speedᅠ- is the brand’s motto.

At first the number 602 was the name of the pencil after pencil 601 and before pencil 603. Over time however, as the following grew the 602 became a rockstar of graphite world. An icon that has been a part of creating Bugs Bunny, the Looney Tunes and many more.

“Over time, 602 has become a number with stories to tell…  What other numbers have stories to tell?” ~Blackwing (see more here)

The Blackwing Volumes are special editions that come out 3-4 times a year in limited quantities and tell interesting stories about locations, music & sports legends, film, photography etc. For stationery geeks (like us) the’ve transcended into a modern art form which we love to collect.  Listed below are all the Volumes that have been issued so far. How many of these can you remember and which one is your favourite?

We admire how creative Blackwing are with their pencils, so this post is an archive for all collectors out there 🙂

Enjoy! (^_~)

ps: We’ll keeping adding new Volumes as they come in …

Blackwing Volumes 205
Blackwing Volumes 73
RelasedVolume1. DesignInspired by
June 2015725The Sunburst Pencil - Sunburst Finish, Black Eraser, Gold Ferrule, White Imprint, Balanced Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Pearl pencil.Shiny gradient Fender Stratocaster guitar pencil tribute to Newport Folk Festival.
Blackwing Volumes 725
ReleasedVolume2. DesignInspired by
September 2015211The Natural Pencil - Natural Finish, Brown Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Brown Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Pencil tribute to John Muir & John Muir Trail.
Blackwing Volumes 211
ReleasedVolume3. DesignInspired by
December 20151138The Sfi-Fi Pencil - Barcode Finish, Black Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Silver Imprint, Soft Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Classic pencil.Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon - film is condensed on the barcode that is printed on the pencil.
Blackwing Volumes 1138
ReleasedVolume4. DesignInspired by
March 201624The Writer’s Pencil - Black Finish, Black Eraser, Black Ferrule, Black Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Shiny Black on Black pencil tribute to John Steinbeck.
Blackwing Volumes 24
ReleasedVolume5. DesignInspired by
July 201656 The Joe DiMaggio Pencil - Pinstripe Finish, Blue Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Gold imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Tribute to Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and his 56 game hitting streak.
Blackwing Volumes 56

Autumn 2016. New logo & Sans Serif typeface. New improved eraser.

ReleasedVolume6. DesignInspired by
September 2016344 The Dorothea Lange Pencil - Deep Red Finish, Black Eraser, Red Ferrule, Red Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Dark room (rolls of Film) like pencil, tribute to Dorothea Lange and her famous Migrant Mother photo.
Blackwing Volumes 344
ReleasedVolume7. DesignInspired by
December 2016530 The Eureka Moment - Gold Finish, Black Eraser, Striped Ferrule, Black Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Gold Rush pencil celebrating Eureka moments.
Blackwing Volumes 530
ReleasedVolume8. DesignInspired by
March 2017205The Jade Pencil - Dual Jade Finishes. Green and White, Black Eraser, Gold Ferrule, Gold Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602’s.First ever Volume that contains two different pencils representing Silk Road (white) trade and one of it’s most prominent goods - Jade (green).
Blackwing Volumes 205
ReleasedVolume9. DesignInspired by
June 201773The Tahoe Pencil - Tahoe Blue Finish, Raised Topography Texture, White Eraser, Silver Ferrule, White Imprint, Soft Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Classic.Inspired by the beauty of Lake Tahoe. 73 is a celebration of conservation success and represents Tahoe’s last measured Secchi depth.
Blackwing Volumes 73
ReleasedVolume10. DesignInspired by
October 20171Guy Clark Pencil - First Round Pencil, Matte Grey Washcoat Finish (Natural wood colour shows through) Denim Blue Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Silver Imprint, Balanced Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing Pearl pencil.Pencil tribute to Guy Clark’s debut album Old No. 1 which is regarded as one of the most influential albums ever made.
Blackwing Volumes 1
ReleasedVolume11. DesignInspired by
December 201716.2Ada Lovelace Pencil - Matte white finish with white binary pattern stamp of Ada Lovelace’s initials, White Eraser, Matte Black Ferrule, Grey Imprint, Firm Graphite. Writes similarly to the Blackwing 602 pencil.Pencil tribute to mathematician, writer and visionary Ada Lovelace. Each pencil has a binary pattern stamp of the initials she used to sign her work, AAL. The number 16.2 is a nod to the Analytical Engine’s storage capacity of 16.2 kB.
Blackwing Volumes 16.2
ReleasedVolume12. DesignInspired by
April 201854Exquisite Corpse Pencil - Rose finish, Blue dust-free Eraser, Silver Ferrule, Crisp Teal Imprint, Extra-Firm Graphite. The firmest of all pencils.Pencil pays tribute to surrealism and creative exercises that force us to look beyond our narrow personal perspective. The number 54 is a nod to 54 rue due Chateau in Paris, the birthplace of Exquisite Corpse.
Blackwing Volumes 54

