PAPER REVIEW: PONT NEUF NOTEBOOKSsureshjain.com
I was really happy to see Japanese stationery brand Kunisawa recently re-introducing themselves with a completely revised product lineup (read the re-review HERE!). Their confidence in the updated paper quality turned out to be absolutely justified, finally combining the stunning business-chic notebook designs with fantastic – consistent – quality Japanese paper on the inside.
But alongside the updated Kunisawa products, they also sent a few other products that certainly didn’t fit in. That’s because, as I mentioned earlier, mother company Kawachiya Print also houses a second stationery brand: Pont Neuf!
|The contrast between Kunisawa and Pont Neuf doesn’t need an explanation…|
Pont Neuf is best described as the absolute polar opposite of Kunisawa’s functional, subtle, business-appropriate designs. Instead, they go for bright, colorful, playful products. The most eye-catching being a selection of wild, fluffy, fabric-covered notebooks – extravagant (and quite high-end)! But also the notebooks I’ll be showing today, which are a collaboration with Tokyo-based art Gallery Brain Trust, for a collection with William Morris design notebook covers.
William Morris was a renowned 19th-century artist and craftsman and is perhaps best known for his hugely popular – to this day – botanical patterns. His designs were originally created for wallpaper decoration, but I think it works equally well on these notebooks, and it fits right in with the style Pont Neuf tries to convey.
Both the A5-sized slim staple-bound softcovers (64 pages) and thicker A5 hardcover notebooks (192 pages) in the William Morris collection each come with unique cover prints, four in total. The printing is high quality and detailed, and the colors – while certainly vibrant – aren’t overdone. One minor detail: I say A5, but both notebooks are actually 195 x 138 mm, which is ever-so-slightly smaller than the traditional A5 size!
While the softcovers come with simple, uncoated paper stock for the cover (which has a nice subtle debossed texture from the printing!), the hardcover notebooks are distinctly more upscale. The cover is made of textured, heavily coated (plastic?) paper with gold foil debossed details, gilded edges, and rounded corners. One downside about the stiff, plastic-like material used on the hardcover is that it cracks and frays a bit around the edges of the notebook, which deters from the otherwise pristine cover design, and gives the edges a slightly rough feel.
|Both notebook types are able to lay open quite flat|
Inside, the Pont Neuf notebooks do match the minimalist approach of Kunisawa with un-numbered, dot-grid pages and pretty much nothing else. The hardcover does have one practical element that the thin softcover booklets don’t have: a thin bookmark ribbon.
The paper inside the Pont Neuf notebooks seems to be identical to the excellent paper we’ve already seen in the updated Kunisawa Find stationery, which is of course a good thing.
For those of you that didn’t read my previous review, here’s a short rundown of my findings on this new paper: it’s a very smooth stock, more or less the same thickness as Rhodia (so around 80-85 gsm), and with a distinct yellowy-ivory tint to it. The paper shows excellent shading and sheen and doesn’t budge to wet nibs or even ink swabs, with no bleedthrough and minimal showthrough (or ghosting) to speak of.
|“Create your own style” an appropriate catchphrase for the eccentric Pont Neuf brand!|
While I personally lean towards the minimal and clean aesthetics of the Kunisawa products, there is certainly something to be said for the more extravagant side of Pont Neuf‘s colorful collection of notebooks. The two brands work nicely side-by-side, offering unique products on two very distinct ends of the scale. Pricing is also comparable between the two brands, and – while certainly on the more premium side – is quite fair given the excellent paper quality and great design. The softcover notebooks retail for 5€/ 6$, and 25€/ 30$ for the hardcover.
Note: The products shown here were provided by Kunisawa, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affiliate links.