Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exacompta Journal

Back in May, when I got a bottle of J Herbin 1670 Anniversaire ink from WritersBloc, I also got one of the Exacompta Club Leatherette journals, the ones that come in nine different colors, each an unusual and eye-catching shade. In writing a review of the Herbin ink, I mentioned the journal and promised to write more about it after having the time to give it a good trial, a good testing. Not really fair to say a whole lot about a journal before having the occasion to see how it reacts to, or interacts with your pens, inks and personal style of journal keeping.

The Exacompta journal measures 5x7 inches, with 192 pages of premium Clairefontaine 64 gr paper. Many of us are already familiar with Clairefontaine paper, but let me quote from the insert that came with the journal: ‘…the best paper in the world for writing. Our paper is chlorine-free. A gift of nature, a mineral called calcium carbonate, gives Clairefontaine paper its famous qualities of extra white paper and ultra smooth…We manufacture our own paper from sustainable forests with minimal environmental impact.’ I am unable to say much about calcium carbonate and sustainable forests, but the whiteness and smoothness are unmistakeable and make an immediate impression. I chose the mandarin orange leatherette cover, but the choice was not easy with the impressive collection of colors to choose from. While Exacompta and Clairefontaine are both French, these journals are labeled ‘Made in the USA’ and interesting to me, the leatherette cover has a large sticker inside saying, ‘Made in Poland.’

I mentioned back in May that the journal is a wee bit smaller than the A5 (5.8 x 8.3 inches) size I prefer. That doesn’t seem like a big difference from the non-standard 5x7 inches of the Exacompta, but the difference is immediately noticeable to one accustomed to the larger A5 standard. Unluckily for me, the Exacompta size will weigh heavily when time comes for a refill. But I realize the size issue may not be as critical to other journal keepers, and this is the only point I can find to grumble about.

The paper is everything and more that Exacompta says about it. Looking at the bottom photo showing the open journal, some might see smeared, sloppy pages, but that’s just my style of writing in a journal—usually smeared, crossed-out, tilted, stamped and multi-colored. For those who like neater pages, the Exacompta will serve beautifully.

A product I can happily give high marks to. Check it out at WritersBloc.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America