Thursday, November 25, 2010

El Casco: Attention to Detail is an understatement

El Casco Pencil Sharpener

Brand new for us at Inscriber, we now have the World's Best desk accessories - El Casco. The adjective 'World's Best' can be overused, misused and abused, but in the above context, I actually think it could be an understatement.

El Casco Scissors

Made by hand in the Basque region of Spain (which is right near the border of France and is basically a little region of separatists...the Basque language is about the only one in the world that can't be linked to any other so they like to do things differently) the quality is amazing.

El Casco Stapler

You can read about their manufacturing process for, as an example, a stapler, but to sum it up, all parts are hand-ground and inspected for quality separately. They are then individually machined. They are then assembled to make sure that they are all calibrated properly. They are then disassembled (!), laser-engraved, polished (by hand) six times (!!) to a mirror finish (in other words 'wow...shiny') and then re-inspected.

El Casco Tape Dispenser

All pieces are then plated with 5 different metals, inspected, assembled and packaged. This final person in the process has to wear special gloves so that the final product is totally unblemished. I can sympathise with this - to quote Sarah, you may "just spend all day polishing them and cursing the existence of your fingerprints."

El Casco Hole Punch

But they're not just lovely, amazing, shiny things; they work incredibly well and ooze quality out of every six-times polished facet. So check El Casco out, if for no other reason than that dedication to quality of this magnitude deserves acknowledgement.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just Landed: Shuky Par Avion Macbook Sleeves!

Just arrived from Melbourne design studio Shuky, the Par Avion Macbook sleeves are genuine leather, super nice to touch, they have an adorable leather tie closure (which also stops metal zips leaving marks on things), subtle stitching and are a throwback to vintage postage and packaging.

Available and designed specifically for MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in either 13 inch or 15 inch size and for iPad, they add a nice warm touch to the otherwise 'cold' consumer electronics feel that laptops can have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Landed: Three Stars!

Straight out of Hamburg, Germany, we have just received our newest (and probably most retro) brand - Three Stars! Established in 1870, Three Stars is Germany's oldest chalk manufacturer and has, in many ways, contradicted some German stereotypes for me.

You know the one - the exacting, precise German. The humourless chemist, the ruthless industrialist, the form-follows-function designer...none to be found here.

For starters, the Three Stars (Drei Sterne) logo is an instant classic and their packaging is so replete with low-fi irony that I just can't get over it.

The pastels are awesome, the crayons make me wish that i was back in kindergarten and the carpenter pencils are fuelling my previously mentioned pencil fetish. Click through to see Germany's finest, most emphatically non-German stationery.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just Landed: Behance Action Method!

The Behance Action Journal is made with recycled paper

Finally! We've been really anxious to top up the always popular Behance Action Method range and the good delivery finally just arrived this morning! All checked, inspected and ready to go: featuring the New Leaf line which is made with recycled paper (and sold out incredibly quickly the first time around)!

I love the Behance tag line, it really sums up why we bother with design stationery in the first place...Show Your Ideas Some Respect!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why The Telegram World Map Is The Best Thing Ever

Part of the Telegram World Map

I may reveal myself to be slightly nerdy here but i do love a good story so here goes. Just quickly: if you're unfamiliar with the Telegram World Map, it's a majestic 1.75m x 1.25m canvas map of (you guessed it) the world. It's pacific-centred, so that means little old Australia is in the spotlight. And it is the best thing ever.

We have one (actually, two) at NoteMaker adorning our walls and inspiring us to action. I thus see it every day and still I never tire of it. It always has something new to say every time I walk on by.

It really is like the World's Best Storyteller. It is history, politics, environmental studies and stories of all kind and it will never run out.

As an example I was looking at a teeny region in Indonesia called the Banda Strait which is a notorious body of water which holds the Banda Islands. Did you know that back in the days when Indonesia was the Dutch East Indies (history, politics, geography...) these little islands were basically the epicentre of Imperial Europe?

