New notebook maker Ghost Paper recently launched a unique product: what they refer to as an "embossed paper notebook." Instead of using printed lines, all structure is embossed/debossed, meaning that the lines are slightly raised or indented on the page, depending which side you are writing on. They were kind enough to send me a couple of these books for review. I've not seen anything like this before, and it's certainly an interesting idea.
Other than the paper itself, the Ghost Paper Notebook is your fairly standard 6" by 8", 96-page softcover notebook. After spending some time with it, here's what I enjoyed about the product:
- The embossed/debossed rulings. I definitely liked the feel of writing on a blank page, while still being able to keep my handwriting straight. While I typically find the ruling on lined notebooks too wide, and therefore prefer the narrower spacing on graph or dot grid, Ghost Paper nailed it, at least for my personal taste.
- Soft, flexible cover in matte gray. I love the texture, which feels great in the hand. The embossed "Ghost Paper" logos and branding in the bottom left-hand corner of the front cover and centered on the back are well-designed and understated. I would say that this notebook definitely fits in with a minimalist aesthetic, if that's your thing.
- Pen/pencil loop on the notebook. The loop is elastic, so it will probably hold a fair variety of pencils, gel pens, and some fountain pens (though you probably won't be using the latter in this notebook - see below).
- The texture of the paper. This paper has some slight tooth to it, which gave it a pleasant feel to write on, especially with pencils. If I had to compare it, I would say the paper reminds me of early Baron Fig paper, with a Whitelines-esque minimalist aesthetic.
That said, despite the Ghost Paper notebook being a very attractive and well-executed product from a design standpoint, it isn't a notebook that I could personally use on a regular basis, and you can probably guess why. This paper doesn't handle fountain pens or other liquid ink/rollerball pens very well. While feathering isn't too much of an issue, wetter inks bleed and/or show through the page fairly easily. (I even saw a hint of bleedthrough with a Pilot G2, though I'm one of those who writes with a fairly heavy hand.) Of course, some people don't use liquid ink, or simply don't care about bleedthrough. A good rule of thumb here would be whether or not you can use standard Moleskine paper with your writing instrument of choice. If you can, you'll be fine, because the Ghost Paper notebook is definitely a step above Moleskine.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Ghost Paper makes a nice-looking, well-designed notebook, but I did not find it to be very versatile in terms of the types of pens I could use. For this reason, I have to limit my recommendation of this product to those of you who primarily use ballpoint pens or pencils, in which case you should be very happy with the paper.
You can order the Ghost Paper Notebook directly from Ghost Paper. These notebooks are relatively expensive at $25 each, though I'd expect that price to come down some if the brand becomes established and the company can start making larger production runs.
Disclaimer: Ghost Paper provided me with these notebooks at no charge for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.