I got home the other day to find a package of samples from a new product line to be released this summer by Stratmore Artists Paper. Strathmore is set to release a line of visual journal spiral bound books in three different sizes. More on that in a bit, but first the story.
Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Jeanette from Strathmore asking if she could use some of my journal page images as a way to show how people use the visual journal. In exchange, she would send me some free samples of new products and mention the book. I said, "yes," and sent her some images. So, I got a whole variety of Visual Journals, and couldn't wait to experiment with them and share with everyone.
So, here's the scoop. Apparently Strathmore realized that visual journaling is becoming big and that many visual journalists are not satisfied with the quality of paper in traditional sketchbooks - too much bleed through, tearing, and broken bindings. So, they are releasing a line of blank books featuring a number paper qualities to satisfy the rigors of the mixed-media nature of the visual journal.
Paper types that will be available:
Drawing - 100 lb
Bristol - Vellum and Smooth
Watercolor - 90 lb and 140 lb
Of course with the thicker paper, each journal will contain fewer pages. The Drawing Visual Journal will contain 84 pages (42 sheets) and the 14o lb Watercolor Visual Journal will contain 44 pages (22 sheets). But all journals will be spiral bound on the side with heavy-duty wire and heavy-duty front and back covers. All Visual Journals will be available in three sizes: 3.5"x5", 5.5"x8", and 9"x12".
So, I've been experimenting in the small Drawing Visual Journal and the medium 140 lb Watercolor Visual journal (both of which are open in the photo above). I'm loving the thicker paper quality, and permanent marker does not bleed through the drawing paper - great for those Sharpie lovers. The small journal makes an excellent pocket journal, and the medium journal will be a great travel journal to use when visiting museums and galleries.
I'm just not a fan of spiral bound journals. I know that they offer benefits - they lay flat and the offer expandibility. But the spiral gets in the way of a two page spread. I'm hoping that they will offer a hardbound 11"x14" version, and after emailing Jeanette, Strathmore may be considering it. But in the meantime, I will be getting some of the small journals when they are released in June or July.