Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Journal Line by Strathmore

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
Mixed Media
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.


Anonymous said...

That is AWESOME! I'm totally buying one. My journal is about to fall apart and I'm not even close to halfway done yet. Not sure what to do about that...

Isn't there a way for them to make a hardbound book that opens flat, like coptic stitch or some such thing?


Diana Trout {} said...

awesome blog here, Eric. I'm excited about have a look at your book. Could you email me at

Kelly said...

Hi Eric!-
I showed one of my 4th grade classes your book yesterday, which they just loved it! Then today 15 of the 28 in the class had Journals!

Sheryl K. said...

If you still have an opportunity for input at Strathmore, I would suggest offering 2 options for the 140 lb. watercolor--hot press and cold press. If they are only going to offer one option--hot press! Smooth watercolor paper is so much nicer for writing and using markers to embellish.

Glenda T. said...

OMG, I think I died and went to heaven!!! I have always had sooo much trouble finding a good journal, I can hardly wait for these!!!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Love your style Eric and I really enjoy your blog!!! I am so excited to ehar that someone is paying attention to the art journaling craze and dealing with the paper issues!!! I will be watching for the Strathmore books and I too, hope that they do a hardbound version!!!
Off to find your book! Huge Congrats!!!

World of Michael Trent said...

Funny, been searching all over for this journal and cannot find it yet. Did a search for it and your blog came up. Great blog. Just getting into journaling and this looks like a great place to start.