I had heard a lot of praise about Baron Fig and their “tools for thinkers” over the last few years, but had not taken the plunge on purchasing any of their products. I had heard about their excellent paper and their well designed stationery items and was always just on the verge of buying. So, when a coupon to save $10 off an order of $20 or more was posted to the Erasable Podcast Facebook group, I thought now is as good a time as any to get a few things and see what all the fuss is about. One product in particular caught my eye and that was the Vanguard Composition Notebook.
As a child of the greatest decade ever, the 1980s, I was well familiar with composition books. In my time, they typically had black marbled covers and had stitched binding. They were softcovers yet were sturdy enough to last despite being chucked around and used hard. The paper was never that great but in the age of Bic ballpoints and pencils, they were good enough. I’ve even continued using them to this day, mostly to capture notes from audio podcasts and books that I am listening to. But, as an adult, I have often wished that these were just better. Better quality, maybe even just a bit more grown-up.
That’s where the motivation to purchase the Baron Fig Composition Notebook came from. And in many ways, it delivers on being better. Now, is it truly a “composition book?” No, not really and that’s okay too. The first thing I noticed was how much smaller it is than it’s larger inspiration. It is A5-ish in size, coming in at 5.4 inches by 7.7 inches. It also contains just 72 pages, whereas most composition books are 100 pages. Essentially these notebooks are not meant to be a replacement for the classic, but perhaps an evolution of it.
After using them for several days, I can say with certainty that the hype is well-deserved. The paper is lovely to use. It is toothy enough to be great for pencils and yet takes fountain pens and rollerballs with ease. There is slight shadow on the opposite side when using wetter nibs but not enough to cause me any pause. This excellent paper is stitch bound and the binding feels very tight and secure. The books come in a pack of 3, and have composition book style covers in black, green and yellow. They also feature a “This book belongs to” inside the front cover and a chart of “Useful Information” inside the back. The useful information includes a handy conversion chart and some English helps such as a parts of speech and punctuation guide. These are neat additions that show Baron Fig’s attention to detail.
I do wish that the ruling was slightly darker so as to be more visible. I realize that most eyes can see them just fine, but not mine. I also was saddened that you can no longer get the Archer pencils with the books as part of the School Set that Baron Fig used to offer. Alas, the Archers are no longer in stock and there is no indication that they will return.
My final verdict is that I am pleased with these notebooks. Their design, paper quality and size make them a great addition to my collection.
I purchased these for $12 for a pack of 3 and I even got free shipping due to my order exceeding $25! If you’d like to take advantage of the same $10 off offer that I did, just click here!
The opinions included are mine and mine alone.