Opus Handmade Journal Review – $45

There is a small company on Kickstarter called Opus. They are selling, amoung some other really neat things, a leather wrapped journal. Kate Burrow from Opus sent me one to check out and share with you guys.

Opus Leather Journal Review6I’ve seen these hand bound notebooks but moleskines have always been my choice notebook because of how many pages they hold. What pops out to me with this Opus journal is the heavy paper and coptic stitching (here is a guide on doing your own coptic stitch binding notebook) for the binding which gives fantastic flexibility, unlike glued bindings. Several pages are already tearing off on my latest moleskin because of inflexibility in the glued binding.

So, with a coptic stitch binding you can do things like this without damaging the journal:

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While the journal is bound in leather it isn’t full grain. There is a light 1 oz stamped (for texture) leather sheet wrapped around book board, commonly used in hardbacks. It feels nice. It’s soft and the texture is nice. Nice but not full grain grade.

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The inside of the journal covers are glued down to the book board with a linen cloth lining.

The one problem that Kate assured me they were fixing was the weakness of the glue holding the interior fabric down to the backboard. I was able to gently tear the fabric away from the book board revealing the secret message; “Your determination will bring much success.”

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The paper is heavy weight at 98 lbs and it is pretty nice to write on. My pen, a Pilot G-2 and a Parker fountain pen, glide right over the heavy paper.

If I were more of an artist I could use this journal more completely since the heavy paper allows you to draw and paint quite easily. If you paint in the journal I suppose you can’t close it, but a journal of paintings would be cool. Point is; you can use it for a lot more than journaling about your annoying boss.

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Dimensions are the standard journal size, 5.5 inches by 8.25 inches. Normal.

I think this journal is for a lot more than just daily journaling. It deserves an artist with cool handwriting and an eye for pastel colors. Or use it for a special event where you write a series of meaningful letters that you want to save.

With the improvements to the book board adhesive that Kate is going to make I would recommend this journal for serious writers, artists, and people who want a memorable notebook to hold special memories (which is exactly what Opus designed it for).

Check out the other rewards Opus is offering as well. Some of them are pretty intriguing. Handwritten Shakespear scroll anyone?

Check out Opus on KickStarter.com.

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