03 May 2012

Reader Question - Paper Recommendations

Thank you to Helen for her question, I too will be interested in all of your responses. 
I love the diary pages you and Ray have produced and was thinking about getting some nicer paper to print them on. The trouble is I am not sure what to buy.
So some recommendations on weight, fountain pen friendliness etc would be really helpful.


  1. I am using WH Smith cream smooth paper. A little expensive at £8.99 for 100 sheets. It comes in A4 and I am trimming it to A5.However, maybe not that expensive when I consider that Philofaxying is one of my hobbies and so enjoyable.The paper is just lovely to feel and to write on. I've printed Ray and Steve's A5 Amended TM diary- 5 line version and it is the first diary I've stuck to.... so working for me. One word of warning though I had to take 1 faulty pack of paper back as it was behaving like blotting paper and looking smudgy!! All the other packs have been fine though. I use Uni ball eye fine gel pens to colour code my diary. No bleed through. The paper is an 80 weight/thickness. Good luck with it. xx

  2. I use a ream of A5 white paper from Staples. It's 80 gsm so not great (I'd prefer 100) but it's easy to print on. Especially as I'm a perfectionist for perfect edges and my guillotine just doesn't do it well enough.

    I don't use a fountain pen so can't comment on that.

  3. Getting the correct combination of paper, nib and ink is a personal journey and I am afraid I can’t summarise it for you. Too many subjective elements in the process.

    Paper specifically designed for handwriting, rather than an inkjet or laser printer, may be your best option; but I am often surprised by whatever cheap copier paper I buy via Staples etc. If you work in an office then try the odd sample, also ask other people for sample papers as many will often have a few that they’ve bought for CV’s etc

  4. I'm using Staples laser printer paper, 24 lb (90 gsm?) and I really like it. It holds fountain pen and liquid ink nicely with no bleed/show through. I did obtain some 28 lb (105 gsm) paper that's sort of a cream colour, but I don't like it that much. It's quite slippery for my tastes. I like a bright white page (like the Staples) but if the cream paper were less slick, I'd like it much better.

  5. In my local Staples store, they often have paper that you can try before you buy.

  6. I have been thinking of ordering some Clairfontaine paper from www.gouletpens.com. I think it is 90 grams and is wonderful paper for a fountain pen. Brian Goulet has a lot of videos on his website where he tests pens,ink, and paper!

    1. I love Goulet Pen Company and the Clairfontaine and Rhodia paper. I bought an A5 pad of Rhodia Dot Pad and sacrificed the cover and back of the pad to get individual sheets of paper. Hole-punched and now I have fabulous paper in my A5 Aston! Much better than the FF paper! I say, "Go for it!"

    2. DEM, i am loving Filofax more and more. Last evening, I learned that Filofax owns the company that produces Yard-o-Led fountain pens........my ultimate dream is to own a Yard-o-Led Retro!!!

  7. In my extensive testing, the papers which performed best were all from Crane & Co. My preference is Crane's Thesis, followed by Crane's Bond, and Crane's Crest. From my article:

    "There were two samples which performed better than all others with a variety of inks, Crane's Bond, and Crane's Thesis Paper. I had also tested Crane's Crest and Strathmore Writing Pure Cotton. Both of these papers were very similar in performance.
    All three of the Crane & Co. papers are 100% cotton wove finish papers, but have varying degrees of hardness to their finishes. In order from softest to hardest, they are Crane's Crest, Crane's Bond, and Crane's Thesis. Overall, the Crane's Thesis paper performed best. All three are available in a 24 lb. weight.

    Crane's Crest is available in A4 size, but the others are not. Crane's Bond is not available in White. Crane's Thesis seems to be only available in US Letter size in retail packaging of 100 or 500 sheets, but I haven't yet contacted Crane & Co. to find out if there are other sizes and packagings available.

    What would be ideal, I think, is Crane's Thesis in a 16 or 20 lb. weight, with a whiter color that the standard White."


  8. I should also mention that the testing was done with fountain pens, mainly my Pelikan M800, and a variety of inks, probably including Mont Blanc, J. Herbin, Pelikan, and Noodler's. The testing was done over two years ago, so I can't remember it precisely