One of the best-kept secrets of digital artists is that they use a variety of drawing tools to create some of their best work. Many of these tools are not found in the average notebook, and if you're one of the lucky ones who does have a notebook full of your favorite pens, pencils, markers, and colored pencils, then you'll be aware of just how versatile the toolset can be. However, what do the average notebook makers have in common with the creatives? In this article, we'll discover some of the other essential tools that all good notebook creators should have in their repertoire.
All good designer notebooks have a number of different storage pockets to keep all the materials related to the making of the drawings in a neat and tidy pile. There's no point getting creative and leaving things like loose-leaf paper and bits of crumpled cards behind, and no one wants to have to sort through it all when they get around to actually finishing a new drawing. The drawers in a typical notebook are usually divided by a line every ten inches, which will make it easier to find the specific item that you're looking for, and they should be easy to open and close as well. Another important feature to look out for in drawing notebooks is a transparent plastic cover, which allows you to see what's inside at all times without having to disturb or interrupt the process. These notebooks are also an excellent way to label papers and draw out notes while keeping everything together in one place.
Another important thing that any good designer drawing notebooks should have is a page feeder. This is a small feed strip that runs down the side of the notebook, allowing you to feed in your sheets of paper as they come in. This makes it much easier and more convenient to work on the project at hand. There are many different types of page feeders available, and your best bet is to go for something that is easy to grip and use but also looks professional. There's no need to sacrifice style over functionality!
Along with the page feeder, the best overall notebooks will feature thick, comfortable, and easily portable white paper. Many designers consider white or black ink to be completely useless for sketching purposes, so thick. A white paper is absolutely essential. Some feature a "proper" thickness, which means the thickness of the paper is matched to the thickness of the page (in order to keep the pages from tearing), but there are no standards for choosing thickness. My advice? If you're going to use a lot of drawing and sketching notebooks, go with thicker paper (at least two or three times thicker than typical notebook paper).
Most professional-grade sketching and drawing notebooks will also come with sturdy carrying cases. Whether you're purchasing the notebook for yourself or as a gift for someone else, you want your investment to be sturdy and well priced. Most designers these days also offer replacement pages in case yours do wear out or get scratched. It's a wise choice to purchase a notebook that is durable enough to last several years. There are some extremely well-priced, sturdy notebooks on the market today.
Most professionals also suggest buying a notebook with larger page corners. The wider the page corners on a notebook, the more comfortable it is to draw and write on. Some of the larger, wider page corners on some of the expensive designer sketching and drawing notebooks can even act as a "durable rubber mat for your feet," according to one of the leading notebook designers. Many of the smaller and lighter pens have the same advantages. Whether you prefer the feel of a pen on your pinky or the weight of an eraser on your pinky, a larger, wider corner is usually the better option.
Along with the standard features mentioned above, what do top-grade professional notebooks have that cheap notebooks don't? Well, besides just about everything mentioned above, I'm sure you'll agree that they're usually more expensive, too. If you're ready to spend a few hundred dollars, you might be able to get a "professional" designer notebook (one with a large screen, a nice leather case, and lots of storage space). But for most of us, we can go with the more affordable models with just enough room to hold our sketches, write notes, and store books and newspapers - or even lose change! Many artists use their notebooks to keep a sketchbook or journal so that they never have to lose any of their precious artwork. It might be wise to invest in high quality, sturdy writing device so that you never have to worry about losing any of your artwork.