the bureau 2017 stationery awards
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The Bureau 2017 Stationery Awards

the bureau 2017 stationery awards

Introduction

This is the 6th edition of our annual awards for the item of stationery we voted for, as a team. The criteria are fairly open – as long as the item was added to our range during 2017 then it was shortlisted, and each team member voted for their top 5 items. Scores were awarded (10 for a first choice, 7 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 3 for 4th and a solitary point for a 5th place). Scores were added, and a top ten was arrived at.

This year we had a clear winner, and with it gaining the top place from three people plus a second choice, it sort of ran away with the voting. The top ten did give a nice spread of items though, so read on and see what we voted for.

Walk With Me Maps

The Walk With Me maps were something of a departure for us this year, and not one that didn’t cause a few waves with some customers, but then maybe that’s a good thing. Somewhere between maps and artwork, these are quite unusual and very beautiful.

Lamy Aion

The Lamy Aion pen came out earlier in the year and whilst not immediately a pen that shouts out how different it is, it actually does have a lot about it worth a second look. From the smart aluminium barrel which is incredibly light for a pen seemingly quite big, to its brand new nib, this pen writes beautifully.

Caran d'Ache 849 Tropical Pen

The Caran d’Ache 849 is a true classic, dating back to its launch in 1969. Since then many a special edition has come and gone, and the latest was these unusual two-tone 849 tropical editions. Very summer-y, and quite refreshing in the depths of a cold winter.

Field Notes Haxley Edition

A very late addition to the shortlist and one that, unsurprisingly leapt into the top ten, was the Field Notes Haxley edition notebooks. A real departure and a welcome one too, these are notebooks featuring the illustrations of a local artist.

Viking Rollo Pad

The Viking range really stood out for one product above all else and that was the Viking Rollo pads. Beautiful paper with equally striking covers featuring their celtic-inspired cover designs.

Diamine Earl Grey Ink

One that caught me by surprise was the popularity of the new Earl Grey ink from Diamine. Brought about through a Reddit group, it inspired our ‘grey’ week and is, to be fair, quite a beautiful colour.

2018 Flower Calendar

The Flowers calendar from Japanese company Good Morning is an item that caused a few issues (let’s move on from that one), this is nevertheless a stunning bit of stationery that is practical and quite beautiful all at once. What more do you need from your stationery?

An extra bonus point for this item – more of us voted for this than any other product, but it gained no big voted and ended up 4th overall.

Kyoto Inks

Kyoto ink was chosen, I feel, not only for the inks (which are indeed very lovely) but also for the whole package – the bottle and the box included. It is just stationery that you want to own, stationery that gives you pleasure from the moment you see it to the the moment you use it.

Diamine Shimmer Inks

The runner-up spot was taken by the new Diamine Shimmer inks. They gained a couple of top spots and were the subject of an Instagram pre-launch feature from Mishka and Faisal so maybe I should have seen that one coming. Beautiful inks as always, with some amazing shimmer.

Taroko Breeze Notebook

And so to the winner. And it’s no great surprise to anyone that has used it that the Taroko Breeze notebook swept the board. First we had the basic Taroko books with Tomoe River paper, then a sign of what was to come with the pocket sized Enigma book, so when a ‘proper’ book was launched it just gave us everything we needed in a book. A ‘proper’ cover, index/contents page, numbered pages, ink swatch pages, Tomoe River paper. I could quibble over the card cover and lack of a pocket but really, this book is as good as anything we have. That’s why I was one of three of the team to vote it as my number one.

News

Bureau Mission – To Make Washi Tape A Household Essential Item In Britain

Bureau Mission – To Make Washi Tape A Household Essential Item In Britain

Every home should own at least one roll of washi tape!

Introduction

We love our washi tape here at the Bureau offices. So much so that we have gone on and on about, from creating our office noticeboard out of the stuff, to getting everyone to think of 3 essential uses of washi tape to 6 great ways to use the tape in a Bullet Journal. We’ve even had a go at making some decorations for Chinese New Year using it.

