In addition to being filled with the best paper in the world, many of the notebooks and journals in our Clairefontaine collection boast beautiful cover art. Some of these illustrations and designs are created by well-respected artists, but unfortunately these are often limited editions– meaning once they’re gone they’re gone for good. The following collections have since been discontinued, but we still have a limited supply in stock– just a heads up so you can stock up before they’re history.
The Clairefontaine "Mlle No" collection is designed by French artist Jessica Ollivaud, whose art evokes the whimsical and ethereal, but with a modern edge. This collection includes a Large Wirebound Notebook, a Medium Wirebound Notebook, and one secured with elastic. If you’re looking for a unique gift there are also Memo Pads and Magnetic Journals featuring these beautiful illustrations
Robert Le Heros is a graphic design company that designs for prestigious companies worldwide. Their design for Quo Vadis is a contemporary twist on a floral design. The only products we still have in stock from this collection are the Large Journal and Small Journal!
This may sound corny, but I imagine that if dreams could be illustrated they would reflect the Clairefontaine GraficFlow collection. The abstract elements are composed in such a way that you see familiar things in something that doesn’t really make sense. Give the Magnetic Journal as a gift, and keep the wirebound notebooks for yourself (available in Large and Medium).
Clairefontaine is well-known for making high quality paper in a large variety of sizes, styles and purposes. How do you go about deciding which kind of Clairefontaine paper is best to fit your needs? Here’s some handy information from the Exaclair website that can really help:
||Extra white paper, except for spiral multi-subject which is a light pastel color. Ruled, ruled with margin, French ruled, graph, blank, staves (music notebook), staple bound, spiral, clothbound, hardcover
||Extra white paper, staple bound, spiral
||Extra white, blank, ruled
||Bright white, blank
|Graf it Sketch Pads
|Spiral Drawing Pads
||White, medium tooth surface
|Spiral Sketch Pads
||White, medium tooth surface
|Spiral Watercolor Pads
||White, cold pressed
||Ivory, simili Japon paper
||100% cotton rag, natural white, cold pressed
|“Ingres” Pastel Pad
||White – slight ivory tinge
Color – assorted, sand, almond, ochre, sooty black
||White – linen texture
||White, hot pressed
All sheets and cards
In addition to the difference in types of Clairefontaine paper, many people wonder how Rhodia paper compares to Clairefontaine paper. If you’d like to know the answer, the Rhodia Drive blog explains the difference between Rhodia and Clairefontaine Paper.
Cole at The Orchard gives us her take on the differences between Clairefontaine Digital Color Printing Paper, Ingres Pastel Pad, Graf it Sketchpad and the Kalligraphie Pad, as well as giving us a nice comparison of the Rhodia Webnotebook and the Quo Vadis Habana Journal.
What’s your favorite Clairefontaine paper?
After my successful experiment with the Platinum Preppy, I was eagerly anticipating taking my new LAMY Safari Fountain Pen for a test drive and I wasn’t disappointed!
Armed with my LAMY Safari and Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal I travelled to a 3 day convention ready to take lots of notes. Many, many pages later there was not one ink smear and my hand felt less fatigued than it normally does thanks to the smooth action of the LAMY nib combined with the ultra-smooth Clairefontaine paper in my journal. This combination would be an asset to anyone who does a lot of writing!
For this experiment I used LAMY standard ink cartridges in turquoise. Since I tend to poke holes in paper when I use extra-fine nib pens, I choose the LAMY fine nib for my pen. The fine nib produced a consistent flow of ink in a medium to fine line. The benefit of the LAMY Safari’s ergonomic grip was lost on me because my left-handed grip is rather strange, but it was not a hindrance either. The Clairefontaine paper in the Exacompta Club Journal is 64 g, a lighter weight than the usual 90 g paper used in Clairefontaine notebooks. Even though there was a little bit of ink bleed-thru, I was still able to write on both sides of the page with a fountain pen.
This lime green LAMY Safari quickly became my favorite pen!
(Just a note: LAMY Studio, Safari, Vista, Joy and AL-Star Fountain Pens all use the same type of stainless steel nibs.)
Ever since I heard about Staedtler’s Ergosoft Aquarell Coloured Pencils I have been wanting to give them a try. These pencils have watercolor lead for dry and wet blending, providing a wide range of creative possibilities when coloring, drawing or watercoloring with water and brush. I’m not an artist, but this sounded like fun! Even though Clairefontaine makes watercolor pads, I decided to pair the pencils up with a Clairefontaine Sketch Pad because the paper has a smoother finish. For my first experiment I doodled a picture of my cat, Mulder. Here is what the picture looked like before using a wet paintbrush:
Here is what the picture looked like after using a wet paintbrush:
This was created simply by making a pencil sketch first, and then applying a small wet paintbrush. As soon as the colors got wet they seemed to "melt" and became brighter and more intense. Different color shades could easily be blended. The paper did wrinkle a bit, so the heavier weight watercolor paper might have been better, but I felt the smoother sketch pad paper might be easier for making fine pencil lines. This was a fun project and I’m looking forward to trying some different techniques. Which picture looks better? I’ll let you decide….
If any of you have artwork created by Staedtler Aquarell pencils you would like to share, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share our favorites in a future blog post!