I am coming up to my first anniversary with Bureau Direct and it feels right to finally offer up a staff review. I use the term ‘review’ very loosely here. Please do not think I know what I am talking about, I am probably much more of a stationery amateur than anyone reading this. These are just some of my ramblings.
For those of you not familiar with myself it is because I do not play a part much in the mail-order side of Bureau, you may have heard me answer a few phone calls when no one else is available (sorry for not being as helpful as the others!). I mainly manage producing branded stationery for company use or for promotional events and conferences. If you want to get in touch, my details are at the bottom of this post! Sorry, a shameless plug there, let’s get back on topic.
Before my time here, I was blind to the wonders of fine notebooks and pens. A stationery peasant, using battered biros laying around the house and supermarket refill pads as ‘notebooks’. Although I wouldn’t call myself a stationery addict (just yet), my sight has been revived and the following are now some of my few treasured possessions.
Deep down, I think I have always yearned to own a fountain pen. However, I had always assumed that this would be an expensive dream and never looked into it further. All that changed after working just a couple of weeks here. It was impossible not to notice how popular the affordable Lamy Safari fountain pens were with the customers and that gave me hope.
I took the chance and I am glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised at how much an improvement in fun writing was. In fact, now I exclusively write using my fountain pen. I set myself on the Vista in the end because seeing the colour of the ink through the clear barrel is a novelty that I will never tire of. This leads nicely onto my next choice.
When you have finally settled on a fountain pen, you then need to find some inks to fill it with! I love bright, exotic colours so my mission was to find such a range of inks. Over the past year I have tried numerous inks from Lamy, Monteverde and J Herbin. All of which have some great colours in their catalogues which really stand out, but I have to go with J Herbin. They just have such a huge choice and there are many that provide that strength of colour that I crave. My personal favourite so far is the Bleu Pervenche.
If you hold no alliance to any one particular colour, it’s a no brainer to go with the J Herbin pick’n’mix option. (Remember to get an ink cartridge converter, the Lamy Z24 in my case!) I personally went for the customisable ten ink set, as it presents your ink in a luxurious black box for safe keeping. I am showing symptoms of addiction already. I have the constant thought in the back of my mind encouraging me, “the more I write, the quicker I can change ink.”
As with the public mainstream, the only notebook I had ever known by brand name was Moleskine. I needed a notebook to track what needed doing for the day and so naturally picked off a standard Moleskine lined notebook of the shelf. They were good enough for the biro I started with but the move to fountain pen was not pleasant. The ink bled through constantly through the pages and everything just got so messy!
However, I kept my first Moleskine to the bitter end and when the last page was used I immediately switched over to Leuchtturm1917 and have never looked back. Not only do the pages not bleed but writing in ink is so smooth and effortless. Even something as simple as the Leuchtturm having numbered pages and an empty contents page makes a tremendous difference in keeping myself organised. Or maybe I like them because the colours Leuchtturm offer on their covers are fantastic.
A year at Bureau is a big step but even greater is the fact I have come out of the stationery shadows and now bask in the powerful combination of a pen, ink and paper. If you are a newcomer to this stage then I would recommend starting with the above. Well, maybe don’t go crazy on the ink just yet...
Here’s the website for branded stationery from Bureau Direct, aptly named Bureau Business: www.bureaubusiness.co.uk
And if you would like to contact me, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org.