Legal Pad Reimagined: Cheshire Paper Co.

NOTE: You can now read my archived and current stationery reviews at Ink & Core. This specific review is now at

Brainstormer NotepadI received an interesting prototype writing pad, called The Brainstormer Notepad from Cheshire Paper Co. Since I still frequently use yellow legal pads, narrow ruled (Ampad Gold when I can get them!) I was curious how this new pad approached a twist on the old standard.

While I’m not sure how the retail version of this pad will end up, this prototype sample has two very interested and compelling things going for it: heavyweight white paper that is really fountain-pen friendly, and what I’d have to call an innovative approach to writing guides on each sheet.

Want to write? Sketch? Draw? The Brainstormer provides an environment in one notepad to do all three. The paper is printed on one side only; the verso is blank, which in itself makes for some interesting cross-functional possibilities with this pad. The narrow rules are combined with two types of dot patterns: one to somewhat allow a grid-like arrangement for those needing that geometric structure, and dots to form an isometric grid to help perspective drawing. Neat concept, although for me in this prototype I found the dots a little light. Here’s an image of the concept that shows the intent better than I could show in a photo.

Brainstormer-writing sampleThe writing experience is very nice with either graphite or fountain pen, and I especially like the perforated pages. They release from the pad so much cleaner (and quieter!) than my usual yellow pad. The quality is top notch, and I’m truly intrigued by writing guides on one side, blank on the back. In past usages, I’ve often written on the front side of my yellow pad page, then flipped over to sketch out something related. With the Brainstormer, that’s a cleaner, better result if one needs to copy and share the sketch.

The site’s shop page is showing the pad available for sale so looks like they’re out of prototype phase and ready for customers. If you’re a fan of letter-size pads and like white paper, and especially are a fountain pen user, then you probably should seriously check out The Brainstormer Notepad from Cheshire Paper Co.

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