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As a student, a good notebook goes a long way with me. So when I found this in the mail I was very excited to try it, as the new term has just begun.
Fa Vo (dear me my autocorrect hates this) is a new brand to me. I hadn’t heard about them until I opened the package that was sent to me. This furthered my interest into testing it – the notebook was sent from Nero’s Notebooks, and I am very fond of this business; not just because their mascot CEO is a dog..or because my favourite coffee shop is Caffè Nero (cough). I think I am rather sceptical (as one always should be towards everything!) about this as it’s a new brand. While there are pitfalls, generally I am impressed with the Fa Vo notebook.
Minimalistic. This isn’t a bad thing – take for example the Lamy 2000, which has been iconic for years. I have found with notebooks that the over the top designs are the ones that you pay for specifically the design (hi Paperblanks). I personally prefer a better quality notebook than something that focuses on design. If I can have both, that’s cool too.
Something that Fa Vo highlights about their notebook (and this is something that is very important for me) is the fact that the notebook will lay flat. It does so very well.
This notebook is a dot grid. I’m not sure if all of them are like this, but I’m quite a fan. It gives you more autonomy on the page, but still something to ‘organise’ yourself with. Dots are what I prefer to use if I’m not dedicating the notebook to pure writing (like a journal). The pages are numbered, which is a nice feature. There’s no contents page, but you could make one I suppose as the first ‘page’ (both sides) is plain and this could be designed. There are 142 pages, despite the insert claiming 140.
On that note, one thing I saw was a slight lack of consistency when it comes to the dots. Not on the page per se, but rather some pages just didn’t have anything on them. I am doubtful that this is a ‘design feature’ but rather a problem with their printing. So. That could be an issue.
The paper used is 100gsm off white. I wouldn’t quite call it “cream” or “yellow”. It has a sort of vintage look to it. 100gsm is quite heavy in terms of paper, but interestingly enough you do see some feathering. It’s not much, and I’m hesitant to call it feathering; it actually looks quite nice and “retro” or something to that extent. Drier inks (such as Edelstein) will perform better than troublesome inks like Noodler’s. Though it did handle a heavy patch of Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm in a flex nib and overall there’s not much bleed through (I know there’s some with one of the Swan nibs, but honestly, it’s a total gusher. That thing would bleed through lead). There’s a level of show through, but this doesn’t usually bother me too much; I quite enjoy it.
I would be hesitant to recommend this notebook for the general user based on the fact that the pages are inconsistent, in my experience. I do love the design of the notebook and the way that it feels – it is so understated but looks and feels great. I would happily use this as a beat around notebook; something I wouldn’t mind if it gets a bit bent out of shape or damaged. Dots are nice, but the fact that some pages are misprinted isn’t something that would hinder the usability of the notebook. But would I use this for a journal, or even a Bullet Journal? No.
Disclaimer: This notebook was sent by Nero’s Notes in exchange for an honest review.