Blackwing Volumes are limited editions and they don't hang around for long!

Grey is the new black

Grey is the new black

Grey is the new black

Grey stationery

Grey is a colour that doesn’t get on a popular radar very often, it really is the new Diamine Earl Grey ink which started it all 🙂 Then the new grey washi tape arrived followed shortly by grey Age Bag notebooks – coincidence? Hmmm… We love playing with all stationery, so Dominic went on treasure hunt around the warehouse and collected everything in grey. I helped with inks (of course) in another blog post. You can read about 10 different greys here.

Age Bag Grey notebooks
Opera Pebble envelopes
Mark's Travelife Turnclips

8 Uses for Mark’s Travelife Turnclips


Mark’s Tokyo Edge is a Japanese brand – no stranger to Bureau customers. I would even go as far as calling it a classic 🙂

Designed and made in Japan, the Mark’s stationery places an emphasis not only on contemporary clean design but also on added functionality.  Mark’s Storage.it notebooks are a hit all year around, diaries season is blooming too, but today I want to talk about something else 🙂 A very small piece of stationery which is so helpful that it deserves it’s own blog post. Mark’s Travelife Turnclips

There many uses for the clips, we found 8 creative and practical ways in which you can use Mark’s Travelife Turnclips which you may or may not know about 🙂

1. Clip is a clip

Mark’s Travelife Turn Clips come in pack of 10 with 2 sizes and each size is numbered 1 to 5. They make perfect bookmarks, dividers and memo holders. I tend to use larger size for filing and smaller size for bullet journals. Ordinary application, I know – that’s why I love using some washi tape on these clips to make them my own.

Click here to see our Washi tape collection


2. Use with Buckle files as clipboard

Buckle files are my go to for carrying pads, loose sheets of paper, calligraphy printouts etc. I am currently doing handwriting drills and this one clip means that I can get them done anywhere.

Click here to see our Buckle file collection

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips clipboard


3. Make a pencil loop

Always forgetting to take your writing tools with you? Clip to the inside cover and slide a pencil snuggly through the gap. Turn clips are probably too small for pens, but if your pen has a clip you can slot that in.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips pencil or pen holder


4. Use as a mini picture holder

Smaller photos, business cards and postcards can easily sit on your desk with this minimalist holder. Perfect for reminders too.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips card or photo holder


5. Cable organizer

Another category where Turn Clips and Washi tape team up. This works great, no more crawling under the desk trying to find the right cable. If the cable connection is too big to fit through the arms of the Turn clips you can just take them off, insert the cable and re-install again. After you are done, tag them with Washi tape to remind yourself what is what.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips cable management


6. Headphones tidy

One of the best hacks 🙂 No more frustrating headphone tangles.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips earphone holder


7. Keeping those crisps fresh

Super useful in the kitchen. Fold the packet, clip it, done. Works for multiple packets too.

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips keeping fresh


8. Fidget toy

There is something very satisfying about turning these clips and the sound the moving parts make…

Mark's Travelife Turn Clips fidget toyMark's Travelife Turn Clips fidget toy


So that’s it, eight interesting ways in which you can use Mark’s Travelife Turnclips.  Although I’m sure there are many more out there.

