Baron Fig provided these books to me at no cost for review.
Rarely in my life do I look at something and say "I wish I had kids." That's what happened when I first saw these new Vanguard Limited Edition notebooks from Baron Fig. Called Train of Thought, they're designed by the artist Zipeng Zhu. If you check out that link, make sure you use your arrow keys to navigate it...just like the books, his site is a trip.
Like all the limited edition Vanguards, these are "Flagship" sized (A5-ish), softcover 3-packs, this time with dot-grid ruling. They have the great Baron Fig paper that handles many awesome writing instruments. Now that the stats are out of the way, let's talk about the covers.
The set's called Train of Thought, and here's the marketing text from Baron Fig:
An idea tends to end up far away from where it began. The Train of Thought invites you to climb aboard to see where your ideas take you.
The style of the illustrations on the books are what would happen if you explained an acid trip to a 5 year old who was a genius at drawing vector illustrations and obsessed with space. Each cover, inside and out, is different, but the theme of a train ride through hippie space is constant throughout. Aliens, a flying donut, a stoned crescent moon...those are just a few things you'll find hanging around this galactic wonderland.
There's nothing ordinary or minimal about the design on these books, which completely flips the script when it comes to Baron Fig's standard offerings. It seems as though the limited edition books are the playground, but unlike someone like Field Notes, they haven't yet moved anything from a limited edition experiment to everyday offering, yet. For my money, the last Vanguard release, the Composition, is the closest thing they've done that could make that leap. I'm still waiting on a limited edition in an different size than the Flagship. I'd love to see some pocket Vanguards get some love, but also a Plus size. As much as I like the Flagship size, I want to see them tackle the other sizes.
One thing I would like to note: these are indeed $14 a pack, which is $2 more than a standard Flagship Vanguard. That's been the price of LE Vanguards...but when you go to the purchase page, usually the option says "Single Pack" but for some reason, on these it says "Single Book"...never fear, you're getting a 3-pack, not just one of the books. I wouldn't be recommending them if that was the case!
Available from Baron Fig, $14 for a 3-pack.