The Dutch and the British had quite the conflict over this tiny group of islands which takes up no more than 1 square centimetre on the map (which is 21875 square centimetres in total) because it was the world's only source of Nutmeg and Mace in the 18th century - the wonder spices. Nutmeg was good for whatever ails you - the plague, dysentry, flatulence, general blues, impotence, just everything! - and was being sold in London for 60 thousand times its purchase price in the Banda Islands.

So, the battle was worth fighting...anyway, to cut an increasingly long story short, a treaty was signed between the English and the Dutch. England had one of the Banda Islands called Run and the Ducth had New York City...and believe it or not, they swapped!

Think of the difference that makes to the world today! The English traded a tiny island for the mighty world-running U S of A. Just think about how the world would be today if that never happened! And all for some spices!

And just think about how awesome something must be if a cursory glance at it can bring about all of the long-winded enthusiasm above. History, politics, geography, environment...stories. If you want to learn more about the Spice trade, check out Nathaniel's Nutmeg. If you want to find out another 21 874 amazing stories (and that must be an understatement!) then click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Pencil Revolution

From A Pencil Revolution

I've been in several minds recently about just what to write with. I had a steady relationship with a Lamy Safari fountain pen (medium nib, with J Herbin Ink) but then was seduced by a Ballpoint pen of all things! Even though it was a nice Faber-Castell Ballpoint pen, a lot of people I know would still consider the switch nothing short of heresy.

Koh-I-Noor Triograph HB Pencil

I have since switched again and can't stop using a Koh-I-Noor Triograph HP Pencil (above). I love it, it's nice and fat so I don't stress my fingers holding it and the lead is fairly thick and soft. This suits me wonderfully as i have a tendency to write very lazily, with big letters and big spacing and just general untidiness. Heresy indeed.

Great Photo and review of the Rhodia Pencil from A Pencil Revolution

So my recent fling with a good old grey lead has got me into pencils in general and i can only recommend the Pencil Revolution blog. The main pic in this post comes from there and there is plenty more awesome pencils to look at, as well as reviews more in depth than I could ever conceive of, such as this one for the Rhodia Pencil. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Landed! Field Notes Raven's Wings!

Just landed this very morning! NoteMaker is now very pleased to stock the Limited Edition Field Notes Raven's Wings! It's a sinister set of three graph paper notebooks, with a blind debossed cover, matt charcoal inside and grey grid ruling.

Check out the manufacturing process (straight out of Illinois, USA) above and click through to view it online. There are only very few available, so be quick.

Delfonics Diaries...they're perfect

Delfonics Aufschreiben 2011 Diary

And I mean perfect. At every level of the meaning of the word, they are perfect - the definition of an ideal type / excellent beyond theoretical improvement / exactly fitting a certain need / entirely without flaws...

As an example, let's look at the 'Aufschreiben' diary above. It is a pocket diary, so you're supposed to carry it around with you. For this reason, it's a nice slimline 9.5cm wide.

A slimline design

Aufschreiben is German for 'to write down', so you're supposed to take notes in it. For this reason, it has a weekly notebook format.

A weekly notebook layout

And since you're supposed to write down all of the extemporaneous tid bits of life as the diary accompanies you, it even has a pen loop...and a pen.

With a Delfonics pen and pen loop

And because when one of these spontaneous 'moments' arises, you don't want to be flicking frantically to find the right page, it has page markers...two of 'em, so you know where you are.

Page Markers are handy

And because a diary - where you write down everything you do in your life - is more or less a paper extension of yourself, it should look good, suit your taste, be well made and not a bulk standard 'thing' which happens to say 2011 on the cover. Check, check and check!

Attention to detail 'beyond theoretical improvement'

The pages have silver or gold edging, the colours are beautiful and it feels, scrap that... not nice...perfect! Check out further instances of stationery beyond improvement here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Uniball Fanthom - An erasable rollerball pen!

