nce upon a time there was a writer named Goldilocks. She was fascinated by quality writing paper, and lucky to receive three different Exaclair papers to sample as part of The Paper Project Week 2.
The first paper was the Clairefontaine Triomphe (white/blank 90g), which was incredibly smooth – almost slick or slippery – to the touch. It was a clean, bright white color, with no underlying pattern or design to get in the way of Goldilocks’ doodles. However, Goldilocks didn’t really like the way various inks (a Marvy Le Pen, several PaperMate Flairs, and a Pilot Varsity fountain pen) took to the paper. They seemed just to sit on top of the glossy surface, without penetrating into the fiber. After a few strokes, Goldilocks put down her pen and went on to the next paper sample.
The second sheet was the G. Lalo Verge de France (white/blank 100g). It was a tad bit heavier than the Triomphe and although the color was described as white, in comparison to the Triomphe, it actually was ivory. This paper had a rougher surface than the Triomphe, and some of the inks bled into it, although none soaked through to the reverse side. When held to the light, vertical “lines,” approximately an inch apart were visible on the G. Lalo Verge de France paper, as were horizontal lines that were so closely spaced that they looked like corduroy. When she tried to write on the G. Lalo Verge de France, the points of her pens seemed to get tripped up in the paper’s rough surface and the experience wasn’t a smooth one. On this paper, too, after a few strokes Goldilocks put down her pen and went on to the next sample.
The last sample Goldilocks tried was the Clairefontaine GraF it (white/blank 90g). Smoother than the G. Lalo Verge de France, but not as glassy as the Triomphe, she loved the glide of each pen over the surface, and the way the ink took to the paper. The color, too, wasn’t the I-need-sunglasses-when-I’m-using-this-paper white of the Triomphe, but a muted white – almost a gray-white – that was exceptionally easy on the eyes. Ink after ink, pen after pen, Goldilocks kept doodling on the GraF it, until she knew that it was the paper that was just right.