Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino

This notebook came from Andy over on the FPGeeks forum. In fact, I received it ages ago but I just didn't have a chance to review it, but I toted it with me everywhere I went and finally, I've pulled it out of my queue to get to it. Thank you, Andy, for the notebook, and for your patience!

ABOUT

Size: 3.5" x 5.5" / 9 cm x 14 cm
Color: White
Ruling: Blank
Paper Weight: 90 gsm
Sheet Count: 48
Price: $17.95AUD
Where to buy: NoteMaker

APPEARANCE
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
The Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc notebook is a simple pocket notebook. The cover is a firm kraft coloured cardboard with rounded edges, flush with the pages inside. This one has a blue scheme to identify the blank pages (the ruled is red, and the graph is green).
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
The paper inside is white with very few visible recycled fibers in it. The inside front cover has space for you to put your personal details, and the inside of the back cover has a ruler along the edge and some details about Calepino. It's en Français, of course. The notebook is staple bound.
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
PERFORMANCE & FEEL

This is a pretty cute, straightforward pocket notebook. It's similar to Field Notes, but the covers are a little more firm, while still being flexible enough to be slipped into your pocket. The paper is 90 gsm and is wood-free - meaning it's made from recycled fibers. It holds up pretty well, I must say. The nice thing about the cover is, even while it gets beaten up, the colour doesn't wear out, so even if it gets bent, the colour remains the same (whereas with some of the Field Notes covers, when they bend, you can see the white underneath).
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
The paper feels nice - it's not overly smooth and has a touch of tooth to it. You can feel it when using pencils especially.
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
How does this paper perform? There are no issues with ballpoints, roller balls, gel pens, and pencils. Wet writing liquid ink pens show through and can bleed through a little. The notebook is said to be fountain pen friendly,and it's really a decent performer in this regard. Using very broad, very wet nibs, there was almost no feathering. I did notice show through and there was definitely bleed through though. For me, feathering is the deal breaker.
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
Left: bleed through from fountain pens (see above). Middle and right: flex nib and bleed through.
However, you can't use the back of the page if you're using fountain pens. Inks shade really nicely on this paper, and even better: sheens are easy to catch. It looks really good. Flex nibs are a different case - it's too much ink for the paper and it saturates it quickly, resulting in ghosting, feathering, show through, and bleed through.
Review: Calepino No. 3 Papier Blanc Notebook @NoteMakerTweets @Calepino
Some inks perform better than others - those that have a sheen and higher surface tension seem to perform better than those that are more watery.

Drying times are pretty typical - even wet writing nibs left lines that dried pretty quickly, so there weren't really long drying times to worry about.

PROS
  • Notebook is printed using vegetable-based inks.
  • Paper and cover is 100% recycled.
  • Handles many fountain pen inks really well - shows off shading and sheens really nicely.
  • A nice alternative to the usual pocket notebooks - a pretty tough cover.
  • Nice paper for sketching - just a touch of tooth for nice feedback. 
CONS  
  • Some inks give show through, bleed through, and feathering.
  • Flex nibs are a no-go. 
OVERALL 

These are pretty interesting notebooks. I've heard about them for awhile now and kept seeing them online, and finally have tried mine! They come in packs of three in a cute little cardboard pocket. They're a little pricy though, so maybe they won't be your every day pocket journals; perhaps they'll be reserved for special things like sketches.

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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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