So I think it’s fair to say that we have been won over by this quite marvellous invention from Japan. And it struck us that this is something that more people should know about. In fact, we would go as far as saying that we think every home in the country would be better off with a roll of washi tape. At least a roll, ideally several. But one roll is a good place to start. It is as essential as, say, kitchen roll or Sellotape. In fact you won’t need the latter if you convert to washi tape – see, that’s another idea thrown in for free.

Washi tape ideas - noticeboard
Make a noticeboard with washi tape

So we are converting that idea of it being a household essential into something of a mission. To persuade as many people as possible of the need to get using washi tape, find out how useful it really is, and to then persuade others of the need.

What is washi tape

examples of washi tape
Examples of washi tape - plain, kids and encyclopedia design

For the uninitiated, washi tape is an amazing invention from Japan. Made from rice paper, the most important bit about it is that it is sticky, like Sellotape or masking tape, but it is also low-tack so that it can be peeled off again without leaving any mark or damage. Whilst we can’t promise that this is 100% guaranteed on every surface, we can say that we are yet to encounter any problems. The secret lies in peeling it off carefully and slowly.

The tape is also easy to tear, so use scissors if you want a neat and tidy look, or tear if you are in a hurry. It also comes in an unbelievable range of widths, colours, patterns and designs. So there really is a roll for every occasion.

From plain tapes you can write on to kids tapes you can learn with, from patterned tapes you can decorate with to designs that you just want to gaze at. What isn’t there to love about this stuff?

washi tape examples
Examples of designer washi tape

Decorative or practical?

Er…both! Yes you can indulge all sorts of creative ideas with washi tape – covering notebooks inside and out, making presents unique and beautiful, Christmas tree decorations and more. The list goes on and there are many more ideas out there online. But it is also so practical. Just take a look at what the team here came up with as suggestions for using the tape.

washi tape - decorative or practical?
Washi tape - is it decorative or practical? Or both?

Giveaway

So to kickstart our mission we are doing a free giveaway. Thanks to the very kind people at MT – making washi tape in Japan since 1923 – we are giving away a little gift pack. Inside you will find a roll of tape and a booklet with 10 fun ideas for using the tape decoratively, plus a mask and little box to make up and decorate. The first lucky 1,000 people to claim their gift can do so online now – you just need to purchase something from us (anything not just washi tape) and the gift will be made available in the shopping basket.

1,000 households may leave us some way short of covering the whole of Britain but it’s a good start and a very kind offer from MT. And if you take up the offer and are persuaded then please spread the word. You’ll be met by some blank expressions at first but once they start to get it, they’ll never look back. And they’ll always thank you for introducing them to washi tape!

Click here to see our full range of tapes

World Calligraphy Day 2017 script
News

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 anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle
News

J Herbin Anniversary ink of 2017 is…

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

The new J Herbin 1798 Anniversary Ink series

When Summer comes around and J Herbin announces their new anniversary ink, that is my favourite time of the year.

This year is no exception. We asked and they delivered 🙂 Well done J Herbin, well done…

Let’s have a quick intro from J. Herbin themselves first:

1798 INKS
The Maison HERBIN’s exclusive collection of
1798 Inks celebrates the year Jacques HERBIN
first introduced his own line of quality inks, an
important event in the history of this house
founded three centuries ago and whose story
continues today… Deep unsaturated colours
with optimal pressure sensitivity, 1798 Inks are
illuminated with shimmering flecks of silver for
an elegant finish.

AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL (URAL AMETHYST)
Solid dark purple in the velvety hue of amethyst
with the satin finish of a silver mist for a lustrous
shimmering effect and a noble allure. Ural
Amethyst suggests the fires of this precious
gemstone from the reaches of Asia, prized by
jewellers of long ago.

LES ENCRES 1798
Les Encres 1798, de la Collection exclusive
Jacques HERBIN, fête la date de production
originale des encres Jacques HERBIN, événement
décisif dans l’histoire de la maison fondée
en 1670 et dont l’aventure se poursuit… De couleur
foncée non saturée, sensible aux nuances
de pression, les Encres 1798 sont illuminées
du miroitement de paillettes d’argent qui en
moirent la surface.

