Confession: This is a product of my hoarder tendencies in action. See, I already have an art journal, a ream of practice paper, a calligraphy practice notebook, a mini-tower of a memo pad, 2 dotted notebooks, and an extra planner which I also use for calligraphy practice. That is already more than enough. That is, in fact, already too much. *cringe* But no, when I saw this available at the local National Bookstore, I just had to get myself one or die of wanting.

Anywho. I first saw this in the Calligrafriends PH group page. Several members have posted their gorgeous works done in their Limelight sketch books. Out of curiosity, I looked for it the next time I went to NBS. I wasn’t expecting to find them there since I live in the boondocks province and art supplies are still pretty much limited here. So I was really surprised to find several stocks, and in different colors to boot. I didn’t see the black one until my next visit though; it must have been buried under the other notebooks in the rack.

Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for NBS), there were already a couple of these that were out of their plastic covers. That way, I was able to assess the quality of the book for myself. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased with what I saw and felt and decided to get myself one. There are five (5) color combinations available:

The white one with black elastic band was really really pretty, but I felt like I would mess up the pristine cover in no time so I passed. I only really like red as an accent so a bright red sketch book is out of the question. My final choice was between the blue and the grey. I like them both, but in the end, the blue one’s bright yellow elastic closure won me over. 😉 Here are some more details of this lovely Limelight sketch book:

blue Limelight sketch book blue Limelight sketch book embossed back blue Limelight sketch book back pocket sumi ink on Limelight sketch book feathering Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip
some feathering when I used a Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip

I have not tried using watercolor in it, but based on what I’ve seen at the group, it can handle some light washes. Anyway, I only dabble in a little watercolor when the mood hits so that’s good enough for me. But it handles sumi ink beautifully, which pleases me to no end since I intend to use this as a dedicated journal for my calligraphic pursuits (naks!). Same goes with the Tombow Fudenosuke soft tip. Curiously, feathering occurred when I used the Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip.


  • The padded hard cover feels luxurious but feels like it would endure being toted around everywhere.
  • The creamy blank pages are thick (100 gsm, I think) and really smooth.
  • The pages can handle regular pens, gel pens, brush pens/markers, watercolor and sumi ink with very minimal ghosting and no bleeding (except for Tombow Fudenosuke).
  • There’s a ribbon bookmark.
  • The sturdy elastic enclosure band is a nice and contrasting color.
  • There’s also a pocket at the back cover for tickets, receipts, stickers, etc.
  • Considering those above, it’s actually priced more than reasonably at just Php 199.75 at National Bookstore.
  • Bonus: This would also make a great bullet journal! 🙂


  • Not fully compatible with Tombow Fudenosuke. Feathering occurs when using the hard tip. There’s some ghosting and almost-bleeding on the other side as well.
  • Binder clips leave an imprint on the padded cover.

As stated in the Likes list, this sketch book may also be used as a BuJo. It’s perfect for that purpose as well, really. The only things missing (or not, depending on the preference) are the dots. Personally I’m wishing they’d make a dotted version of this sketch book/journal. That would be so awesome, definitely at par with the popular choices for BuJo’s, the Leuchtturm1917 and the Moleskine. The thicker pages of this sketch book would even put this ahead of those two. 😉

All in all, this is a pretty good option for a sketch book, even on the go. The hard cover provides ample support even just balanced on your knee while you do your urban sketching. The pages are also nice and protected when placed inside the bag. To sum it up, I love the Limelight sketch book, glitch with the soft Fudenosuke notwithstanding. ♥

callig siggy white

P.S. How do you like my new handmade blog signature? 🙂

11 thoughts on “Review: Limelight Sketch Book

  1. I am a certified notebook/journal and planner addict. So, I understand what you feel when something catch your attention while in NBS. Anyway, enjoy your passion.
    P.S …I like your signature

  2. Well yeah, I’m a combination of an impulsive and hoarder type of person. I buy on the spot when the money lets me. Though I destash just a few months after. One factor I truly consider with papers for calligraphy is bleeding or feathering. That’s a big no for me.

    Btw, your signature looks pretty. How did you digitize it?

  3. I’m exactly the same! When I see something I really like, I really really have to buy it! I don’t know how many notebooks I own, but I’m trying to come up with an excuse right now to justify the need for another one. This limelight sketchbook looks definitely good.

  4. Another impulsive buyer and hoarder here! And an artist wannabe too, however, I have only tried real calligraphy once, at an event. I really want to dig deep into it and get in touch with my artsy self again. This sketchbook may be a good start. 🙂

  5. There are truly things that even we don’t need it that much, but we still get the chance a buy it, maybe because of limited stocks sometimes. I like the color of this limelight sketch book, blue is my favorite color. I guess, you’ll surely blend with this new limelight sketch book and you can flirt with it as well. I like how you made it more interesting through your detailed blog post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  6. I’m not aware on how a proper sketchbook should be. However, you described this beautifully that it entices me to buy one just for doodles and creatively listing down the blog ideas. I also like the white design but it’s not ideal for carrying around without a cover as it might become dirty white in no time. I agree with you that the price is really reasonable.

  7. I totally can relate . I used to hoard a lot of notebooks before and even gift them to friends who I believe share the same passion. Now that I am a mom, the passion simply slid down as I consider buying more diapers than notebooks.

    And yes, love your signature 🙂

  8. My kids and I like sketchbooks. We love to doodle and write. Sometimes I just take photos of their drawings and let go of the loose bond papers where they drew. But with sketchbooks, I get to keep them while keeping the house in order. No scattered papers all over the place. 😉

  9. I have been partial to Moleskine for almost all my notebooks and sketch pads but your review now has me curious about Limelight. I like the pros; I agree that the perfect sketch book need to have the best quality for a good bleed. I am a bit wary about the padded cover; is it like the cover of the Monologue journals? Not a big fan of those kinds of covers.

  10. I definitely understand you! Hahaha. Well, I’m not into sketchbooks and arts and crafts but sometimes I, myself is an impulsive buyer. I’m trying to get rid of it though one step at a time as it really affects my budget. I can imagine how happy you must be when you purchased the journal 🙂

  11. I like your signature! Calligraphy pads, journals and notebooks look all too pretty nowadays and I open stop myself from purchasing all those pretty displays from NBS. Good thing I’m still not into hoarding. Bleeding and soft pages are the qualities I like to see on my purchases. Limelight seems to meet most of the pros of a good brand and its affordable.

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