Beautiful paper and prints from Belgium
Here's a more detailed review of the Le Typographe paper, a brand I'd never heard of before I came across a writing pad and envelopes in a nearby Papeterie store.
|Le Typographe "Insects" writing pad and envelopes|
The design is simple but beautiful - and cool too. Each sheet and envelope is adorned with one of 9 insect prints, including, among others, a ladybird, dragonfly, ant and various bugs. The envelopes are lined and come in a beautiful little box of ink blue cardboard, matching the cover of the pad. The pad comes in A5 size with C6 envelopes.
|Le Typographe "Insects" writing pad|
I was glad I could touch the paper in the store - since not every paper is fountain pen friendly, buying an unknown brand can be a bit of a risk. This one, though, is amazing. The sheets are high white 100 gsm carrying a custom watermark. As I understood, Le Typographe (who are located in Brussels) don't make their own paper but they're definitely buying from a high quality source.
|Le Typographe watermark|
|Ink shades nicely.|
The paper is slightly textured and tolerates ink very well. The front side feels more coated than the back side, which takes up a little more ink but still is far from feathering or bleed through with the inks I've tried. The above is Noodler's Apache Sunset in a Visconti Homo Sapiens with broad cursive italic nib.
|Back side: minimal showtrough.|
Here's the back side, same pen and ink.
Both sides of the paper make shading very prominent as it allows the ink to pool on the paper for a while; accordingly drying time is close to forever.
Showthrough is negligible, I haven't managed to produce any bleedthrough yet.
|Sheen monster: Private Reserve's Electric DC Blue in Pelikan M1000 crisped-up O3B.|
Sheen properties of the ink are very prominent on this paper, much more so than on Clairefontaine or Rhodia. However, when using highly saturated inks like Private Reserve's Electric DC Blue in the picture the drying time is even more extreme and there is a probability of smearing even when dry. Less saturated inks don't have this problem.
So far I've tested the pad with said Visconti Homo Sapiens, a Pelikan M1000, a Nakaya Long Cigar, a Montegrappa Miya (with which I've written a long letter) and a Danitrio Mae West. The Mae West was the only one having problems with it. I could imagine that pens that have skipping issues on very smooth paper also will have problems with the Le Typographe.
|Le Typographe Quadrille notebook - outside|
As I said, a really interesting brand! As their web site is very minimalistic and possibly not up to date I haven't succeeded yet in finding out about their range of products. Their is a range of writing pads with various prints and there should be some notebooks as well. As I really, really like the paper I've ordered their "Quadrille" notebook.
|Le Typographe Quadrille notebook - inside|
Following their minimalistic design it's a simple notebook with glue binding and a thin cloth spine which makes the notebook lie completely flat when opened. When sketching you could also use both pages without a problem. Downside of this: It probably won't last as long as a stitch-bound journal.
The interior pages themselves are a bit extravagant as one side of each page is printed with a faint 1 mm grid, the other one is blank.
|Le Typographe Quadrille notebook - for reasons unknown, an unobtrusive grid pattern is printed on one side of each page and on the front cover.|
The paper is a bit thinner and less stiff than the one used in their writing pads but has the same fountain pen friendly qualities.
|Le Typographe Quadrille notebook|
I like the looks but it's the paper that has won me over. It's really nice to find out there's still some new cool stuff out there for fountain pen users! I will keep an eye on the brand and update if I come across any of their other products.