Week 4 of the Paper Project included samples of 8×11″ Clairefontaine Pastel Graph paper and an Exacompta Pastel Index Card.
The Clairefontaine 90g pastel graph paper is from the Wirebound Multiple Subject book shown above. This notebook has double wire spiral binding, comes in assorted cover colors and is available in three sizes:
4 1/4 x 6 3/4″ which has 48 sheets of pastel graph paper and 8 tabs
6 3/4 x 8 3/4″ which has 60 sheets of pastel graph paper and 12 tabs (The most popular size)
8 1/4 x 11 3/4″ which has 112 sheets of pastel trap paper and 4 tabs
The Exacompta Index or “Bristol” cards are acid-free, Ph neutral 205g card stock. Each pack includes 100 cards of four subtle pastel colors: green, blue, pink and yellow with pale violet grid lines. They are available in four sizes: 3×5″, 4×6″, 5×8″ and the 5 3/4 x 8 1/4″, which is currently in limited supply. The most popular size is 4×6″.
Kevin said, “I am a long time Rhodia/CF user and these papers performed pretty much exactly as I expected. I used a variety of pens and inks on them. Aurora Black, J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir, Sailor Sky High, Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao, Diamine Midnight, and Waterman Florida Blue. (Pens were Lamy 2000, Parker 51, Twsbi 580, Platinum Standard, Parker Vacumatic, vintage Sheaffer and Waterman pens)
I saw no ghosting or bleed and no feathering at all even with more runny inks like Diamine and Herbin. The Sailor and Aurora took a long time to dry as you would expect on such ink resistant paper and will likely be an issue for southpaws. I tortured this paper with my super wet pens including my broad stubs which just put out rivers of ink. My parker vac is like a butter knife and the feed has been altered to put out more ink and my Waterman is an equally insane firehose of inky goodness. These are pens you do NOT put in your pocket unless you also happen to own a shirt factory. These papers took the abuse and the opposite side of the paper was still perfectly usable. Nice!
The paper is tough so if you have a flex pen you can go to town on it and not worry about ruining the paper and the smooth glassy surface will please some. I personally love the performance of the Rhodia papers but somewhat dislike the surface which I find to be too smooth and somewhat chalky. I prefer a little tooth to my page but it is hard to argue with the performance. With a broad wet nib this paper is fantastic. I had a go at pencil and It was wonderfully smooth.
The downsides: Again, as a matter of taste I like a bit more tooth but the only other thing I could say is that I would like it if the colors were a bit more muted and I half found myself wishing that the cards were grid on one side only. I liked the stiffness of the cards (205g) and I liked the muted grid printing. I found the yellow a bit bright. Personally I dislike pastel colors but would love these in ivory or even parchment brown.
It’s good paper. I am not sure I would buy the paper but I would be interested in the cards. Especially if they were larger. They would be great for lecture notes.”
Aisazia said, “Fantastic paper. This is my first time using these types of paper. I’ve used typical Clairefontaine and Rhodia but I haven’t had a chance to use these colored types. But fear not! These types of paper are also high quality paper! No bleed through on my end or feathering.
I like the tabbed colored paper but I don’t imagine myself using it as much as I would like. I would prefer white paper with maybe a colored tab to make it easier to sort through instead. I think the color is a little too saturated for me which can be distracting but it’s a lovely color.
I loved the index cards. Very nice paper and I could imagine myself using these for notes or studying. While the 3×5 size is nice, I think I would prefer a 4×6 or larger just for myself.
Both papers write smooth but I feel like it’s just slightly more textured than their typical paper counterparts but still excellent with pen, fountain pen ink, and pencil.”
Brian K said,
“I tried them with several different fountain pens and inks – including modern and vintage gold and steel flex nibs. All performed very well.
The cards would be good to carry for quick note taking and such, but it would be nice if they were also available in white or cream as well as pastels. The notebook paper would be good for any conceivable use without having to worry about what pen you use.
I would not hesitate to recommend these products.”
“With the exception of the Sharpie on the notebook paper, there was zero bleed through or shadowing.
I have tried several papers from several manufacturers and Exaclair remains my personal standard to which all other paper is compared. The supercalendaring they do puts a smooth and buttery finish on the pages. They achieve this while maintaining the paper’s ability to absorb ink, but not feather, and dry relatively quickly. All this while holding international best in class environmental consciousness and sustainability.”