O-check and other rare brands from overseas... and Portland.

Ever since notebookstories mentioned an Ellie magazine article about trendy notebooks I have been desparte to get something... anything from o-check. I mean, just look at these notebooks:

o-check notebooks. (click to enlarge)

This is really good advertising for someone like me, they capture photographically the mood of using a nice notebook. Sadly, o-check is not easy to get in the US at all. They are headquartered in Seoul, Korea. After attempting to order from the Korea website (without knowing any Korean!) I finally found an Australian distributor that sold them, Plain, Ruled Graph. (Is it just me or are all the cool notebook companies and stationary stores outside of the US?) I really loved the website, but I do not love the $33 shipping fee to the US.

But I wanted one of the notebooks... badly. So I found a few things that I liked and placed an order. It just came today! I'm really happy with most of it. Take a look:

My O-check Notebook

The o-check notebooks was everything I dreamed it would be. The quality is exquisite.

It feels just like a library book.

I also ordered a small graph paper notebook from Red Horseshoe Paper. Only after did I realize that they are in Portland, so I can get them without the hassle of ordering from Australia!

Red Horseshoe Graph Notebook: it has both metric and Imperial sized grids.

A nice touch on this notebook is the red thread used to stich it together. Lovely!

A nice touch.

The paper is *very* good for fountain pens.

I also bought these darling envelops made by Midori (of the famous travler's notebooks, I may try those some day as well).

Midori Envlopes

So why did I say I was only happy with "most" of it? Well, I saw this ruler on Plain, Ruled Graph, it's made by o-check so I thought: Hey, why not?

O-Check Desk Wooden Ruler (as seem on the website)

I have quite a few slide rules, compasses and other drafting instruments. (I will do a post in the future on that.) So maybe my expectations were just too high, based on the photo I expected high quality, plastic edges (but the nice kind of plastic they use for slide-rules) and a darling little brass knob to hold it. Sadly, this is what I got:

It arrived broken, and the wood is so soft you can mark it witha fingernail.

It is made of very soft wood almost like balsa, it's unfinished, the numbers are painted on and the little knob falls right out if you so much as touch it. Now it was only $6, so maybe I'm expecting too much. I will be cautious about non-notebook items from o-check. I'll write Plain Ruled Graph and see what they can do about this. Since everything else was very nice this isn't such a big deal.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely beautiful notebooks!  I have been finding that actual laptop sleeves are trying to mimic some of these designs.  I suppose the reason is, often at times laptops are pretty boring looking and when you see the quality of notebooks like here in your post - you want to combine them.

    I remember in The Adjustment Bureau they were showing off a concept of combining the old 1940's look of notebooks with modern technology.  And with that said I'm sure there's lot of other people who are waiting for something similar to come down the pipe, especially with some of these iPad cases.

    I guess it just goes to show how much modern technology owes to designs like these.  Maybe another one of your readers has something similar to what I'm talking about.

    • http://www.futurebird.com Susan Donovan

      True enough, I have an iPad case that looks like a notebook... Hmmm maybe I should do a post on cases!

      • Cassie

        I would love to read post about Ipad cases. I have been contemplating a purchase of an Ipad for my sister. I would live to find a nice and fashionable case for gift giving purposes.

  • Sanda Bradley

    I have
    been documenting everything in my life through a journal since I was 15
    years old, I am 32 years old now and that can give you an idea how many
    journal notebooks I have. It already filled one of my closets. Just like
    you, I have deep appreciation with notebooks, and I love that you featured
    and taken a picture of you O-Check Notebook! I love looking at it and I
    envy you for having it. Those are great collections.

    • Cassie

      Wow Sandra, I find it impressive that you have documented the details of your life in such a special way. I cherish the journal that I kept during my twenty-first year as I planned my wedding! I really wish that I had kept journals earlier.

      I imagine that you cherish your collection. I think it is important to love the tools of your labor of love.

  • Cassie

    The O-Check notebooks are equisite. I love the threading and the elegant visual appeal it creates. I find the french language printed on the cover creates a romantic visual.

    I have experienced similar dissatisfaction when attempting to purchase products featured in magazine "trending" product articles. I have often found that many overseaa products are sold at competitive and lower prices, only to be higer priced once shipping is applied to the total. You were fortunate yo locate the O-Check notebooks from the Australian representative.

    I would be upset if I had purchased he ruler. I love the first picture and especially the brass knob. I think that it is unacceptable that your ruler was not similar to the product photo. Even if it was only $6.00, the ruler should have been a nicer ruler. I wo der, if any of the futurebird.com readers have had a similar issue with a product that was ordered online or by catalog that were not comparative to the product description or photo?

    • http://www.futurebird.com Susan Donovan

      It's never fun to see something you like, that's reasonably priced, but it's out of stock... Or not on sale in your region... Drives me crazy!

  • Aaron Donovan

    LOL. Nice headline. I'm glad you recognize that Portland is not overseas.  

    • Cassie

      It would be funny if the geography of Portland was mistaken. However, Iam happy to see this didn't happen.

      My friend's husband discussed taking a bicycle journey across the United States to Alaska. My friend laughed and asked how he intended to ride his bike across the ocean. She wanted to know if there was a bridge yet? Lol.

  • Diznebabeegirl

    that is a very lovely set of books. Thank you for providing how to get them and what they entailed.

  • http://mandyallen.com Mandy Allen

    I adore notebooks, have lots with various scribblings in them.  In particular I like Italian leather covers with nice tooling on the cover, and that very fine paper that is almost transparent.  Shame about the ruler, hope something gets sorted out about it.

  • Nicole

    yeah, 0-check notebooks are sorta rare, even in Korea. I never saw one in a regular town shop-they are only sold at big shopping plazas!!!! Such a shame they don't export it :(