Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black

I'm always a fan of Clairefontaine notebooks and for some reason, I really like the Basics series. They're just straight forward, no nonsense, and can be professional and/or fun, depending how you use them. Because the cover is plain and black, it's also super easy to fancy it up myself with some Sakura Gelly pens or something!
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black
Pretty simple notebook, but looks nice.
I usually don't care for wirebound notebooks. The reason being is the coils catch the pages, or get bent and look ugly, etc. I'm quite pleased with this notebook though. The coils are just the right size - not horribly large so that it adds a bunch of bulk to the notebook.
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black Spirals
I particularly like having the three pockets inside the notebook. They act like separators (not that I ever use those subject-separated notebooks as they were intended to be used), and they also tote things around for me - sticky notes, page flags, and stickers. You know. Typical Bedazzle-My-Notebook items.
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black
Fun things in the pocket!
Well, not surprisingly, the highlight of this notebook is the paper. First, these pages are perforated. That's always handy. Second, they're 90g pages, so super fountain pen friendly (for most fountain pens at least). The paper is acid-free and pH neutral. There is no bleed through or show through with any of the fountain pens tested, including the ink swabs. And not surprisingly, this means gel and liquid ink pens don't bleed through either. But why use those on amazing paper like this? That's just silly.
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black Writing Sample
Wide ruling.
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook   Pockets - Medium, Black Writing Sample
Takes all nibs and inks quite well.
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black Paper
The paper is bright white, though the lines break up the "whiteness" so it doesn't feel as intensely white as say, the old blank Habanas might.The paper is very smooth. As such, some fountain pens may not write so well on the smooth coating - an issue I was surprised to find with a Pilot Vanishing Point
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black Pens
Handles these pens easily!
This particular paper has wide rulings, which I don't like very much. I don't really write that big so I always feel like the wide lines pull my writing and make it bigger and then it doesn't look like my writing when I'm done. However, I use this notebook often for practicing (I emphasize the word: practicing!!) calligraphy and I often go big to get the hang of it. It's a perfect use for it. 

Match it with an Age Bag for a really good look!
Clairefontaine Basics Wirebound Notebook + Pockets - Medium, Black and Clairefontaine Age Bag
Price
Writer's Bloc - $10.45

Overall
Some people are passionately against expensive paper. I am not one of those people. At $10.45 for this medium-sized notebook, it does carry a premium. But when I practice calligraphy in here with a scratchy dip nib and some gorgeous pearlescent ink, I'm as happy as a clam, so to me, it's worth it. I found a way to make the wide rulings work for me (as I FAIL to practice calligraphy properly on blank paper... it ends up all over the place). And the Basics series can be dressed up or down, however you like it. If you haven't tried Clairefontaine paper yet, you really should.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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