Proposed Paper Comparison Project

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Over this summer I will be organizing a project to compare the different Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Quo Vadis and G. Lalo paper surfaces and how they interact with different writing instruments and inks.

We will collect the comments of as many people as possible on their experience with an individual product paper–how it feels to the touch, how their pen (pencil or other writing instrument) moves across the surface and interacts with it; basically–what is their experience, and what they like (or don’t like) about it.

The summary of the comments can be a good reference not only for people getting started with journals, but also for expert practitioners to exchange experiences with each other.

Here are products I am thinking of including for this comparison: classic Clairefontaine notebook paper; Clairefontaine Triomphe pads, Clairefontaine GraFit pads, R by Rhodia pads, classic Rhodia notepads, Rhodia Ice, Rhodia spiral notebooks, Rhodia Webbies, Quo Vadis Habanas, Quo Vadis planners, G. Lalo Verge de France pads, and G. Lalo correspondence cards.

People can test each sheet with their favorite writing instruments (fountain pens, rollerballs, pencils, etc.)  and contribute feedback via an online form.  We will publish the results on both Quo Vadis Blog and Rhodia Drive in the fall.

Each person would be limited to three or four different sheets per month (that I can send in a first class letter), but can sign up each month for other papers to sample and add their thoughts.

What do you think?  Are there specific questions we should ask?  Are there any other product papers you would like to try?

I am hoping to have the project set up by mid-August to run through mid-October.  Your input at this stage is very much appreciated and welcome.










9 thoughts on “Proposed Paper Comparison Project

  1. It would be helpful to know if certain brands of ink work better on certain kinds of paper. For me, I never know what “saturated inks” or “pigmented inks” are–I have to have the name of an ink and the brand and color for any of that to be meaningful to me. If your list would provide that kind of information, then when I find a notebook I like, I would know what to use with it. Right now, you have to kind of hunt around different sites for reviews in order to figure it out. It sounds like what you are going for is something like the Goulet swab shop for papers.

  2. I, too, would love to participate. My passion for paper and pens is relatively new-found, and I would love the opportunity to try new paper/notebooks and use the topic as material for a blog post or two.

  3. We will have a Google Doc sign-up sheet for everyone to indicate their choice of papers and mailing address. I don’t have a start date yet for this project, but it will be sometime in mid to late August, and will run for several months. I would like to compile the comments and opinions before the end of the year, and make it available on the blogs, and also on our websites. I appreciate the offers for help and participation. Thank you all!

  4. Great idea Karen. Would love to participate and help promote it. I would like to see the online form for collecting results to have a questions for the participants and maybe one thru five type grading so us AR types can score each paper and help us choose the top in a category. Questions like drying time, smoothness, bleed through, ghosting, feathering, etc. Thanks again for taking it on.

  5. This is a tremendous idea that I believe will be useful for many people. If you need volunteers, I would love to participate!

  6. I think this is a great project. I am always looking for a new paper to try and preferably one that is fountain pen friendly, but not always. I think the information collected would be a wonderful resource to other paper and notebook addicts such as myself.
    I’d like to be a part of this project and will keep an eye on the blog for a sign up opportunity. I have a pen and paper review blog, one that has been sadly neglected, but would happily breathe new life into it for a good cause.

  7. That is honestly a GREAT idea! I think that will help out so many people looking to find that perfect paper for their writing style and utensils. That way nothing is biased and you are getting real and true honest opinions from a variety of people.
    I would honestly love to be involved in this comparison. As I currently already do reviews on inks, pens and especially papers since I am a heavy journaler. Always looking for that perfect paper.

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