We've cultivated a collection of some of the world's best notebooks here at Milligram, and our staff have very strong feelings about which is their favourite. With such high-quality offerings, picking 2020's Best Notebook Maker wasn't an easy task, but one stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Forgive us indulging in a moment of self-congratulation, but our Studio Milligram designers had a banner year in notebooks. The vibrant colours of the Spiral Bound Notebook complemented LAMY's striking Candy special edition, while the Carla McRae notebook was a calming companion to our range of 2021 diaries. Their 80GSM Taiwanese milled Milligram Maple Paper kept things light while handling fountain pen ink in style, making these strong competitors for more expensive notebooks.
Moleskine is so iconic that the brand name itself is a synonym for 'notebook', so we couldn't leave them off this list. Their classic, time-tested designs continue to be best-sellers, while Moleskine outdid themselves with a limited editions that celebrated Frida Kahlo in fitting colour and Tokyo's Cherry Blossom Festival with tender pinks.
Worth celebrating for the engineering marvel that is their sustainable Stone Paper, Karst's updated notebook design added an extra touch of sophistication to their range that we found particularly appealing. Though not strictly in the notebook range, Karst also expanded their range with a new Sketchpad that we felt deserved some recognition as well.
With their humble mid-century design, Field Notes' classic air of Americana sets them apart from just about every other notebook out there. Made by passionate paper-geeks and printing enthusiasts, Field Notes offers unique takes on their time-tested format with seasonal Limited Editions that celebrate America's National Parks, the classic art of letterpressing and even the elements themselves.
A stalwart of notepad design, anyone who knows anything about stationery loves Rhodia. Using classic French paper made on the banks of the Rhône since 1934, the trademark orange cover is a mark of quality recognised the world over. With this year's Rhodiarama Notebook, the French maker added new colours to its palette, bringing new vibrancy to the decades of experience that go into each notebook and notepad that bears the Rhodia mark.
Coming from a very different paper tradition to Rhodia but delivered with the same care and experience, Midori strips everything down to the essentials to deliver a simple, perfect notebook. The MD Notebook Light is like the Japanese brand's take on the French cahier – a no-frills notebook designed for use in class, made with creamy MD paper so you can jot down notes without sacrificing quality or comfort.
Even with such strong challengers to the throne, Japanese brand Delfonics demolished the competition with ease. And that's no surprise – the Rollbahn notebook has been a Milligram favourite for years and years. Delfonics didn't reinvent the wheel in 2020, but the Rollbahn has been refined and perfected over so many years that it still seems like everyone else is struggling to keep up. Economical, robust and beautiful to write in, the simplicity at the core of Delfonics' design means this notebook will have a place in our hearts for years to come.