Let's talk about one of my go-to products: Doane Paper.
This review and the one that will follow it next week have something in common: They're about products that I've been using long-term — we're talking years — that I haven't written about. And it's not because I don't think Doane Paper is worth writing about or that I like it less than other papers. In fact, it's the opposite. Chad's products are completely worthy of your time and money and I love them. And I think the reason I haven't written about Doane Paper before is because Chad's product blends in so seamlessly with my workflow that it's easy to overlook — to take for granted.
Chad started Doane Paper in 2005. He saw a divide during a work meeting where half the folks were using grid paper and the other half were using lined legal pads and found a hole in the market for a paper that fit both styles. Enter: Grid + Lines. He started with a simple website that allowed users to download a free PDF of the paper to give it a try (which you can still do). A bold move, but one that paid off handsomely for Chad as people soon started asking for his paper in pads. From there, with a few partnerships, some collaborations and a handful of product releases, Doane has grown from a free PDF sheet of innovative paper to two pad sizes, a pair of notebooks and a new design using a grid of "plus" marks reminiscent of the reticles left on Hasselblad Data cameras from NASA's early missions. Very cool stuff.
Doane Paper speaks to me on multiple levels. It's a small, American-owned business, which I can always get on board with; Chad's products are innovative and thoughtful; and since I'm both a lines guy and a grid guy, Doane Paper fits my style exactly. In my work as a designer, webmaster and photographer, I'm always meeting with folks to discuss new projects and Doane Paper gives me the opportunity to take notes while also sketching up ideas on a grid to keep things neat and tidy. It's a win-win.
The paper is fairly thick and holds up well to pencil, gel pens, felt tip pens, permanent markers and even some fountain pens with finer nibs. Sharpie markers will bleed through to the next sheet, but most papers will do this so it's not a slight on Chad's product. All other pens I've used, regardless of type, don't bleed through or show through at all. Thicker fountain pens will feather a bit, but again, this is not uncommon and is more normal than not. The paper in pads is blank on the back so you can use the back side for larger drawings or charts or whatever where you may not want the lines and grids interfering.
Chad's paper comes in Large/Small Pads which offer pages that tear out easily as well as a couple of different notebooks and three-hole punch loose-leaf sheets. I can't wait for my kid to need paper for school. And, if you're a pocket notebook person, Chad offers his paper in a 3.5x5.5 format. BLESS. HIS. HEART for not giving us some obscure, off-the-wall size that doesn't fit our other pocket-notebook accessories. Again, innovative while also being thoughtful and useful.
I'm a huge fan of Doane Paper in all of its formats, but prefer the large pads for my day-to-day use. I think if I could have one product from Chad, it would be a bound, soft-cover A5 notebook with 100 sheets, front and back for a total of 200 useable sheets. And I'd love it if the line spacing was a little smaller (so two blocks between each line as opposed to three which would probably require the lines be a bit thinner). I enjoy using the large pads in my daily office life. But a bound notebook (not spiral) would be ideal for me for absolute daily use.
All-in-all, though, Doane Paper is fantastic, fun and totally worth your hard-earned dollars. And Chad was kind enough to offer a discount code for the next 7 days. Head over to DoanePaper.com and use the code NIBANDINK for 15% off your entire purchase until next Friday, November 17, 2017. Thanks Chad!
Be sure and check out all of the fantastic Doane Paper products. Chad's a really nice guy and his products are great.
Thanks for reading,