Saturday, February 13, 2016

Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect

Mishka at Bureau Direct asked if I'd be interested in doing a little paper comparison between Clairefontaine Triomphe and Original Crown Mill - both fountain pen friendly, but both very different in style. This isn't a formal review, just a little write off!

Writing a letter can be intimidating, because you don't know where to start, what to say, and you may feel like your handwriting isn't good enough. Poppycock! You can't mess up a letter. The great thing about snail mail is even before your recipient opens and reads your letter, they'll be elated that you even thought of them, and spent the time to send them a note. I know this because this is how I feel when I receive a letter. It doesn't matter if there's a few lines, or if it's ten pages. I feel great.

So you've decided to write a letter. What can be done? A fancy letter? A fun letter? As InCoWriMo is upon us, why not do a comparison of two different styles of letters you can send with two different kinds of fountain pen friendly stationery?

ABOUT

Clairefontaine Triomphe A5 Writing Pad - 50 sheets - £1.95
Triomphe is the correspondence range from Clairefontaine and uses their exceptional quality paper, PH neutral and acid free.
Clairefontaine Matching C6 Envelopes - 25 envelopes - £3.95
Original Crown Mill A5 Writing Set - 40 sheets, 40 envelopes - £19.95
Crown Mill is generally considered to be one of the most distinguished writing papers in the world and this beautiful correspondence set is made from their flawless laid paper, perfect for fountain pens. The set contains 40 sheets of A5 paper and 40 C6 lined envelopes all presented in a gold or silver gift box with Crown Mill foil stamped on the front. Available in either white (silver box) or cream (gold box), this is a really lovely set, ideal for letter writing and a beautiful gift.
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PACKAGING

The Clairefontaine Triomphe stationery is minimally packaged in just some plastic shrink wrap, which is reflected in its low price.

The Original Crown Mill Writing Set is just that - a set! It is boxed up and packaged in a fairly elegant way. This set is more expensive than the Triomphe stationery, but it's obviously a stationery set, rather than just a pad of paper and envelopes.
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (1)

The Triomphe is a bright white paper, whereas this particular Crown Mill is off-white. It isn't yellow, but to me, it gives it a little more of an antique look, which is romantic and classy - perfect for a beautifully written letter (which I do not demonstrate here, sorry).
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (2)
The Triomphe is also very smooth paper, unlike the laid texture - which you can see and feel - of the Crown Mill. Guide sheets can be seen through both, although I find it a little easier to see through the Triomphe paper. If you use a guide with thicker lines, this will fix the problem! You can also use the laid pattern as a guide, because it's pretty consistent. 
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (3)
I thought the Clairefontaine Triomphe set had a more playful feel to it, because it wasn't laid, and the simple way it was packaged. There's nothing wrong with the packaging. I just thought decorating it with some fun washi tape (or stickers and stamps, if that's your thing) would look neat. Pair that up with some colorful gel ink pens - like the Sakura Gelly Roll pens - and you've got a nice colorful letter and envelope!
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (5)
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (4)
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (6)
As I mentioned, the Crown Mill seemed a bit more classy because of the color and texture, so I tried to go that route. Well, I tried to make an example of what you could do by going that route, anyway. It really is fountain pen friendly, and although I know some people who hate the laid texture, I really like it. It's very tactile, and I feel like I'm Anne from Anne of Green Gables. 
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (8)
Seal it with a wax seal, add some shimmer if you want, and you have a complete letter. 
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (10)
If you use fountain pens, you can expect average drying times on the Crown Mill, but maybe slightly longer times on the Triomphe, as it is smoother. A blotting sheet can speed up your drying times, but it may alter the color of your ink. Personally, I'd just wait it out.
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (9)
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (11)
Clairefontaine Triomphe vs. Original Crown Mill Stationery Write Off @BureauDirect (12)
Both stationery sets will offer you a pleasant writing experience. The Triomphe line is just a bit more casual and playful, and works better with writing instruments other than fountain pens (should you wish to go that route). The Crown Mill writing set is very elegant and the laid paper makes it more suitable for fountain pens (than other pens) - although it works best with slightly wetter nibs, and not very finicky ones.

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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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