Clairefontaine and Kawaiko

While shopping in Paris I discovered that Clairefontaine has partnered with Kawaiko to create a line of cute notebooks and more that combine Japanese and French fashion. The result is a flowery, funky mix featuring four very different but very fashionable girls who are students in a school of design – Kima, Miio, Elea and Lina.

I brought home a large notebook with Clairefontaine graph paper and a picture of Lina wearing a Kimono on the front cover. You can even purchase matching Kawaiko/Clairefontaine computer bags, makeup bags, backpacks, tote bags, pencil sharpeners, waste paper baskets, agendas, notepads and more. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of these things in the USA!

If you’re wondering what Harajuku inspired French fashion looks like take a look at the Kawaiko store website.

Even though most of us can only drool over the enormous variety of Clairefontaine products in France, in the USA we can still enjoy a wide selection of Clairefontaine products with the famous super smooth paper writers love.

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Clairefontaine Cover Designs

It seems Clairefontaine is now printing notebooks with a new cover design that reminds me of computer graphics in the movie The Matrix. After picking up these notebooks in Paris and wondering whether or not this was an preview of what was to come in the USA, Writer’s Bloc noticed a handful of one size of Clairefontaine notebooks coming in with similar cover designs. Perhaps the future line of laminated Clairefontaine covers will incorporate this style of design. We’ll have to wait and see…

Clairefontaine Paris also sells notepads with colorful and durable translucent plastic covers. I grabbed a few of these notebooks in the 6 3/4" x 8 3/4" size with French ruled paper. These covers seem like they would be especially durable and resistant to creasing, great for a notebook with contents that you plan to save. In the future perhaps we’ll see this line of Clairefontaine notebooks in the USA too. We’ll be watching for them!

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Do Students in France Really Use French Rule Paper?

French Rule Notebook at the Virgin Store

After my recent visit to Paris during the height of back to school shopping I would have to say, YES,  students in France really do commonly use French rule paper. While shopping I observed parents and students busily filling their shopping baskets with loose sheets and notebooks filled with French rule, or Séyès paper.

I found the two most common sizes of paper were A4, or 8 1/4" x 11 3/4", and 6 5/8" x 8 5/8". The smaller size of paper was even available in loose sheets and there were nice compact size binders to hold these pages as well.

Clairefontaine paper was everywhere! Just look at these stacks of Clairefontaine French rule copies doubles perforees and loose sheets! The available quantity and variety of Clairefontaine paper was definitely enough to make this USA shopper jealous! I might just have to plan a return trip to France and bring an extra suitcase.

Clairefontaine Copies Doubles Perforees and Loose Sheets
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Famous Fans of Clairefontaine

Exaclair gives us some insight into famous fans of Clairefontaine paper. There’s quite a list, and we know this isn’t all inclusive:

Carla Bruni, Carrie Bradshaw, John Berendt, David Mamet, Claire Messud, Paul Auster, Christina Baldwin, Lillian Ross, Lyn Harris, Karine Moline, Kim France, Anne Stuart, J. Sperling Reich, Carol L. Skolnick, Susan Wiggs, Karen Traviss and Hawksley Workman all regularly use Clairefontaine paper.

In case you don’t know who some of these people are, you can read about them on Exaclair’s website. Many of them are well-known authors and writers who would know a quality notebook when they used one!

One of our favorite excerpts from Exaclair is the information about Susan Wiggs:

"Best selling author Susan Wiggs, in her recent novel, Passing through Paradise, devised a heroine who uses Clairefontaine tablets and peacock-blue ink. This is no surprise, since the author herself always writes her first drafts with a special fountain pen, peacock-blue ink, and, yes, Clairefontaine notebooks."

Even not-so-famous writers like ourselves have caught on to why Clairefontaine is simply the best paper in the world for writing!

Clairefontaine hard cover notebooks
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Rhodia Webnotebook

Rhodia Webnotebook

The much-anticipated Rhodia Webnotebook has finally arrived in our shop and we found there is a lot to like about this new notebook! Rhodia notepads are known worldwide for their bright orange covers and smooth grid paper, and the Rhodia Webnotebook now has some new features to offer.

First of all, the paper is not white and does not have the famous Rhodia grid. Rather, it is a pleasing soft ivory color with grey lines spaced a comfortable 7mm apart. The 90g paper found in both the small and medium size Webnotebooks is made by Clairefontaine so it is super-smooth and is a very good choice for fountain pen users. When we tested it with a handful of our fountain pens we found that our ink did not bleed through the paper and the ink see-through was limited enough that you could write on both sides of the page.

The Webnotebook has an Italian leatherette hard-cover that is soft to the touch. It has a nicely embossed Rhodia logo in the center of the front cover and a matching elastic closure attached to the back cover to keep it securely closed. Inside the cover we found that the endsheets of the notebook and the back pocket matched the cover color which is nice touch. We also like the rounded corners and the matching ribbon marker to help you find your place. If you are a fountain pen user like we are here at Writer’s Bloc, the Rhodia Webnotebook might just become your new favorite!

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