AMÉTHYSTE DE L’OURAL
Le violet profond, au ton plein et velouté, de la
pierre d’améthyste, satiné d’une brume d’argent
pour une robe d’écriture aux effets scintillants
de noble allure. Améthyste de l’Oural évoque
les feux de la pierre fine des confins de l’Asie,
jadis prisée par la joaillerie.

Well now we’ve learned from the new ink is what J in the name stands for – it’s Jacques 🙂

Apart from tinkering about with the name a little, there are quite a few other changes this year to the overall design and presentation as it looks like they are going through a minor rebranding exercise.

J Herbin 1798 bottle

The box is now a smart grey with purple label and white writing.  It does stand out nicely on plain background. Overall design looks more mature and reminds me of perfume bottle packaging. Capacity stays the same – 50ml of silver sheen enhanced ink aka superink.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

J Herbin listened to feedback and changed the bottle neck – it has new, wider, 2cm opening. Thumbs up! The new bottle is slightly bigger, but the shape remains the same. Cap is covered in purple wax. A shiny looking scarf goes around the bottle neck and suits it very well. I wonder if Jacques himself was so lavishly dressed! On the front there’s the 1798 stamp which ties up the scarf and a colour label underneath with the ink name – Améthyste de l’Oural.

To finish it all off, the glass on the bottom of the bottle is embossed with Jacques Herbin and his mighty ship.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink bottle

You’ve been good so far, waiting paitiently. So a drumroll please!

….And now for the ink itself 🙂 YES!

Colour of Ural Amethyst is everything we wanted – regal, majestic, dark, mysterious purple. This is the first time J Herbin used silver particles – previous 1670 range of inks (see our previous post here) used only gold. The ink is amazing – the more I use it, the more I love it.

I have left it in the pen for a week or so – there were no hard starts, pen started writing immediately. The particles move quickly and distribute very well. That said, the bottle needs shaking before inking (as usual) and turning the pen in hand before writing will make a huge difference to the shimmer.

Now to the main point, how it writes… I did some comparisons with other purple inks and paper from Rhodia, Leuchtturm and Tomoe River. You will hardly notice the green sheen, that is mainly just eye candy from using special paper. As always, the shine does depend on the viewing angle and light source etc but the silver effect is superb though – highlighting the dark tones of the deep purple body beautifully. I think I’ve fallen in love again…

Release day at the time of writing this article is 30 sleeps away (but who’s really counting) :).

What do you think? Will this ink top the popularity of Emerald of Chivor??

Spoiler alert - this photo (and the one at the top) was taken using Artoz Perga paper.

It’s a stiff, card version of tracing paper and is completely ink resistant. Not something we’d use everyday – special occasion only! The sheen and shimmer are simply stunning!!! You will not get this sort of sheen on standard writing paper.

j herbin anniversary 1798 ural amethyst ink

Release date for Jacque Herbin 1798 Ural Amethyst ink is 1st September 2017.

J Herbin Annniversary 1670 bottles
News

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!

new lamy aion due soon
Films

News: The New Lamy Aion Is Coming

new lamy aion pen

The New Lamy Aion - Due Autumn 2017

The new Lamy Aion is due out later this year and looks quite exciting. A brand new pen, designed by Jasper Morrison, and with a completely new nib which intself is an exciting development since almost all other pens use the standard Lamy Z50 nib. Available in fountain pen – with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs, as well as ballpoint and rollerball versions. All are availabe in a silver or black metal finish.

More news when we have it!

Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink
News

Lamy Safari Petrol – 2017 Special Edition

Hi folks,

It’s here, it’s here!!! Lamy Safari Petrol is here!

Fountain pens come with black Fine or Medium nib (feel free to add any Z50/Z52 nibs of course). They have matt finish, just like Dark Lilac pens.

There are Roller-balls and Ball-point pens too. Ink comes in T10 cartridges and T52 bottles. Don’t forget to add a Z28 converter if you are getting a bottled version.