Let us know your own cool hacks in the comments (^_~)

essential summer top 10 stationery items

Top 10 Essential Stationery Items For The Summer

From Bureau exclusives to great offers, from exotic imports to reinvented cult classics, even something not really stationery at all.


Rhodia Heritage Notebooks

Rhodia Heritage notebooks

A brand new range of books that harks back to older ways of making things. We especially love the Raw Binding notebooks with their spine that has a…well, a raw feel to it. Sturdy, with the classic Rhodia 90gsm paper. One of the beauties of this binding is that it lies flat no matter where in the book you are.

Why you need this item:

It’s a notebook but so much more. Retro styling has been used for a great purpose meaning this notebook will last the course, can handle all the ink you throw at it and it will be a pleasure to use each time you get it out. What’s not to love?


Field Notes Campfire Edition Notebooks

Field Notes Campfire notebooks

Field Notes produce four limited editions a year, one for each season. The summer edition this year is the Campfire edition and it’s one of their best in a longtime. A set of 3 books, each with a different stage of campfire print on the cover (from dusk to night to dawn), plus a ‘campfire master’ sew-on patch. Release your inner scout.

Why you need this item:

A set of rugged little notebooks that you can sling in your bag or your pocket and it means you will always be able to jot down some important thought or note.


Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks

Fjallraven Kanken backpacks

If you haven’t already spotted them around you soon will. This Swedish staple from 1978 is now a bone-fide classic on the streets here. And why? It does a simple job very well – unzip it fully and you’ll find everything you need, no rumaging around in endless pockets.

Why you need this item:

It strips back a backpack to its core function and does it very well. It is waterproof (Fjallraven are Swedish outdoors experts) and then there’s the colours – so many to choose from, whether bright or muted.


Lamy Safari Special Edition Fountain Pen 2017 - Petrol

special edition lamy safari fountain pen

Each year this pen is released with a new colour and it was always a big ask to follow on from last year’s purple. Who would want to be David Moyes to follow Alex Ferguson? (it’s a football reference, don’t worry). Lamy actually pulled it off though with the petrol pen, an unusual but smart teal-petrol green colour. Special editions sell out so when they’re gone they’re gone.

Whilst stocks last we have put this pen on promotion – grab it now for just £14.95

Why you need this item:

The Safari is widely regarded as an exceptional pen – it writes fantastically, is an easy pen to use for everyone and yet costs a fraction of many a more expensive pen. In other words, it’s worth every penny.


Kyoto Inks

kyoto inks from japan

A new ink range just in from Japan, and looking the part. Five colours, all lovely from a black-with-sheen to a dusky blue and a vibrant pink-red.

Why you need this item:

Sometimes you buy things because the sum of it is so much more than the parts. These inks just tick all the boxes, from the packaging to the bottle to the colours to the inks. Worth that indulgence once in a while to treat yourself.


Walk With Me Maps

Walk With Me maps

We all want to decorate our homes with something a little different and these are just that. Beautiful maps-as-artwork from a series of artists covering different neighbourhoods of London, Madrid and Barcelona.

Why you need this item:

Because maps let you dream of places and these are also beautiful to look at – hang one on your wall and it will transport you somewhere.


Taroko Breeze Notebook With Tomoe River Paper

Taroko Breeze notebook with Tomoe River paper

An exclusive notebook to Bureau, this book has it all. Right size, dot paper with an index and page numbers, and even with ink charts to record your favourite inks. Oh, and it has Tomoe River paper.

Why you need this item:

So many reasons but it’s the paper that does it – Tomoe River paper is lightweight Japanese paper that handles ink better than heavier papers, so it’s great to write with and yet packs in more paper for less weight.


Caran d'Ache 849 Fountain Pens

Caran d'Ache 849 fountain pen

The 849 pen is a classic, around since 1969. The addition of a fountain pen to the 849 range just means you can have an ink pen in the classic 849 hexagonal shape.

Why you need this item:

Those bright fluorescent colours were just made for summer.