Uniball Fanthom Erasable Rollerball Pen

All new from Uniball, the Fanthom is an erasable rollerball pen! The colours are nice and bright, it's light and it's comfy and it's erasable!

At first I thought, yeah, that's kind of cool - no more white out or crossing stuff out and it kind of feels really cool to erase ink.

Then I thought - how does it work? It turns out to be relatively simple. The ink is heat-sensitive, so any source of friction on the written line will generate heat, chemically change the ink and it will disappear. Uniball have designed the cap to be perfect for this task, so you just flip your pen and use the cap as if it were an eraser. And you guessed it: that means it can be if you cool something you've erased (ie: put it in the fridge) the line will come back. Again, that's kind of cool.


But beyond all of this practical stuff, there was a use I didn't see until Sarah and Caroline showed can do really cool patterns and stuff! Talk about a Eureka moment!

Nice Metallic Tones in the erasable rollerball ink.

When you're not busy erasing what you've written, you might notice that the ink colours are nice, they have this tiny suggestion of metallic tones, the line is a standard 0.7mm and the barrel is really smooth plastic, so it rests on your hand nicely. I have found it encouraging a greater degree of verbosity than normal from me, as I kind of want to write too much just so I can erase what I've other words, yes...I'm addicted...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Behind The Plastic: O-Check Utility Notebook

The O-Check Utility Notebook

I realised recently that there are so many great things about paper goods that you wouldn't necessarily know unless you've actually used them...since I get to use them everyday, it's only fair that we go 'behind the plastic' and see what a photo may not show.

O-Check Utility Notebook
* This has a clothbound spine, so it opens perfectly, 100% completely training's great!
* The paper is recycled and unbleached, so if you have a nice vibrant ink colour, it really shows it off - great for contrast.
* It's professionally appropriate - a nice, straight two-tone black...if you confined me to an office cubicle, this would be my first companion.

Check it out and let me know if you've found any other great features I may have missed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Urgent Message!

The set of 8 Message Stamps.

Okay, so it's not that urgent but it is adorable! Brand new from O-Check Design Graphics is the Message Stamp Set. 8 Great stamps for any message you'd ever want to send and a lovely little wooden box to keep them in.

Best Wishes!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Serrote Notebooks - Portuguese Letterpress

It's really easy to fall for stationery. I have been smitten countless times and have probably become habituated to such uber-cuteness as daily dealings with design stationery provides.

But have I ever been this smitten?

Serrote is hand made in Portugal and is a range of letter-pressed notebooks which are not only totally unique for their design, their insides and outsides, but they leave an impression of such absolute care being taken in their production that it feels kind of sneaky to handle, am I allowed to touch this? Shouldn't it be behind glass?

The designs are limited editions and there are precious few available. I really can only implore you to get your hands on'll be as giddy as I. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then to actually flick through one of these is an entire lexicon unto itself!

I would like to tell you more about it, but to continue the romance metaphor, their appeal is kind of ineffable...beyond any articulation I could offer. There's just something about it...isn't that enough?!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Playing Favourites...

Delfonics Rollbahn Notebooks - my favourite!

Do you have a favourite notebook? Have you found it yet...that elusive one that was
meant for you? We now have a handy notebook finder to help you sort through our amazing range. Check it out. Psst...that's mine up there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Magic is here!

No amount of Hocus Pocus, Open Sesame or nose wriggling required, just click here and you can do magic too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moleskine 2011 Diaries Cool Video!

We've had the full range of 2011 Moleskine diaries available for a while now at NoteMaker and the new items are some of our and our customers' favourites. If you don't know, you can always check them out. All new are the smallest ever extra small daily and weekly and biggest ever A4 daily and weekly styles.

The diary range now comprises a comprehensive 32 pieces in total, each of which gets some TLC in the above video by Dutch visual artist Roger Wieland. Via Moleskine's official website. Here's my tip: they're even better in real life!