Darkstar “Black Space” Pocket Notebook Review
How does a brand with incredibly minimal branding make a name for itself?
I pondered this question whilst reading all about the Darkstar pocket notebook, which features the least branding I’ve ever seen.
Nero’s notes had sent me this to review, and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’d have ever found out the brand had I not asked!
The first thing that struck me was the name….. I’ll challenge you to find a more fitting name for any notebook out there, than an all black notebook called “Black Space”, from a brand called “Darkstar” – Talk about match made in Darth Vader heaven.
A stealth look and feel are only disturbed by the black, Darkstar logo on the front…… This is all you get to distinguish what you have in your hand, and I’d be very surprised if many people recognised this small brand which hand finishes their notebooks in Wales.
That being said, black is most definitely the new black, with tech firms, stationary makers and everyone in between clamouring to make their products look stealthy and modern in today’s age. The colour stands the test of time, and is arguably the most versatile for notebooks, where it lends itself perfectly to the business boardroom and looks just as at home in the outdoors.
Personally, I’m a big lover of black products. There is a sense of simplicity and an uncomplicated nature which allow you to focus on the primary aim of whatever the tool is. In this instance, it’s note taking, so let’s crack on and see what we have.
56 pages of beautiful 100gsm ruled paper are sandwiched between your typical black cover.
They measure in at 10cm X 15cm and it is here where I can see the opinion being split.
If you are a leather (or other material) notebook cover carrier; you are unlikely to fit this in (assuming your cover is sized to house the more traditional 9cm X 14cm sized notebooks). I can’t bring myself to carry notebooks “naked” as I always end up damaging them in some way, shape or form, so a cover is essential in my world.
If you don’t care for these covers, then it’s game on, and the Darkstar comes into it’s own.
At 10cm X 15cm it’s the same size as most leather covers (so for me, it would be like nothing has changed). But that extra space you get is incredibly satisfying and it allows you to spread out a little more than normal.
If the great musician, “Santana” needed a notebook, he’d certainly choose this one because it is smooth. Like, really smooth. It’s almost a little wasted in a pocket notebook, because this paper would really come into it’s own if you were doing longer form writing, but that takes nothing away from the enjoyment of jotting down a quick to do.
It’s also incredibly fountain pen friendly, with no whiff of bleed through or ghosting from my LAMY Al-Star. However, there was a touch of ghosting from my Baron Fig Squire, which does lay the ink down quite heavily. Not enough for me to be concerned with, and you can still use both sides of the page without any concerns.
I’m not a fan of the lined page in the slightest – It reminds me of the school days and feels too restrictive if you ever wanted to break out a sketch or diagram. Luckily, they are also available in dot or plain paper.
I also found the colour appeared to be very white on initial inspection. My preference leans towards a more muted white/ivory as it seems much less stark. It also didn’t help that it was lined instead of graph or dot, as it meant you could see more of the white.
Below is a comparison between the Darkstar (on top), Norderly (in the middle), and Field Notes – National Park on the bottom.
Word has it that these notebooks are soon to become a rarity, as Darkstar won’t be making them anymore. It’s a real shame because the size, paper quality and overall feel make these notebooks an enticing option for the right person.
For me, whilst I love the stealth look and feel, the size of the notebook makes it an impossible choice to use on a regular basis and will end up being consigned to the “someday” shelf of notebooks.
For anyone looking to grab them before they are gone, you can find them at Nero’s notes – here.
Let me know what your “optimum” size is for the pocket notebook below!
I was sent this product for free, for an unbiased review. I’ll always be honest, and if something ins’t up to scratch, I’ll say so.
This article contains affiliate links where I’ll earn a small commission for each purchase.