Limited Edition Blackwing Vol.73 Pencils

Blackwing limited edition Volume 73 pencils

The limited edition Blackwing pencils always have a slightly convoluted naming convention, and this one is no exception (it has something to do with the measurement of the water clarity of Lake Tahoe, but please don’t ask). What is quite certain is that these pencils are a winner. The intense blue is inspired by the waters of Lake Tahoe and the nice touch of the topographic map etched onto the barrel works.

Why you need this item:

Blackwing are widely regarded as the best of all pencils, and so if you haven’t tried them yet then take the plunge and get yourself some. Time to find out why they are so highly rated.


Observer's Astronomy Notebooks

Astronomy notebook

An unusual mix of night-sky infographics and unusual paper rulings might make this book seem a bit too quirky for its own good, but it’s not. It’s really good fun, informative and refreshingly different.

Why you need this item:

Doesn’t everyone love to learn a bit more about the night skies above?

10 things you didn't know about the kanken

10 Things You Need To Know About The Fjallraven Kanken

10 things you didn't know about the kanken
A well used Kanken backpack from the Fjallraven archive, used daily sine 1982

The Iconic Fjallraven Kanken Bag

1. Back Support

The Fjallraven Kanken backpack was developed in the late 1970s to help Swedish schoolchildren cope with their heavy loads. Backache in young children had started to be a problem and the Kanken was designed to spread the weight evenly. The backpacks soon became a common sight in Swedish schools with their huge range of beautiful colours.

2. Popularity

200 Kankens are sold every hour worldwide such is their appeal now. The bags have gone on to become an iconic product, much loved by people all over the globe. Spotting fellow Kanken owners is now a legitimate pastime on the London Underground.

3. Genuine

Beware the fakes – with huge popularity comes the inevitable fakery. Fake Kankens can be seen everywhere now but they are easy to spot. The fabric is usually different, much softer like a standard bag and you don’t get the telltale creases on the front pocket. You also don’t get the water-resistance.

Kanken fake or genuine?
Kanken: Fake or real?

4. Water-Resistant

Fjallraven Kankens are brilliantly water-resistant. Vinylon F, the synthetic fabric they are made from, behaves more like a natural fibre and swells as it becomes damp. As it swells, the gaps between the woven fibres close more and thus it becomes more resistant to water penetration. This means there is no coating that needs to be maintained and this property lasts the life of the bag.

5. Vinylon F

Vinylon F is made in Japan but the original Vinylon was invented in North Korea. Made from polyvinyl alcohol and using limestone and anthracite as raw materials, it is the fabric of choice in North Korea where it is used for clothing and shoes and pretty much everything else. Though great for bags, it is hard to imagine what trousers made from this fairly stiff material would feel like.

Kanken information
So many useful features including the Vinylon F fabric

6. Lightweight

The use of Vinylon F makes the Kanken amazingly light, much more so than most other backpacks giving you an advantage before you fill it up. It also becomes more durable with time and softens as it ages so maybe the trousers would be ok.

7. Space

The trademark rectangular shape means it fits A4 books, files and laptops in easily unlike bags which narrow at the top. Not mentioning any other brands here!

8. Extra-Long Zips

The zips go all the way around and allow you to open it up like a suitcase. This makes it by far the easiest of bags to locate stuff in.

9. Environmentally Friendly

The Kanken is made by Swedish brand Fjallraven, a serious player in the outdoor gear market. Fjallraven means Arctic Fox which is a charismatic little predator on the brink of extinction and the company is involved in many conservation projects to help reverse the decline. They take their green credentials very seriously and whilst their products are not the cheapest, they are made to last and created with as little environmental impact as possible.

10. Art & Design

The Kanken is a piece of art, it’s official! In 2016 the Swedish Government listed and protected the Kanken on Svensk Form, the Swedish Society of Crafts and Designs. New special editions versions of the Kanken have been released with different webbing straps to celebrate and here at Bureau we have managed to get a few of the black versions with their Pippi Longstocking stripy straps.

