I was contacted recently by the folks over at Blok Books about reviewing one of their products and I'm looking forward to sharing some thoughts.
A neat fact, Blok Books is actually a company local to me and the books are produced right here in Phoenix by a small bookbinder which is pretty cool. Small business is awesome.
The Blok products are centered around design and experience. The owners of the company, David Rengifo and Steve Smit, are both artists and designers so they seemed to know what they wanted.
The first noticeable features are the sharp edges and orange accents. The cover of the books are a thick laminated card stock with a matte finish with an embossed "BLOK" logo. Orange looks great as an accent. A bit flashy, but fits the overall style and branding of the books so well. These look like they are produced by a company much larger than they are which is a compliment. When a smaller company can produce locally made products as sharp as these, that is a huge win and accomplishment.
Rather than the binding being glued like most comparable books on the market, these are sewn and bound in a process called "Smythe Sewn" which allows the book to lay completely flat and the pages won't fall out.
When I say "flat", I mean flat. I don't think I've used a notebook that actually fulfills on this claim as well as Blok.
The book also comes with an elastic strap to keep it closed which is similar to that of a Moleskine or Leuchtturm 1917 books, but without the "faux" leatherette type of material on the covers. It doesn't feel quite as soft as these others, but the book begs to be used.
There is a small square in the spine section of the cover that allows for a clicky pen to accompany you with the book. There is even a space between the pages and the edge of the cover so it will fit and not bend anything.
The book comes with 128 pages that are just about an A5 size.
I opted for the "Grid Blok" which is a dot pattern. The dots are a subtle grey and easy to follow. I went directly to fountain pens for my initial tests and the book did fantastic.
I've used three different pens with different inks in the book and all performed well. Dry times were considerably long...
Most of the lines were crisp and sharp, but there were a couple of spots that barely feathered.
These books are a bit pricier than some others on the market at $25 apiece, but dang they are nice. The paper is great, the lay-flat design, good looks; lots of great features that push our buttons. I would definitely recommend them to try to a stationary junkie or someone who appreciates a nice notebook. Visit blokbooks.com to see their selection and thanks again to Blok for sending this sample for review!