I’ve been thinking about this journal for a long time because I originally thought that it would be my travel journal for my UK trip at the end of May. I ended up choosing a blank Exacompta journal for that because of the blank pages, but now I’ve got the Èccolo World Traveler Journal beside my bed for those middle-of-the-night ideas and so on. So let’s talk about the wee thing, shall we?
|Lovely shade of green, and the tree-in-relief is a great textural detail.|
It’s 5×7 inches (12×17 cm for the metric-using folks), and it contains 256 lined pages. I am a big, big fan of notebooks that are generous with their included pages. The little specifications sleeve there on the right (which is removable, of course–just a bit of cardboard) says it’s got an “Italian Faux Leather Cover.” I don’t have any idea what that actually means, and the other side of the sleeve says it was made in China. Whether that means the cover material was made in Italy and it was all assembled in China or it’s actually faux Italian leather which was made in China because it’s only faux-Italian or the sleeve was the thing actually made in China (I’m guessing that is not the right answer), I don’t know. I blame this on the vagaries of English and the deliberate vagaries of product labeling. And that’s all of only secondary importance because the key thing here is that I love how this cover feels. It definitely feels almost like leather, but with a certain near-rubberyness that makes it feel like this journal would bounce if the cover were just a little thicker. It’s supple and smooth and the center image of the tree is in relief on the darker green background. It’s a nice textural detail that adds interest without being obtrusive.
Now the paper.
|That’ll do, Notebook. That’ll do.|
This is, of course, not Clairefontaine, not Rhodia, but it definitely does better than okay. The paper is a nice ivory color that’s a bit more cream-colored than it appears in the photo, and it holds up pretty well to most of the inks I tried with it. There’s very, very little feathering. If you click to embiggen, you’ll see a bit of capillary action with the Levenger Cocoa and the Tsuki-yo, but it’s remarkably crisp with the Raven Black, the 1670, and the Diamine Syrah. Also, I’ll forgive this paper for feathering a smidge with the Tsuki-yo because that was put down with a Noodler’s Flex pen, where there’s a lot of ink to deal with. I was surprised by the Cocoa feathering–where I think it’s the most pronounced–because that’s one of my most well-behaved inks. Of course, it could be that the True Writer/Cocoa combo have declared themselves as being in a fully committed relationship with my Ecosystem notebooks only. They do see each other most often, and far be it from me to homewreck a happy trio like that.
Perhaps even more exciting is how well it works with the Lamy Studio F and the Raven Black. That’s a pen and ink combo I hadn’t tried before, and I wish I had. The Studio is sort of my last resort pen. I don’t love it, though it writes well enough. It’s a weight issue, mostly–it’s a little heavier than I prefer. (If anyone wants to propose a trade for the Lamy Studio F, I’m more than willing to entertain suggestions.) But the ink, the pen, and the paper right here are lovely together–the line is fine and neat and smooth.
I couldn’t get a clear image on the reverse side of the paper, but there’s a bit of show-through. The worst line, predictably, is the Tsuki-yo because there was a lot of ink involved there (a few little dots of bleed-through, too), and the two True Writer combos follow. The rest of them, however, are quite tidy. Again, the Lamy/Raven duo is the best of the lot–barely so much as a shadow and definitely not enough to interfere with writing on both sides of the paper. The Lamy Joys (both sizes, both inks) also behaved quite well.
When I decided to move this journal to my bedside, I put the Pilot Prera with it because I liked the greens together. After this test, the Studio is definitely going to take up residence there.
The Èccolo is available many places (office supply stores, online, and so on). I think I got mine at Staples, and it cost $7. I definitely consider that a worthwhile purchase. I just wish that it were a little more clear on what the cover is made from. (I’m sure it’s some sort of petroleum-based synthetic cover, and I’d rather it weren’t. It’s very cute, and it performs well, but I still would rather have something like the Ecosystem journal because I know what that whole thing is made from.)