Fjallraven Kanken special edition webbing straps
Kanken special edition webbing straps
Taroko Notebook with sample writing

A look at the Taroko Design notebook range

Taroko Notebook with sample writing

In the second part of Taroko Design notebook trilogy I'd like to tell you about what we currently have our hands on.

The covers are made out of kraft paper and come in 3 colours, each corresponding to the ruling of the sheets within.

  • Blue cover – plain, white paper.
  • Brown cover – dots, spacing is 5×5, white paper with grey dots.
  • Dark cover – lines, spacing is 7mm, white paper with grey lines.

Steven, the mastermind behind Taroko Design, mentioned that the idea behind the subdued colour of the covers were to keep them understated and subtle. The focus should be placed more on the writer and words written inside. A real mascot against judging books by their covers! If you would like to gain further insight from the man himself you can read the full interview here.

Grey printing of the dots and lines is a lot easier on the eye than black or purple, so kudos here! 7mm is the perfect spacing for ruled notebooks, no matter how big or small the book is 🙂

Each notebook comes with:

  • 64 pages, 32 sheets of 68 gsm Tomoe River white paper
  • Staple binding
  • Rounded corners

Stapled notebooks let you have them open completely flat. You can use all of the paper, on both sides without fighting against the centre parting. Sweet!

3 different sizes, 3 paper rulings - 9 notebooks in total

Taroko Design Passport Notebook

The Passport notebook measures 124mm x 88mm and is the smallest in the range.

Compatible with small – passport Midori Traveler’s Notebook. If you haven’t tried Tomoe River paper yet, then I highly recommend getting this one and never looking back 🙂

I use Passport for swabbing ink samples. Great to use on the go as it fits just about anywhere. It’s perfect go-round little notebook.

It currently sells for £3.95. You can buy one here.

Taroko pocket comparison with Rhodia and Field Notes

Taroko Design Regular Notebook

The Regular notebook measures 110mm x 210mm, the goldilocks of the three.

Compatible with the beautifully crafted regular Midori Traveler’s Notebook. It may seem a little off due to it’s unusual long, slim shape but it has a special place in my book… 😉

Traveler’s Notebook is a huge stationery phenomenon and even tho we cannot sell covers, these refills are our best seller for a reason 🙂

It is currently £5.95 and you can get yours here.

Taroko regular comparison with Rhodia and Midori travellers

Taroko Design A5 notebook

This notebook is the big daddy and measures 148mm x 210mm, which is A5 surprisingly.

There’s no Traveler’s cover for this size unfortunately. Weep as you may but someone here had a brilliant idea to try a Mark’s storage.it A5 cover – it fits!!! This combo makes a pretty good travel companion. Hands up who already has one (or two) of those Mark’s storage.it notebooks.

It currently sells for £7.95. Click here if you want one.

Mark's Storage It Notebook with Taroko A5 notebook

One of the reasons why fountain pens and inks are so popular is because of the feeling you get when you use them. Having a juicy smooth fountain pen, ink with crazy sheen and Tomoe River paper is as good as it gets. It’s fun, it looks great and it feels magical.

I can go on about Tomoe River paper all day, so let’s save it for a separate blog post 🙂 To be continued…


*all prices mentioned were correct at time of writing*

colour choice

What Is Our Favourite Colour?

colour choice
The team in our colour choice. See, we do like the colour we chose!

And what does it say about us?!

Here at Bureau we spend a lot of time choosing colours for our products, everything from notebooks, bags, pens and of course inks. Everyone here has their favourite, usually reflected in their clothes, but also in their ink choice. But what does your colour choice say about you?

We decided to investigate with a thoroughly non-scientific piece of research and found that even the most sceptical (that would be me) found something to cling on to. Some of it was spookily accurate so check out our findings and see what you make of it all.


Lovers of black typically have a secretive, hidden nature and an air of mystery. It can be sophisticated and elegant with artistic and intuitive leanings but can hide vulnerabilities, creating a barrier between you and the outside world.