Petrol colour is gorgeous murky, dark teal-green B) similar to Sailor Miruai. It shows a slight sheen on Tomoe River paper. It’s mature, subtle, perfect everyday ink <3

BTW if you wonder about shipping cost – we use Royal Mail Airmail service for orders outside UK and you can check the cost in the shopping basket before you place the order.

Enjoy!

Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink
Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink
News

News: The Bureau Shop Is Open

bureau shop - lamy

It's been several years coming...

There’s a long back story to this which we will skip over, and get straight to the big news that we have opened a shop. We started out with a shop way back in 1995, in the bright lights of the West End, so it’s sort of going back to our roots, but then it’s also a long way from Great Newport Street to Scrubs Lane.

It’s certainly not a high-street shop but you can come by, browse, test and buy. The focus of the shop is really around pens, books and inks. Somewhere you can come and test out different pens with different inks on different papers and work out what works for you.

the bureau shop

We took inspiration from our appearance at the London Pen Show last autumn where, with KWZ Ink, we let people test out all their inks and it created a real buzz. In our new shop you can test out pens from Lamy as well as J. Herbin, TWSBI and Kaweco.

Perhaps of most interest will be the range of inks, and with some very generous support from the good people at Diamine we can offer their full range of inks to play with, as well as other inks.

Throw in some great paper from Rhodia, Taroko and others and what the shop won’t offer in terms of size and high-street glamour it will make up for in terms of being able to actually try before you buy.

The shop does come with some big caveats around location and hours. It is open during our office hours only, and we cannot offer parking. There is street parking outside (metered), and it is not the most glamourous of locations but don’t let Scrubs Lane put you off. Cold industrial wasteland on the outside, warm and inviting on the inside.

Closest tube station is Willesden Junction (approx. 10-15 min walk) or the 220 bus stops right outside (Hythe Road stop).

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9.30 to 5.00

A big thank you to the following suppliers who have very generously supported this venture by providing samples:

Diamine Ink

KWZ Ink

Kaweco

Spot the difference between Lamy Turquoise and Pacific ink
News

What is the difference between Lamy Turquoise and Pacific?

Spot the difference between Lamy Turquoise and Pacific ink

It's here! First Lamy Special edition of 2017!!!

Lamy Pacific has just arrived. Pens do look stunning! This special edition does come with matching ink which comes as T10 cartridges form or T52 bottle.

We have quickly unpacked the delivery  – yes, I did scream a little 🙂 these are the highlights of my work day 🙂 and started testing. Pacific colour on the pens does impress. It is vibrant, bright turquoise. This edition has silver accents, so the clip and nib are both steel.

Ink cartridges are yet to come, but we did receive the bottles – excited to see them I posted the pictures on social media and people responded immediately with a question : what is the difference between Turquoise and Pacific ink?? I am happy to report the findings 🙂

Have a look for yourself 🙂

They do look almost identical, right?

We have reached out to Lamy and asked the question and they have confirmed that Pacific and Turquoise inks are indeed the same. Packaging is slightly different – Pacific gets the ‘special edition’ treatment 🙂

Pantone Colour Of The Year Stationery
News

Pantone Colour Of The Year 2017

Pantone Colour Of The Year Stationery

Pantone Greenery - Colour Of The Year For 2017

Each year for well over 15 years now, there has been a ‘Pantone Colour of the Year’. This year it is a bright and lively shade of green. Called Greenery. Or PANTONE 15-0343 for the official pantone reference. We have highlighted the choice for many years now – you can see the previous choices at the end of this article – but this year we have gone one better. Inspired by the choice of colour we put together some stationery inspired by and starting with their chosen shade of green. Obviously the chances of us having stationery that perfectly matched the right shade was a tall order, but it is surprising how well we did.

pantone greenery

A Whole House?

In other related Pantone Colour Of The Year news, and one that slightly inspired this blog piece it should be said when Faisal shared it with the team, is the news that a whole house has been inspired by the shade of green, and you can even rent it out since it is listed on Airbnb – see more here

Pantone Colour of the Year House on Airbnb
Pantone Colour of the Year House on Airbnb

Previous Pantone Colours Of The Year