Jo’s Choice

I feel black has a bit of a bad rap here but I do like pink too so maybe I have tempered my dark side a little. My current ink choice is Diamine Moon Dust, a sort of black/grey with silver particles.

colour chart black
Colour chart red


Those who love red are pioneering, ambitious and strong-willed. They tend to be optimistic, confident and competitive with great determination and drive. They are also risk-takers and crave attention.

Dominic’s Choice

I chose red before reading the description of it and so I am having to retro-fit that description around myself. Pioneering? Well… maybe. Ambitious? OK. Strong willed? Is that the same as stubborn? Whatever, red it is. Occasionally in what I wear, sometimes in my pen (Robert Oster Fire Engine Red is there right now and it’s a stunner), and always in my choice of football team (Arsenal, since you ask).


If you love green you will be down to earth, practical, calm, loyal and frank. Good in a crisis and quick to learn, your reputation is important to you and you like to belong to social groups.

Mishka’s Choice

I have hundreds of pens and more inks than Bureau so my current ink is hard to define. One of my all time favourites is Herbin Vert Olive though and I am just about to put Diamine Golden Oasis in a pen.

Faisal’s Choice

I find green very calming and my current choice is Herbin’s Lierre Sauvage which reminds me of the peace and tranquillity of forests.

colour chart green
colour chart blue


If blue is your go-to colour then you are likely to be conservative, reliable and trustworthy. You think before you act and you are genuine and sincere, taking your responsibilities very seriously.

Des’s Choice

In all honesty I don’t write much, I’m a computer guy, I type it up and print it off. If I do write though, I use blue, always have. Current ink choice is Lamy Blue.


Purple indicates a sensitive, compassionate and understanding nature, sensitive to hurtful comments, dignified, creative and perhaps a bit unconventional. You are a perfectionist and a good humanitarian.

Armi’s Choice

I have Diamine Purple Pazzazz in my TWSBI Eco and I write with it daily here at Bureau and at uni. My notes are definitely unconventional and hard to follow but purple makes them magnificent.


Colour chart purple
colour chart yellow


You are happy, fun to be with, creative, analytical and independent. Though methodical in your thinking you can still be impulsive and are prone to snap decisions. Yellow lovers tend to prefer small groups of close friends rather than big social groups.

Emma’s Choice

I’m using a brown ink at the moment but accenting it with a yellow felt pen to give my diary a bit of colour. Current ink choice: Herbin Caroube de Chypre.



Unsurprisingly, pink is strongly connected with the feminine side of our nature, in both women and men. A love of pink is associated with a warm, kind and generous nature. The maternal instinct is strong and care of others is paramount.

Monica’s Choice

I love pink and as a passionate animal lover I have to agree with this. My current ink is Diamine Hope Pink.



colour chart pink
colour chart orange


If you have chosen orange then you are probably warm and optimistic as well as friendly and good natured. Likely to be a bit flamboyant, you are often the life and soul of the party and need people around you.

Sadly we had no takers for orange but if this is your choice then we can wholeheartedly recommend Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin  or Herbin Orange Indien.


If grey is your choice then you are likely to be unemotional, neutral and impartial. Other traits include practicality and calmness and you are likely to want to keep the peace. Your cool nature can come across as indifference though and you are no attention seeker.

Pawel’s Choice

I have a lot of pens with different inks including grey but at the moment I am using an orange – Diamine Ancient Copper though I am definitely not flamboyant!




colour chart grey
colour chart brown


If it’s brown then you are likely to be steady, reliable and approachable. You are hardworking with a dry sense of humour and people like to confide in you. You make a great friend and family is very important to you.

Again, no one claimed brown as a favourite so we simply don’t know if it is spot on or not. If you are a brown lover though we still have the very amazing Herbin Caroube de Chypre – brown with flecks of gold. So pretty.


This indicates someone who is neat and immaculate in appearance and presentation. Well balanced, positive and careful, the white fan has good self-control, high standards and is very discreet.

And no takers for white though it is quite hard to write in so probably just as well. If you want to then we do offer the Herbin white ink but you must never ever put it in a fountain pen! Dipping pens only please.

colour chart white